Hydrotherapy – How to do it yourself

Hydrotherapy

People don’t realize how much they can do to help their health with water and cloth.

I was fortunate enough to have had some post-graduate training with one of the great naturopathic physicians specializing in hydrotherapy, Dr. Harold Dick, D.C., N.D.  He use to tell me that almost any disease can be cured with pure (appropriate) food and hydrotherapy. He proved this maxim daily for forty years in his practice. Although I found this is no longer true (because of the widespread usage of petrochemicals), I still think that it is essential for care of acute illnesses, and a useful adjunct for chronic diseases as well.

Essentially, all hydrotherapy is used to help the body to detoxify. The body has several ways to remove toxins from the system. One of these is the system known as the lymphatic system. The lymphatics are small tubules that carry extracellular fluids away from the cell and back into the circulation. The veins carry away the red blood cells, but the lymphatics carry away most of the cellular waste products.

There are junctions of these lymphatics. These junctions are called “lymph glands” or “lymph nodes.” Your heart does not pump the lymph through the lymphatic system. Instead, the lymphatics have complex systems of one-way “trap-doors” that only permit the fluid to move in one direction (towards the heart). When our skeletal muscles relax and contract, the lymphatics are squeezed, moving the lymph towards the heart.

When you get sick, you also get toxic. Many people get sick because of the toxins. Many people note that they have aching of the muscles when they are ill. The muscles ache because the cellular waste products are not carried away fast enough by the lymphatics. This is associated with inactivity of the muscles that surround the lymphatics. This is why people will report feeling a little better when they exercise mildly during their illness.

But often you can’t exercise when you are sick. Additionally, the body runs faster when ill (known as fever, a good thing), so it produces more waste products than usual. This causes the lymph to stagnate, and the cells of the body are unable to get rid of their waste products.

Hydrotherapy is used to help the lymphatic system to remove toxins faster. Of course, this can only help remove toxins that are already in solution, so this is not a primary detoxification technique. But hydrotherapy works great when you need to feel better quickly.

There are two techniques of hydrotherapy that I will write about here:

THE COLD SHEET TREATMENT

If you are alone, the hydrotherapy technique to use is the “cold sheet” treatment. To treat yourself with a cold sheet, you must:

1) Cover a table or a bed with a waterproof covering.

2) Find a water-resistant blanket (such as wool or latex).

3) Get a cotton sheet that has been rung out in cold water (not too cold if you are fragile).

4) Lay the latex blanket across the waterproofed bed.

5) After you take off your clothes, wrap the wet sheet around you from your neck to your feet.

6) Lay on the bed at one side of the blanket and roll up inside the blanket. Make sure that you are covered up as much as you can.

7) Now rest. At first you will be cold. Then you will begin to feel warm. Eventually you will get hot. You should perspire. When you can’t stand this anymore, (usually about thirty minutes) unwrap yourself and take a shower.  I have talked to ex-cigarette smokers who reported that their sweat was brown (from old cigarette tars?). This is one way that you can break a fever.

 

CONSTITUTIONAL HYDROTHERAPY

This is a modification of the original hydrotherapy techniques brought over from Germany over one hundred years ago by the original naturopaths. It is not as good as can be performed in a hydrotherapy-oriented clinic. For this treatment, you will need:

1) A person to assist you.

2) Four towels that reach from your “collar-bones” to your hips.

3) A bed or similar water-resistant surface to lay on comfortably.

4) A warm, water-resistant blanket (wool or latex).

The procedure:

1) Take off your clothes.

2) Lay on the table on your back.

3) Now the assistant should soak two of the towels in very warm water. Then wring out the towels.

4) Place the towels on the patient, covering the “collar-bones” to the brim of the pelvis (where the hips stick out).

5) Cover the patient with the blanket, tucking it around the feet.

6) Soak another towel in very warm water, and wring it out.

7) Soak the last towel in cold water, and wring it out.

8) After about five minutes, pull the blanket back.

9) Place the hot towel on top of the two cooling towels.

10) Flip the towel stack over.

11) Remove the two cooling towels.

12) Place the cold towel on the remaining hot towel.

13) Flip the towel stack over.

14) Remove the “hot” towel.

15) Cover the patient with the blanket, tucking it around the feet.

16) Wait ten minutes.

17) Have the patient roll over.

18) Soak two of the towels in very warm water. Then wring out the towels.

19) Place the towels on the patient’s back.

20) Cover the patient with the blanket, tucking it around the feet.

21) Soak another towel in very warm water, and wring it out.

22) Soak the last towel in cold water, and wring it out.

23) After about five minutes, pull the blanket back.

24) Place the hot towel on top of the two cooling towels.

25) Flip the towel stack over.

26) Remove the two cooling towels.

27) Place the cold towel on the remaining hot towel.

28) Flip the towel stack over.

29) Remove the “hot” towel.

30) Cover the patient with the blanket, tucking it around the feet.

31) Wait ten minutes.

32) Feel underneath the towel. If the patient’s skin is warm, the treatment is done.