Using the healing properties of water is an ancient practice. If you consult a practitioner of hydrotherapy (naturopaths often use hydrotherapy techniques), you may be treated with sitz baths (you sit in hot water with your feet in cold water and then swap around), hot and cold compresses, alternating hot and cold baths, saunas, showers and steam baths, thalassotherapy (treatment with sea water) and whirlpools.
Treatment with hot water is intended to cause the body to sweat; this then forces impurities in the body to be flushed out through the skin.
The common practice in hydrotherapy of applying alternating hot and cold water to the body causes the blood vessels under the skin to dilate and constrict rapidly, which increases the blood flow and promotes the removal of toxic waste products.
Back pain, muscular strain and rheumatism are complaints that often respond very well to treatment using hydrotherapy. Using hydrotherapy techniques at home Baths that have a shower attachment are ideal for self-treatment.
Try soaking for 15 minutes in a hot bath and then stand up and take a quick cold shower to close the pores of the skin and invigorate the body. The whole process can be repeated for an even greater effect, but you will not need to stay in the hot water so long the second time.
The same principle can be applied to sitz baths and foot spa baths — first be in very hot water then follow by a quick cold immersion. A sitz bath — which would have to be specially bought and installed in your home — enables the hips and the feet to experience different temperatures simultaneously, boosting the circulation.
See your doctor before trying these treatments if you suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure.