The use of water for healing purposes dates back many thousands of years, but since the 18th century hydrotherapy has been more accepted as a therapeutic technique. Immersion in warm water (34.5-35.5 degrees centigrade) has profound biological effects extending across essentially all of the homeostatic systems of the body. When combined with aquatic therapy treatment techniques benefits can include reduction of pain, improved recovery of normal movement patterns, improved cardiovascular fitness, improved balance and coordination, increased muscle strength, increased joint mobility, improved circulation and reduced swelling. But hydrotherapy is also very important in offering those that are unable to move independently on land, the experience of freedom of movement, which is hugely beneficial with regards to an improved sense of well being and self confidence.
It is also incredibly relaxing and can therefore be used to reduce anxiety and reduce tension in the body that would otherwise result in pain or further disability due to poorly controlled muscle tone. Hydrotherapy offers the ability for many people who are significantly restricted on land the opportunity to move their bodies with an increased level of independence, which is sometimes all that is needed to move forward in their rehabilitation and take that next step towards achieving that all important goal of getting busy living.
Thanks to STEPS Rehabilitation, Sheffield for permission to use an image of their hydro pool.