Hydro therapy

Hydrotherapy uses water to prevent diseases or to cure them. On the basis of symptoms and Constitution of the patient warm, cold or hot water or steam is used.

Table of contents

  • Improvement of blood circulation
  • Stimuli affect internal organs
  • Detoxification of the body
  • Wraps and packs
  • Washes
  • Bathrooms

The hydro-therapy comprises about a hundred different variations. These include washes, steam applications, rubbings, Sauna, wraps, pads, as well as medical baths with various additives, castings, Arm and foot baths, sitz baths, Tautreten and treading water.

Depending on the desired effect, the applications for the patients, duration and intensity. In the hydro-therapy wrap with small Stimuli, for example in the Form of washes, but also with strong Stimuli, as, for example, whole-body, worked.

The hydro therapy is a stimulation therapy and is one of the physical therapies. The method is a scientifically recognised practice. The positive effect of hydrotherapy on various diseases is well documented.

Origins of hydrotherapy

The healing power of water was already known in ancient times. In the 18th century. A century back, called Johann and Sigmund Hahn this therapy back to life. In the 19th century. Century, Vincent Priessnitz was known with its various water applications. It was he who developed the hydro-therapy. At about the same time Sebastian Kneipp treated with the forces of the water.

Effect of hydrotherapy

The hydro therapy works by using heat and cold stimuli of the water. As a result, the body will be brought to react and adapt. The water-exposed parts of the body can be cooled in a short time either, or warmed. The cold or heat stimuli do not only locally, but to achieve an effect on the entire organism. Circulatory system, nervous system, metabolism and the immune system are influenced by the stimuli of the water. Also on the skin and connective tissue, respiratory, kidney, muscles and internal secretion, the hydro-therapy will have a positive impact. With regular use a training effect, so that the body adapts better and faster to heat and cold stimuli. This should lead to resilience.

Improvement of blood circulation

By warm stimuli, the body heat is applied. This helps to calm, relax and promote blood Circulation. Cold stimuli cause the vessels to pull together, but after this far. This also contributes to improved blood circulation. The fabric is a greater supply of blood, the lymph circulates better and the excretion function of the skin is supported.

Stimuli affect internal organs

The absorbed through the skin temperature stimuli of the water to talk about so-called kutiviszerale reflex arcs of the inner organs. The skin takes in stimuli, what reflex score fast in bodies of the same segment have an effect. This can lead to the situation of the person Concerned and, depending on the type of application to an excitation or calming of the organism.

Detoxification of the body

Temperature stimuli in the hydro-therapy to promote blood circulation in the tissues, causing the release of toxins (toxins) to the outside is encouraged. This effect can be enhanced by the addition of various detoxifying substances, such as wraps and compresses, which, for example, Quark or essential Oils are added to the mix.

Sebastian Kneipp had a decisive influence on the development of the hydro-therapy. (Photo: Birgit Reitz-Hofmann/fotolia.com)

Arndt-Schulz law and hydro-therapy

Rudolf Arndt and Hugo Schulz, employed at the time of the turn of the 19th century. 20. Century with the stimulation therapy. They justified the named law, which States that small stimuli are fuelling the vital activity, medium strong stimuli, the vital activity of promoting and strong stimuli, the vital activity inhibit. A stimulation therapy uses a variety of methods, the specific reactions to cause. Examples of this are cold water, hot water, fasting, self-blood, and homeopathy. The body is given a small, medium or strong stimulus, and a response is expected.

So it is also with the hydro therapy, the naturopathic principle of “help for self-help”. It is one of the lovely therapies. Here, too, the above-mentioned Arndt-Schulz-law.

The selected stimulus must be adjusted to the starting position, the Constitution and the condition of the patient. As washes, dry brush and Teilgüsse in the hydro-therapy to Irritate the mild. Medium-strong stimuli can be achieved, for example, by sitz baths, a Sauna and a half baths. To be the strong Stimuli, hyperthermia baths and Fully counted-flash showers.

Different Water Temperatures

Cold therapy to 18 degrees Celsius means in the hydro, warm moves between 36 and 38 degrees Celsius, hot temperatures comprised between 39 and 41 degrees Celsius.

Cold water comes mostly in acute Events, such as, for example, in the case of acute inflammation. Warm water, however, is used rather in the case of chronic Suffering. Cold applications are never made on cold skin. Before that, the skin must be heated, for example by a hot foot bath. The well-known Wade wraps are also not effective, as long as the Patient has cold feet.

Application of hydro-therapy areas

Hydrotherapy, for example, in the case of cardiovascular diseases, immune system disorders, rheumatic diseases and metabolic disorders. Through the soothing and relaxing effect of the water stimulus and the soul and the spirit can come to rest. The water applications preventively, used in acute but also in chronic diseases. In the Following, we present some important applications of hydrotherapy.

Wraps and packs

Individual parts of the body or the whole body with a damp cloth will be covered. On the moist inner cloth is still a larger, dry cloth. A wrap that covers more than two-thirds of the body, is referred to as a pack. The use of cold, hot, or lukewarm winding, depending on the indication. Cold compresses to help the blood circulation and stimulate the blood pressure. Hot wraps are more relaxing, calming and lowering blood pressure. In order to increase the effect, will give the Wrap and packs often additives, such as, for example, chamomile, Quark, salt, or horsetail added. The warm compresses are used, for example, as a calf wrap for the reduction in temperature in case of fever.


Here, too, there is a partial or full body applications. In the case of partial washing of the body are washed away parts of with the help of a sponge in a circular motion. The direction of movement always goes from the heart to the outside. Then the body will be covered in parts or the whole body with dry towels, but not dried out. Ablutions to promote the blood circulation, the metabolism, has a detoxifying effect and fever-lowering effect.

Cold or hot foot baths are an important part of hydrotherapy. (Picture: Kzenon/fotolia.com)


Bathrooms are intended to serve primarily the relaxation and tension-relieving. Gymnastic Exercises in water are carried out in joint diseases, fractures or spinal problems. Applications in the Form of partial baths with warm or cold water to stabilize reduce pain and the circulation.


The effect of the hydrotherapy is evidenced in the case of certain Complaints scientifically. However, you should clarify prior to the start of such therapy with your treating doctor or the treating Doctor, whether hydrotherapy is suitable for you. (sw, kh)

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