Hydrotherapy 101 and Constitutional Hydrotherapy
The amazing benefits of Water Cure
“He who knows how to apply the water in the plainest, easiest, and most simple way, will produce the most profitable results.” Father Sebastian Kneipp, forefather of Naturopathic Medicine, 1824-1897
A Tale of the Beginning of Hydrotherapy
Vincent Preissnitz, one of the fathers of Hydrotherapy, lived in Germany in the 1800s. One day he noticed that a deer with a lame, wounded leg would hobble to the lake outside his window, immerse itself into the cold water, remain in the water for some time, and then exit and go on with its day. Preissnitz noticed that the deer entered the lake each day. Each day its leg improved until the deer was no longer hobbling. The deer had healed himself with water cure.
Preissnitz tried the technique on his own finger that had been crushed in an accident, and he healed himself. He would later be run over by a cart breaking several of his ribs. Remembering the deer healing itself with water, Preissnitz visited the lake each day and immersed himself. He healed his ribs, began to develop water treatments for various ailments, and became a sought after doctor.
Father Sebastian Kniepp from Bavaria learned these water cure treatments from Preissnitz and used them to cure himself from tuberculosis and other ailments he had had since childhood. He then developed various water treatments to strengthen a person’s constitution and remove poisons and toxins from the body. One of his more famous treatments is walking barefoot in the snow. Stay tuned for a future Facebook video on how to do this! It is incredibly invigorating.
Hydrotherapy was brought to America by Dr. Henry Lindlahr. He learned water cure from Father Kneipp.
What is Constitutional Hydrotherapy?
Water Cure, now known as Hydrotherapy, is a gentle, time efficient, effective way to remake the constitution of our blood cells and detoxify on a cellular level.
Constitutional Hydrotherapy is the use of contrasting hot and cold water together with electrical muscle stimulation to remake the constitution of our cells and strengthen the blood. It is called "constitutional" because it literally changes and strengthens the very constitution of our cells.
The benefits of hydrotherapy treatment include:
Increased immunity - white blood cells increase dramatically within the one hour after a treatment
Decreased body fat
Increased total body hydration - the body absorbs between 1/4-1/2 cup of water during the treatment
Increased thyroid levels of T3 and T4 in hypothyroid conditions
Decreased triglycerides and cholesterol
Decrease in chronic constipation
Decrease in mean arterial pressure in a hypertensive patient
Hydrotherapy gives the body (and mind) the ability to heal. Through detoxification it removes obstacles to cure. And due to water's scientific properties it enables an increase in blood flow, lymphatic flow, oxygenation and organ tonification. In a nutshell, all the tools the body needs to heal.
“Build up the blood on a natural basis by supplying the nutrients needed, and stimulate the removal of toxins and poisons from the blood.”
Dr. Henry Lindlahr 1862-1924
Constitutional hydrotherapy is useful to:
Strengthen and balance the immune system
Excellent for acute and chronic Lyme, chronic viral infections like EBV, environmental sensitivities.
Combat infectious diseases such as colds, the flu, and chronic otitis media
It increases the internal body temperature to inhibit invading organisms.
It increases the rate of white blood cell movement into an area.
Excellent for digestive disorders like IBS, Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Excellent for circulatory issues such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia.
Excellent for respiratory complaints such as chronic cough.
Assist with hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and Raynaud’s disease by normalizing blood flow through an area of the body.
Enhance blood flow and lymph drainage to support cellular metabolism and cell turnover.
Relax the body and reduce pain
Including migraines, headaches, arthritis and general muscle pains.
Address PMS and dysmenorrhea
Help with mood disorders, anxiety and depression
Hydrotherapy sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Does it sound too good to be true? Trust me, it isn’t. Sometimes we forget that the simple rules of nature are the most effective. Our bodies are 60% water - 45% of that is extracellular and 55% is intracellular. Water serves as a biological solvent in our body. Water in the blood is our life stream carrying the cellular materials for life. It follows scientific natural law to use contrasting hot and cold water to stimulate and revitalize the body to heal from within.
What to Expect in a Treatment
Dr. Tara Tranguch's Hydrotherapy Treatment Room
A 60-minute hydrotherapy treatment is relaxing to the point of being a spa-like experience. A gown is provided. You wear bathing trunks or shorts. You lie down on the treatment table and relax.
“It’s not the medicine, or the intervention, that is curative. It’s the body’s reaction to it that’s curative.”
Dr. Harry Riley Spitler in Basic Naturopathy
Step #1: HOT
A hot towel covers from your collarbone to your hip bone. The heat of the water draws blood to the surface of the skin via vasodilation. Pores are opened. Perspiration could occur.
Step #2: COLD
The hot towel is replaced with a cold towel. This causes the previously dilated blood vessels to constrict driving the blood from the surface of the skin internally and flushing the internal organs with freshly oxygenated blood. Digestive enzyme production also increases. White blood cells move into the lymphatic chains to do their work. Hydration occurs at this step as the body absorbs 1/4-1/2 cup of water.
Step #3: Electrical muscle stimulation
Sine waves are applied to stimulate muscle contraction and spinal reflux. This stimulates and tonifies the stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, ovaries, bladder, and cardiovascular system.
Step #4: HOT repeated on back
Step #5: COLD repeated on back
At the beginning and end of treatment, I listen to your heart and abdomen to identify potential areas of sluggishness and toxicity. Throughout the treatment I record your body’s vitality via its ability to warm the cold towel.
You conclude your hydrotherapy treatment feeling relaxed and happy. Your vital life force is energized, ready to respond and treat the imbalances in your systems.
How to Get Started with Hydrotherapy
Interested to try hydrotherapy? Patients absolutely love it. It is a remarkable treatment.
Start with a naturopathic intake during which time I craft a hydrotherapy treatment to best treat your needs. Remember, naturopathic medicine treats the individual - not the disease. Everyone gets a personalized treatment protocol. We then schedule between 5-15 hydrotherapy treatments for you with between 1-2 sessions a week, depending on your treatment plan.
Interested to learn more? Contact me. I can't wait to introduce you to the vitalism and health benefits hydrotherapy can bring you.