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The hydrotherapy is the use of water as a therapeutic treatment for various disorders combat both body and mind. It is a specific form of physiotherapy that is applied in spas, saunas and thermal pools.

The origin of hydrotherapy dates back several thousand years. The Greeks already made use of this therapy, taking advantage of its properties and benefits for both medical and spiritual purposes. Since then, many societies and civilizations have used hydrotherapy, up to the present day.

What is it?

Hydrotherapy is a type of alternative therapy in which water is used for therapeutic purposes. It must be taken into account that more than 60% of the human body is made up of water , so this is an essential compound for it.

Throughout history, numerous civilizations such as the Greeks, the Romans or the Arabs, among others, have made use of the hot springs as public spaces designed for both enjoyment and relaxation.

In hydrotherapy, the action exerted by water in contact with the skin gives rise to a series of reactions of both the body and the mind : stimulating the nervous system , improving blood circulation, relieving muscle tension …

More and more people are convinced of the great properties and benefits of hydrotherapy for the general health of the body.

Types of hydrotherapy

Below we point out the different types of hydrotherapy that exist.


Within this group we find three different types.

  • Push: it is known as such a therapy that acts once the body is submerged in water. It is extremely effective when exercising muscles, so it is used especially in people with reduced mobility.
  • Compression: as its name suggests, water is applied to the body with force, thus creating great pressure on muscles, veins and nerves. It is generally used as a relaxing method, as well as a treatment for various circulatory problems, such as varicose veins .
  • Pressure: in this case, the water is applied through pressure showers or jets. Like compression, it is a very effective type of therapy to relax the body and mind, as well as to stimulate the nervous system.


A rating can also be set based on the temperature at which the water is applied.

The hot water is very relaxing, both physically and mentally : it relaxes the muscles, improves blood circulation and also has analgesic properties, so it relieves minor pain.

As for warm water , in the vast majority of cases it is used for its sedative properties.

And finally, cold water , which notably stimulates the circulatory system and also improves the heart rate. In certain cases, cold water is also used to tone the muscular system .


And, lastly, the classification based on the different types of water that exist to apply hydrotherapy.

The most common of all is chlorinated water , which strengthens the immune system . If applied hot, it is sedating and relaxing. Also sulfated water , with numerous benefits for the locomotor and respiratory systems.

The ferruginous water is applied in those suffering from anemia, and certain skin diseases. And, the sulfurous water , suitable for treating conditions related to the joints and the respiratory system .

Benefits of hydrotherapy

Below we indicate which are the main benefits of hydrotherapy in relation to physical and mental health.

Improves cardiovascular health

One of the main benefits of hydrotherapy has to do with the health of the cardiovascular system. Water, especially when applied in jets, notably favors peripheral vascular circulation . In this way, the risk of suffering diseases such as myocardial infarction or thrombosis, among others , is reduced .

Stimulates the immune system

Hydrotherapy is a great stimulant of the immune system . Thus, it is better prepared to deal with certain conditions such as the flu or the cold.


The temperature contrast of the cold to hot water reduces muscle contractures , relaxing the muscles and relieving certain disorders such as low back pain or tendonitis. More and more athletes are opting for hydrotherapy as an alternative therapy to promote their muscular system.

Relaxation and mental well-being

The simple fact of being in contact with water has a great sedative and analgesic action , thus contributing to the relaxation of the body and mind. Thus, it reduces stress levels and anxiety states.

Eliminate toxins

Steam baths remove a large amount of toxins from the body, oxygenating it. This is especially beneficial for your overall health.

Improves breathing

The mist from the hot water and the steam bath dilates the airways, thus improving oxygen intake to the lungs and improving respiration .

Who is hydrotherapy intended for?

Hydrotherapy is a natural therapy that an increasing number of people are betting on. Virtually everyone can enjoy it, but there are several population groups for which it is especially suitable.

