Water is an essential element for human survival. If you do not get enough water, you can get dehydrated and potentially very sick. Not only is water essential for life but it can also be used to treat certain conditions. Water therapy has been used for centuries to treat illnesses and injuries.

Hydrotherapy is the use of water for therapeutic purposes. The water can be hot or cold depending the illness, injury or desired outcome. It can be used as a liquid, vapor or solid such as frozen. Water can be employed in different ways such as tubs, showers, sprays, steam inhalation, compresses or packs.

There are several different effects that the water can have. Temperatures that are either warmer or cooler than the body temperature cause a thermal effect. Pressure put on the body by a shower head or whirlpool cause a mechanical effect. A chemical effect can be caused by additives such as chlorine when the water is ingested.

Hot water is often used in hydrotherapy. Heat can increase circulation and help relax muscles and nerves. When you take a bath in order to help sore muscles relax and heal, you are using water therapy. A hot bath can help prevent muscle aches, headaches and insomnia. Steam from a hot bath or shower can also help treat sinus issues and breathing problems.

Next time you take a hot bath or shower you can use it as a healing therapy. Aromatherapy is a great edition to warm water therapy. The aromas can be released in the steam or combined with the water in the bath. Essential oils can therapeutic and can enhance the therapeutic properties of a hot bath.

Cold therapy can also be used in healing. It may help raise your blood pressure is you have low blood pressure. It can also be used to treat headaches, depression and possible varicose veins. The most common use of cold therapy is when you put an ice pack on a recent injury to prevent inflammation and speed up healing.

If you have a serious medical condition, consult a health care provider about the best treatment methods for you. Water can be safe and effective in treating some conditions such as sore muscles, headaches, insomnia and congestion.

Exercising in a swimming pool is another example of water assisting in self-care. The water can make exercise easier on the joints and muscles.

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