“The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.” –Hippocrates, Greek Physician, Father of Medicine
I would like to help bring awareness of a very powerful healing tool that comes right out of your faucet and is always available to you. Your health is the most powerful asset you have. Peaceful respites from the pressures of daily life play an important role in well-being.
Water is inexpensive in essence and easily available as a therapeutic tool. Water is one of the few substances on Earth that can exist in 3 material states: solid, liquid, and gas. The application of ice, liquid water (hot or cold), or steam can have profound physiological effects on the body.
Generally speaking, the effects of the water application are determined by the temperature of the water, the duration of exposure, and the body surface area immersed in or exposed to the water. Chemical factors, or water additives, such as botanical extracts, salts, or alkalinizing agents are also important variables to consider.
Hydrotherapy is defined as the use of water for therapeutic purpose in all of its various forms from steam to ice applications. When talking about bath therapies, balneotherapy is a more specific term. It is defined as the therapeutic application of the bath with or without herbal or mineral extracts, gas, mud or clay (Specialized hydro-balneo-and medicinal bath therapy, Carola Koenig, iuniverse press).
Hydrotherapy was a respected treatment method in the United States. Dr. Guy Hinsdale published a paper for the American Medical Association in 1927 that stated “Water may act as a powerful stimulus according to its temperature.” Few people are aware that baleneology has been an integrative part of mainstream medicine in Europe and Japan that embodies the use of water for therapeutic effect. There is an abundance of scientific documentation and study that proves the medicinal value of water.
I believe that exploring the various dimensions of water application is a critical step towards achieving optimal natural health. I invite you to turn inward and create a mood of peaceful solitude that will allow for transformation, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Carolyn L. Bessette, M.D.