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Hydrotherapy: Virtues of cold and hot water

Natural method used through ages, hydrotherapy helps relieving pain and prevent some aches. It is particularly efficient for chronic pain.

How hot and cold hydrotherapy works

Hot and cold hydrotherapy aims to improve the circulation in the affected area. The hot draws blood into the area and the cold drives it away again – thus increasing the through-flow of fluid. This aids the healing process by assisting the delivery of nutrients and the removal of waste products. It is particularly effective in longer term (chronic) problems.

What to do

A/ With a towel

1. Use a tea towel or small towel. Use warm and cold water from the tap or from a basin. The warm water should not too hot to bear.

2. Soak the towel in warm water and apply to the affected area for 3 minutes.

3. Remove the towel and soak in cold water and apply to the affected area for 1 minute.

4. Repeat the hot and cold applications (3 minutes hot, 1 minute cold) 2-3 more times.

5. Always end with a cold application (to prevent further congestion in the tissues).

B/ Under the shower

Alternatively, you can apply hot and cold hydrotherapy in the shower if you have a hand-held shower. Running water has a greater effect so you can do 1 minute of hot, followed by 20 seconds of cold and repeat 3 more times, as above. Again, always end with a cold application.


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