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A Brief History of Hydrotherapy

Sure, you know hot tubs and hydrotherapy go together like peas and carrots. But do you know where it started? 

When Was Hydrotherapy Invented?

Hydrotherapy dates back to ancient Greece. Hippocrates documented his early use of the massage and referred to the treatment as hydropathy. Along with the Greeks, ancient Chinese, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations also used it. 

Hydrotherapy gained popularity over time, arriving in the United States during the 1840s. Now, it encompasses many forms and is used for our four-legged friends — canine hydrotherapy facilities provide relief for dogs nationwide.


What Is Hydrotherapy?

In its basic form, hydrotherapy is a warm or cold water massage that helps relieve pain. Hydrotherapy uses the water temperature and pressure to offer relief from symptoms. Though it can take many forms, an underwater jetted massage, as in a hot tub, is common.


How Is Hydrotherapy Practiced?

A common example is using a cold or hot compress for muscle pain, headaches, or fevers. Wraps, like compresses, involve wrapping a water-soaked rag or washcloth around a body part. A second layer of towels or hot blankets added to the wrap can treat anything from fever to skin disorders. 

Hot tubs are a huge part of hydrotherapy practices. The hot water helps relieve sore muscles and sports-related injuries, provides temporary relief for arthritis, and helps ease emotional or mental stress. 

When someone is completely submerged in water, they have a weightless feeling. The release from the pressure of gravity gives muscles and joints a respite from pain. Exercising in water also applies this weightlessness concept to activity, reducing, pressure on joints and muscles.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Hydrotherapy?

At its most basic level, hydrotherapy can relieve stress and assist people to relax and let go of worry. It also reduces aches and pains including sore muscles and joint stiffness.

Common benefits may include:

  • Increase blood flow in the body;
  • Reduce aches and pains of sore muscles;
  • Relieve joint stiffness;
  • Ease common cold symptoms;
  • Assist with issues related to hypertension; and/or
  • Relief from headaches.

One of the easiest ways to practice hydrotherapy is to bring a hot tub into your home and use it daily. Hot tubs are one of the most common ways to reap the wellness benefits!

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