Hydrotherapy (aka water cure) is one of the simplest yet most effective therapies used by naturopathic physicians. When applied properly, water can be used to treat almost any condition by increasing circulation, nutrition and oxygen uptake by the cells, removing waste, strengthening the immune system, and promoting a parasympathetic (aka relaxed) state. All of these benefits make it perfect for chronic diseases, colds/flus, infections, seasonal allergies, sinus congestion, painful periods, and much more. Some hydrotherapy treatments require the presence of a trained physician but several can easily be done at home! So now what? How do you use such a simple and powerful tool? Here are some of my favorite protocols for you to try at home.
Castor Oil Pack
Lets start with my absolute favorite. This is something I think almost everybody should be doing a few times a week, if not nightly! Since we are not using water directly, this may not be considered a classical hydrotherapy treatment although it is incredibly useful and definitely worth including. Castor oil packs are great for gentle every day liver detox, PMS, gas/ bloating, and abdominal pain just to name a few. Warning, castor oil does stain clothing and furniture, so just make sure you aren’t wearing anything you like and that you protect your furniture with a towel or waterproof cloth like an incontinence pad (yep.. incontinence pad! They are super cheap and mess free).
Indications: Gentle every day liver detox, PMS, chronic disease, gas/ bloating, abdominal pain etc.
Ok, this one is another favorite… possibly tied with castor oil packs! This treatment is a big hit with my patients. This is super simple and very effective for sinus congestions, cold or flu, insomnia, sore throats, headaches, and foot pain.
Indications: Sinus congestions, cold or flu, insomnia, sore throats, headaches, and foot pain.
Alternating Hot and Cold Compress
This is a great treatment and can be adapted for many conditions such as sinus infections and pulled muscles!
Indications: Sinus congestion or infections, pulled muscles, painful joints, and tendinitis.
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