What is hydrotherapy? While it may sound like the latest advancement in holistic health, it’s actually a practice that dates back to ancient Rome. Lately, it has been revived in modern spas with hydrotherapy treatments designed to alleviate pain, calm the senses, and rejuvenate the body. As one of the natural elements, water can be used in an array of treatments to provide cleansing and healing hydrotherapy benefits.
The Roman bath houses were the original hydrotherapy spa and an important part of their culture and society. The communal bath houses were built upon natural springs, which they believed could bring healing from the gods. After disrobing, bathers would move through a series of rooms: warm, hot, and cold. As they traveled through the areas of the bath house, bathers would receive massages and other beauty treatments as well as socialize with other bathers.
Modern-day hydrotherapy treatments echo the traditions of Roman bath houses with extensive hydrotherapy circuits. During the circuit, bathers will move from warm saunas, to hot jacuzzis with pulsating jets, to chilling plunge pools and pressure showers. Like the Roman bath houses, many of these circuits are communal, making it a social event too as you chat with others at the spa while relaxing in the water. However, it’s not like a day at the pool. There’s a prescribed order for the stages of the hydrotherapy circuit to provide bathers with the health benefits to hydrotherapy treatments.
Hydrotherapy benefits come not just from the pressure that’s applied but primarily from the alternating temperatures of water. Warm temperatures cause your blood vessels to expand and dilate while cold temperatures make the contract. Moving between warm and cool waters and contracting and dilating works as a pump to circulate blood throughout your body, delivering all the nutrients and oxygen effectively to clear out impurities that have built up in the cells. One of the hydrotherapy benefits from sweating in steam rooms and jacuzzis is the release of toxins as it increases your liver’s and kidneys’ natural abilities to filter blood. Overall the whole process of a hydrotherapy spa will leave you feeling euphoric, awake, and rejuvenated.
There are a vast array of other types of hydrotherapy, many of which are incorporated into other spa services. This can look like showering with with multiple shower heads above and beside you before or after a treatment. During a massage, therapists at a hydrotherapy spa may use water pressure designed to target specific muscles and cleanse the skin. Other uses of water in a spa service include aromatherapy. This is common in jacuzzi baths before or after massages to help further relax the senses. The most extreme types ofhydrotherapy include Scotch showers, where a therapist stands at one end of a long shower and uses a high-powered hose to blast water at you. While it may sound dangerous, skilled therapists can provide relaxation and healing with these more forceful types of hydrotherapy. No matter what treatment you choose at hydrotherapy spas, the power of water will detoxify the body and release tension from muscles.
Within the modern elegance of hydrotherapy spas, the tradition of healing with water is alive and strong. Through hydrotherapy circuits and massages, the heat and pressure of the water will awaken your senses and relax your muscles, leaving you feeling tranquil and renewed. For something new and relaxing, take advantage of this incredible and ancient therapy the next time you visit the spa.