Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest methods of treatment using water treatments. Hydrotherapy is also practiced for cosmetic and preventive purposes, it has a tonic effect on the body and improves overall well-being.
The therapeutic effect of hydrotherapy is achieved due to the influence of a complex of chemical and physical factors on the human body. The chemical effect is provided by the effect on the respiratory organs and skin receptors of herbal extracts and various medicines, which are selected according to indications. The physical effect is achieved through the movement of a stream of water or bubbles of oxygen or air. The effect of temperature exposure depends on the temperature of the water used during the procedure. Cold water improves blood circulation and reduces pressure, warm water soothes the nervous system and normalizes the digestive tract, hot water cleanses the body and skin from toxins and impurities, and also relieves pain in joints and muscles.
Hydrotherapy gives positive results in the treatment of many diseases:
- pathology of the heart and blood vessels (ischemia, cardiosclerosis, angina pectoris, atherosclerosis, hypotension, atherosclerosis of the lower extremities, varicose veins, Raynaud’s syndrome);
- diseases of the digestive system (chronic hepatitis, gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, colitis, chronic constipation in the elderly);
- diseases of the respiratory system (bronchitis, pneumonia);
- disorders of the nervous system (neuritis, insomnia, traumatic lesions of the nervous system, stress and depression);
- cluster migraines;
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system (osteochondrosis; arthrosis, arthritis, radiculitis, trauma, intervertebral hernia);
- skin diseases (scaly lichen, eczema, psoriasis, varicose ulcers);
- pathology of the female reproductive system (infertility, painful menopause, salpingo-oophoritis);
- pathology of the male reproductive system (prostatitis; lack of libido);
- metabolic disorders, obesity;
- urinary incontinence.
Hydrotherapy in physiotherapy is also used to harden the body and strengthen the immune system.
However, it has a number of contraindications despite the many beneficial properties of hydrotherapy, for example:
- chronic diseases in the acute stage;
- fever (increased body temperature);
- malignant neoplasms;
- benign neoplasms with an upward trend;
- cardiovascular diseases (severe atherosclerosis, hypertension stage III, atrial fibrillation, unstable angina pectoris, angina pectoris above II FC, heart failure II-III degree);
- a period of less than 1 year after suffering an acute myocardial infarction or stroke;
- mental illness that does not allow the patient to control his behavior;
- systemic blood diseases;
- active tuberculosis;
- bleeding and a tendency to them;
- infectious and parasitic skin diseases;
- weeping dermatitis;
- thrombophlebitis, thrombosis;
- pregnancy (1 and 3 trimesters)
Clinic FSBSI ‘IEM’ provides a whole range of hydrotherapy procedures.
The author of this procedure, Jean Charcot (Charcot Jean Martin) – French neuropathologist, member of the National Academy of Medicine (1872) and the Paris Academy of Sciences (1883). Jean Charcot specialized in the study of non-standard treatments for psychosomatic disorders. This water procedure helped to bring the patient out of a depressive and neurotic state. Charcot’s shower is one of the hydrotherapy methods used to treat many chronic diseases. It is successfully used in cosmetology, regular sessions allow you to get rid of cellulite and excess weight. Currently, Charcot’s douche is popular exclusively for the purpose of fast weight loss, increasing skin tone and eliminating cellulite of varying degrees. The principle of operation of the Charcot shower is based on the contrasting alternation of the temperature regime of the water and different intensity of pressure. The main goal of the technique is action on the body with a stream of water under a pressure of 2 to 4 atmospheres.
All sessions are conducted according to the same algorithm:
- The patient enters a special shower cabin and stands at a distance of 3-5 meters from the shower chair. The distance is selected depending on the sensitivity, the closer – the stronger the impact will be, if the sensations are unpleasant, then you need to move away;
- water is directed to the body, first with several weak jets for adaptation, then with one jet, the water pressure in which gradually increases;
- a sequential effect is made on different parts of the body, first with hot water, then with cool water;
- the sequence is observed, the treatment starts with the legs, then moves up, first the front surface of the body, then the lateral and back;
- after exposure to each arm or leg, water is directed to the abdomen, the advancement corresponds to the position of large blood vessels;
- at the end, a contrast shower is turned on in different trickles. The duration of the procedure increases from session to session. There should be at least two days between sessions. The total duration of the course is determined individually, on average it is 10-15 sessions with intervals of six months between courses.
