Hydrotherapy – Healing Properties of Water

Natural Healing Club

Therapeutic Healing Properties of Water

(Hydrotherapy -The use of water to facilitate healing in the body).


Water therapy provides a range of benefits when used to heal injuries to the body due to it’s intrinsic and stimulating properties.

Typically, in most cases Hydrotherapy can offer a quick reactive response, which may include pain relief, depending on the degree of the injury.

The effects of water on the body include blood stimulation for (RBC’s) Red Blood Cells and (WBC) White Blood Cells.  RBC’s use of water provides oxygen to the blood and facilitates the removal of  waste, while WBC’s use of water benefits the immune system.  Blood is the healer, without healthy,  clean oxygenated blood survival of the body and/ or parts of the body may be compromised.  

There are times when water, if used incorrectly may cause damage to the body,  therefore it is imperative to understand how and when to use water with any injury to the body.

Can water damage the body if used incorrectly?  

It is possible to cause damage to the body if water is used improperly.

Be careful and mindful when using water to heal injuries.  

The following instances may cause injury when water is used improperly.

If a person has no feeling in their toes or fingers due to frostbite, or diabetic nephropathy, or bad circulation which results in a lack of feeling to their extremities (fingers, toes).  Never use very hot or very cold water.

Therapeutic Healing Properties of Water (cont.)

(Hydrotherapy -The use of water to facilitate healing in the body).

Extremities that have been exposed to very cold and frostbitten must be warmed slowly, room temperature until the person has feeling back. Use of a room temperature towel or cloth will help bring the feeling back, very slowly before placing into water.

Using Water to Facilitate Healing

Insect bites: Ice on insect bites for 15 minutes twice a day (wrap ice cube in clean cotton cloth and use to rub lightly to freeze the area).  

This practice reduces itching and limits the bodies inflammatory response.  Never scratch insect bites if you want to avoid possible scarring.  
Charcoal, may  also be used to draw out the sting of bug bites, make a paste with clean fresh water or aloe Vera, and spread on the bite.  

Swelling: Use ice to help reduce swelling.

Pain Relief and Healing: To facilitate pain relief and promote healing for closed wounds, bruising of tissues, tendons, muscles, etc.  

Alternate hot and cold water (as tolerated by each individual, as hot as can be tolerated, as cold as can be tolerated), using a bathtub, basin or cloth depending on the injury location.  Use the following chart as a guide to the process, three cycles are recommended twice daily. 

Example: Bruised foot.  Soak in a basin of very hot water (as can be tolerated) for 3 minutes.

Place into ice cold water (as can be tolerated) for 30 seconds. 

Repeat 3 times, twice daily (am & pm).

Can cover area with castor oil or comfrey compress (promotes healing), cover well.

Repeat daily as needed. 

Hot Water Cold Water Cycles
3 Minutes 30 Seconds Three


Symptoms                                                                                                                Treatments

1) Sore Throat ————————————————————— Heating Neck Compress / Gargle Salt Water

2) Headache —————————————————————————————————— Hot Foot Bath

3) Cough/Chest Cold —————————————————- Warm Bath / Contrast Shower / Body Compress

4) Body Aches ————————————————————- Warm Bath / Contrast Shower / Hot Foot Bath

5) Sinus Congestion —————————————————————————————- Steam Inhalation

6) Bronchitis/Pneumonia ————————————————————— Contrast Shower / Body Compress

7) Sprained Ankle ———————————————– 1st day: (ice) then afterward (Contrast Bath to that leg)

8) Detox/Withdrawals —————————————————————— Home Russian Steam Bath/Sauna


1) Contrast Bath Let’s say we are trying to speed up the process of healing a sprained ankle. To do this

treatment we will put the sprained foot in hot water (102 degrees if diabetic) for 2-3 minutes and then afterward

in the cold/icy water for 30 seconds. Do this for 3-5 changes. This treatment is easiest done on the extremities

of the body.

2) Steam Inhalation You can do this treatment several ways. The general idea is to breath in a lot of steam

to help loosen up the sinuses. It usually brings about great results. You can do this treatment with a pot of

boiling water, tea kettle that is steaming or anything else that produces steam. If you are using a covered pot

with boiling water or a steaming tea kettle you can put a towel or sheet over your head (may use an umbrella

to help keep the sheet up) and around the pot or steaming tea kettle. Open the lid of the covered pot, and

breathe in the warm steam. May add Peppermint, Eucalyptus, or Similar Oils.

3) Heating Neck Compress You need to have 1 thin piece of cloth and some clear wrap with both being

small enough to wrap around the neck once or twice. Then you need another thicker/bigger piece of material

like wool or a scarf that will be able to be wrapped around the neck. Dampen the first, thinner piece of cloth

with cold water and wrap it around the neck once or twice. Then wrap the neck with the clear wrap. Afterward,

take the other dry piece of material and wrap that around the neck and pin it. Sleep with this neck compress

overnight, it will warm up and help with a sore throat.

4) Heating Body Compress You need to have 1 sleeveless cotton shirt and a trash bag large enough to

cover the whole torso. You also need a thick warm sweater that can completely cover the torso. Cut out a hole

on the bottom of the trash bag that will be large enough for the person’s head to go through. On each side of

the bag, cut out a hole large enough for the person’s arms to go through. Now dampen the cotton shirt with

cold water and wring out well. Have the person put on the damp shirt making sure it is covering the whole

torso and is on bare skin. Nothing is to be worn under the shirt. Now put the trash bag over the person’s head,

have them insert their arms, and tie the bag around their waist. Afterwards, have the person put on the thick

warm sweater making sure it completely covers the trash bag. The person is to sleep with this body compress

overnight, it will warm up and help with respiratory conditions.

5) Hot Foot Bath Put feet in hot water (102 degrees Fahrenheit if diabetic otherwise (104) or as tolerated).

Cover the person and the bucket with the blanket or sheet to keep the heat in. Then apply a cold compress to

the head. To make a cold compress just use a hand towel or small towel and soak in cold ice water and apply

to head. You can do this treatment up to 20-30 minutes. Every couple of minutes offer water to drink as well
as add some hot water to the hot water bucket and re-wet and cool the cold compress on the head to keep it

cold. End the treatment by having the person hold their feet over the hot water bucket and pour the cold ice

water over their feet. Dry their feet thoroughly and have them rinse off with a lukewarm shower and then rest

for 20-30 minutes.

6) Home Russian Steam Bath – In order to do this treatment you need something to make steam. The easiest

way may be to use a hot pad with a tea kettle. Have the person sit on a chair that will not get too hot from the

steam. Put the person’s feet in a bucket half full with hot water (102 degrees for diabetics). Cover the person

with either a blanket or a special plastic drape that will cover the person and keep the steam in. Place the

steaming tea kettle under the chair where the person is sitting. Make sure the spout of the tea kettle is pointing

away from the person’s legs and toward the back of the chair; this will protect the person’s legs from getting

too much direct steam heat. Also get some cold/ice water in a basin and soak a hand cloth or small towel in it

and then wring it out and place it on the head. Make sure to change the cold compress to the head every couple

of minutes to keep the person’s head cool. Also add hot water to the hot foot bath to keep it at the desired

temperature. The goal of this treatment is to get the person to sweat. This treatment can be an excellent detox.