Some days, the perfect way to relieve soreness and tension is by stepping into a warm bath or hot shower. Athletes can often be seen in ice baths after intense training. Water of different temperatures can also be used to manage various mental conditions through a method known as hydrotherapy.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy was first used in the United States in the 1880s. While it has evolved since then, the concept of using water to improve health has proven effective for many different ailments.
Benefits of hot water
Hot water has a variety of health benefits. Taking a bath in warm or hot water benefits your cardiovascular system. One study found that 28% of people who took a warm or hot bath daily had a 28% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because hot water promotes blood flow and relaxes muscles. In addition to a healthier heart, a hot bath or shower can be a great way to practice self-care and boost your mood.
Benefits of cold water
Cold showers have been shown to be an effective treatment for depression. The cold water is a quick way to de-escalate stress and clear your head. Cold water also reduces inflammation, decreases soreness, and strengthens the immune system.
Hydrotherapy at home
There are a few easy ways to practice hydrotherapy at home:
- Warm baths – Immerse your body (past your chest) in warm water to feel the full relaxing effects.
- Cold showers – Start with the water lukewarm for five minutes, then gradually lower the temperature. When the water gets as cold as you can stand, stay in it for three minutes.
- Facial steaming – Need to clear your sinuses or want to open your pores before washing your face? Boil a pot of water on the stove, take it off the heat, and put your head in the steam. For a greater effect, cover your head and the pot with a towel while your face is in the steam.
At Valley Oaks Health, we believe in a holistic approach to managing and maintaining your mental health. Our trained team is here to help you, so reach out today.