Underwater shower massage is an effective procedure in medicine and cosmetology, which has a large number of indications for its implementation, it has a beneficial effect not only on the work of internal organs, but also on the appearance.
During the procedure, the patient’s body is completely in the water, in a comfortable large bath, takes a relaxed state, becomes susceptible to external manipulations. The hydromassage treatment combines massage and relaxation. The patient should first just lie down in warm water for 5-7 minutes. Then the specialist starts the massage using a flexible hose through which water comes out under a pressure of 1-4 atmospheres. The massage therapist acts on all problem areas of the patient with a jet of water. In case of pain syndrome, this effect is important, since the water jets, vibrating, painlessly affect the muscles mechanically and thermally.
Underwater hydromassage is highly effective for overweight, cellulite, puffiness, osteochondrosis. The procedure also has a therapeutic effect on the musculoskeletal system, relieving muscle tension, pain symptoms in the spine and joints. The duration of the procedure is 15-35 minutes, the frequency is every day or every other day. The recommended course is 10-20 sessions. A second course – six months later.
Pearl baths is a type of water massage. A special grate is placed at the bottom of the bath through which air is supplied from the compressor under pressure. Many bubbles are formed with the interaction of water and air. Such kind of bubbles resembles pearls.
In addition to pleasant sensations, pearl procedures normalize the excitability of the peripheral and central parts of the nervous system, cause sedation, restore the tonic activity of the muscles, reflexively expand skin capillaries, which is useful for various skin diseases. The procedure is recommended for back pain, diseases of the spine and musculoskeletal system, stress and depression, as it has a calming effect and relieves excessive excitability of the body. Pearl baths stimulate blood flow and normalizes blood pressure. You can prevent seasonal illnesses, improve mood or sleep quality and achieve deep emotional and physical relaxation after completing the course of treatment.
Four-chamber baths is a hydrotherapy method based on the effect of water procedures on the patient’s arms and legs without immersing the whole body in water.
Mineral waters, infusions, decoctions of medicinal plants and medicines can be used for four-chamber baths.
The four-chamber bath consists of four vessels installed on a single platform, two of which are intended for immersing the hands, and the other two for the legs.
The patient sits on a special chair, immersing his hands and feet in special baths with water during the procedure. The patient feels relaxation, feels a slight burning sensation, tingling, ‘creeping’ on the skin during the four-chamber bath.
Four-chamber baths have a general effect on the body, have a beneficial effect on cardiac activity and cerebral circulation, increase the activity of metabolic processes in the tissues of the arms and legs, reduce pain, signs of inflammation and can be prescribed in case of contraindications to general baths with full body immersion.
Four-chamber baths are used to treat various types of arthritis (reactive arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, etc.); deforming arthrosis; vasospastic hand disease; complications of diabetes mellitus (diabetic polyneuropathy and arthropathy); diseases of the peripheral nervous system (neuralgia, neuritis, neuropathy, neuromyositis); hypertension and symptomatic arterial hypertension; the initial stages of atherosclerosis of the vessels of the extremities; metabolic and trophic disorders against the background of varicose veins (without violating the integrity of the skin); for rehabilitation after bone fractures of the extremities.
The duration of the procedure is up to 30 minutes. The duration of the course is 6-20 procedures (depending on the physician’s prescription).
All types of procedures and their duration are determined by a physiotherapist after consultation with the attending physician.
Baths or showers are usually applied 1 hour before meals and 2 hours after.
Hydrotherapy is prescribed in courses of 10-20 sessions daily or every other day.
It is recommended to repeat the treatment cycle in six months. The procedures have an aftereffect – the result of the treatment lasts for the next 4–6 months.