In 2017, National University’s Whole Health Center in Lombard opened a new hydrotherapy suite with the latest, state-of-the-art equipment. Full, medically-oriented hydrotherapy suites are a rarity in the Chicago area.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is an important healing modality in traditional naturopathic medicine that has roots in various ancient cultures including Greek, Roman, and Egyptian. It utilizes the therapeutic benefits of water at various temperatures applied in one of several ways to promote a specific outcome in a patient’s treatment plan.
The clinician may use hydrotherapy to soothe or stimulate various systems in the body. Hydrotherapy will most likely be used in conjunction with other natural treatments such as botanical medicine, nutritional improvements, or lifestyle changes, so that the body’s natural healing ability is enhanced and supported.
Hydrotherapy can be used as part of a therapeutic management plan to support the health of patients with a wide range of conditions, including:
- Colds, flu, and other infections
- Insomnia, stress, and headaches
- Immune system disorders
- Acute or chronic pain relief
- Injuries and inflammatory disorders
- Circulatory and respiratory health
- Detoxification and elimination
There are several types of hydrotherapy. Depending on the patient’s health history and symptoms, the physician may recommend:
A one-hour series of alternating hot and cold compresses to the abdomen and thorax can support digestion, elimination, relieve stress, and boost immunity.
Russian Steam Baths
Full body immersion (except head) in steam is often used to promote elimination.
Peat Immersion Baths
A 10-20 minute soak in a hot tub infused with a special mixture that promotes detoxification, is followed by a 20-minute “perspiration phase” where the patient is wrapped up and allowed to relax on the treatment table.
The sauna is a full-body hot treatment using a dry far-infrared heater in an enclosed wooden cabinet, followed by a short cool shower. This combination treatment is used to relieve stress, relax muscles, enhance immne response, and promote tissue detoxification.
This treatment uses alternating warm and cool water with gentle pressure to evacuate the colon. Colon hydrotherapy enhances gastrointestinal function, assists elimination, and supports detoxification.