The major physiologic effects of hydrotherapy can be summarized as follows:
Relaxes capillaries & other soft tissues
Increases blood volume & oxygen consumption
Relieves pain of myositis & neuritis
Soothes irritated cutaneous nerves
Lessens general nervousness
Dilates blood vessels
Soothes nerves of the visceral organs
Increases circulation & metabolic rates
Relaxes & relieves fatigue
Promotes tissue healing and repair
Relieves muscle spasms and pain
Helps remove metabolic toxins
The Hydrotherapy Process
Water is extremely buoyant. When the body is placed on the water mattress, there is minimal strain on the weight-bearing joints.
Additionally, few if any muscles are required to hold the body up or in position. These two conditions combine to help the patient’s body relax resulting in an increased physiologic response to treatment.
Heat is evenly conducted through the skin and into the muscles and soft tissues of the body. The heat expands blood vessels, increases blood and lymphatic circulation, increases metabolism and has a sedative effect.
The pressure of the water on the body increases venous and lymphatic flow. One of the effects of the resulting stimulation is increased molecular motion in the skin that may aid the healing process. Hydromassage helps works out trigger points in the muscles, which are localized areas of hyperirritability that induce a cycle of spasm, pain, tension, weakness and limited range of motion in the joints.
Hydromassage focuses on the muscular system, the fascia, the circulatory and lymphatic systems or a combination of these body systems. Fascia is the connective tissue that attaches organs to organs, muscles to bones (tendons) and bones to bones (ligaments). The lymphatic system carries lymph, a clear or yellowish substance that flows throughout the body, filtering foreign matter and removing excess fluid, protein and waste products from the tissues and transporting them to the blood to be circulated and eliminated.