Hydrotherapy – This is the use of water in a solid, liquid or gas used to positively affect our physiology, applied as heat or cold for vasodilation or vasoconstriction.
Use of hydrotherapy to affect the whole body could include the following: sauna; hot tub; steam room; polar dip; cold water wash; snow or dew walking; hot or contrast hot and cold foot bathing. Regular use, particularly of the cold or contrast therapies has the potential of strengthening the constitution. *Check with your doctor if you have any health considerations prior to using these modalities.
When using a sauna, hot tub or steam room place a cold towel around your neck and draped over your heart to keep those areas cooler. Visit the Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain near Collingwood for a real treat, 2-3 hours there and you’ll sleep like a baby! 10-15 minutes in the heat, then move onto the cold for 30 sec- 1 min. and then rest. Repeat this a few times. The rest time is very important to allow your nervous system to come to neutral and fully use the contrast temperatures.
The upper back and neck are often hypertonic in most people, including children. Take the time at the end of the day to sit down and gently notice your breathing. In this time and space place a hot water bottle or Magic Bag on your neck and drape it over your shoulders, this can be a significant help in relaxing those soft tissues that can often lead to headaches and pain.
Place a tennis ball in the bottom of an old sock and use to work out those ‘knots’ from different areas of the body. The sock helps you to control the ball as you lean into it once you’ve placed it against a wall. You could also lay on your bed and place the ball under your back in different places or under your hips while side-lying. If the area is sore, discontinue use. Continue if you experience a good ache and deepen your breathing to help release the area. You may find that it refers ache to another area, continue to hold until that referral dissipates. Move to another area once the first placement has relaxed.