  • Chronic low back pain: hydrotherapy treatments with sulphurous water significantly improve both pain and mobility of the spine in patients with chronic low back pain.
  • Osteoarthritis : this therapy is also very suitable for patients with osteoarthritis. His pain improves, as well as his quality of life in the short and medium term.
  • Fibromyalgia : Some studies have brought to the table the benefits of hydrotherapy in fibromyalgia patients. They have been experiencing pain reduction as well as improvements in quality of life.
  • Athletes: immersion in cold water reduces fatigue and pain and also improves physical recovery after exercising.
  • Depression: this therapy is also very suitable for patients with depression as it helps to combat stress and achieve an optimal level of well-being and relaxation.
You may also be interested in:   Thermotherapy

What is a hydrotherapy session like?

Generally speaking, hydrotherapy occurs mainly in spas and beauty centers. They offer different forms of exposure to water, depending on the tastes, preferences and needs of each person.


Bathing is one of the most common ways in which hydrotherapy is applied. Depending on the water temperature, it is very effective in dealing with different conditions. The temperature can be static, or it can vary to create the contrast.

Steam bath

As for the steam bath, it is indicated for those who have some type of respiratory or joint problem . It improves the hydration of the skin, at the same time that it eliminates toxins and heavy minerals from the body.


The shower can be applied in different ways depending on the strength of the water. To achieve a feeling of well-being and relaxation, it is best to opt for a drip or rain shower . To treat muscle problems and / or relieve contractures, the pressure shower is the most suitable. And finally, the Scottish contrast shower , to stimulate the body and mind.


It is one of the most innovative forms of application of hydrotherapy, and that has a greater number of followers every day thanks to the wide range of it provides. It involves wrapping patients in tissues that have previously been treated with water. There are different types.

  • Cold wet: very effective to treat feverish processes, as well as to accelerate the healing process of bruises and sprains.
  • Producing heat: used to combat disorders such as insmonio.
  • Sudorific: specifically indicated to treat infectious diseases.
  • Hot wet: this type of wrap is used to treat rheumatism and other disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Plaster: in this case, the tissues, in addition to water, have other additives such as mud, thus increasing the therapeutic effect of hydrotherapy.

hydrotherapy circuit

Currently, the vast majority of spas and beauty centers offer hydrotherapy circuits. They are the most beneficial since they combine in a fabulous way different types of applying water, as well as different temperatures of it.

  • Thermal pool with hot water: these types of pools usually have jets, so that they help to relax the muscles. In many cases, the pool is large, so you can swim in it.
  • Jacuzzi: a hydromassage bathtub with hot water and pressure jets directed at different areas of the body whose main purpose is the relaxation of the body and mind.
  • Pool with cold water: the ideal is to immerse yourself in this pool for a few seconds after the thermal pool or Jacuzzi. Thus a contrast between hot and cold water is very beneficial to stimulate the immune system.
  • Footbath: it is known as a stone path with hot and cold water jets on both sides, which are directed to the lower area of ​​the legs and feet.
  • Sauna: the sauna is a hermetically sealed cabin with dry heat. Its main benefits are the relaxation of the nervous system, as well as the elimination of toxins.
  • Steam bath: it is similar to the sauna, although in this case it is not dry but humid heat, with a humidity of 99%. It dilates the airways, thus improving breathing; In addition, the heat and humidity make the pores open, eliminating toxins from the body.
  • Scottish shower: it is a pressure shower that combines hot and cold water throughout the body. In addition to relaxing the muscles, it stimulates blood circulation.
  • Vichy shower: and, finally, the vichy shower, which provides a massage with a sedative effect. Patients lie on a gurney under a warm shower.

Contraindications of hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy, as we have pointed out, is a very beneficial natural therapy to treat different disorders of both the body and the mind. However, there are certain people for whom it is not recommended: patients with cardiovascular disorders , with problems of hypertension and hypertension, as well as those with dermatological conditions or diabetes . It is important that these people consult with their doctor whether or not the treatment is suitable for them.

And it is that, the temperature changes may not reuslre beneficial in those patients with heart or lung failure . Similarly, for patients with venous insufficiency, very hot water can cause venous dilation.

Of course, those people with diarrhea, some type of infectious process or sexually transmitted diseases , should not go to a hydrotherapy session either.

In the vast majority of cases, the sessions do not have any type of side effect. However, if during the course of the same you feel nervousness, shortness of breath, headache or joint pain, it is important to stop treatment immediately and consult your doctor.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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