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Hydrotherapy for Headaches

by May 26, 2016

Home » Naturopathic Medicine Student Blog » Hydrotherapy for Headaches

Hydrotherapy is one modality used in naturopathic medicine that I’m learning about in a class called Hydrotherapy & Traditional Natural Healing. Learning new things in the classroom and then giving them a try at home is a fun way to grasp the information.

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This weekend, I had the opportunity to do a hydrotherapy treatment on my husband. When Luis plays soccer, he almost always gets a headache a few hours later. Although some things have helped reduce them, nothing has worked to prevent or get rid of them after exercising.

I taught Luis a simple hydrotherapy technique, and he gave it a try. He put his feet in hot water, and a washcloth dipped in ice water on his head and neck. The theory is that the hot water will increase circulation to his lower extremity, therefore shunting blood away from the head, while the cold water on his head and neck will also reduce blood flow to that area. The hydrotherapy treatment was successful because he felt well the entire evening and never developed a headache. 

What I like about hydrotherapy is that it’s very easy to learn, not many supplies are needed, and patients may experience powerful results. It’s interesting to note that the water isn’t truly the primary player…the temperature is! Six variables can be altered to customize the treatment to the patient’s individual needs and desired effects: water temperature, timing (duration/frequency/time of day), site of application, pressure or friction, the material used, and moisture. In future blog posts, I will talk about other hydrotherapy treatments based on altering the six variables.

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About the Author

Mary Simon

Mary Simon

I'm a naturopathic medical student at NUHS. I started the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program in January 2014. I was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a beautiful town on Lake Michigan. My experiences interpreting (Spanish to English) in nearly all medical specialties solidified my decision to study naturopathic medicine, as I saw a deep need for treating the body as a whole, getting to the root causes of symptoms, and using minimally invasive low-cost therapies to restore health.


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