Constitutional Hydrotherapy Explained (Courtesy of Dr. Jerid Zeff, ND)
The purpose of this treatment is to stimulate a more rapid improvement in health, along with the application of specific dietary therapy and other measures. The combination of applying moist towels (alternately hot and cold) to the chest/abdomen and back, and use of a gentle electrical current, appears to enhance the immune response and improve the body’s capacity to absorb and utilize nutrients, may encourage the removal of cellular and environmental wastes, and may promote a healthy balance between the two parts of our autonomic nervous system, the “fight or flight” sympathetic and the “rest and digest” parasympathetic systems, which regulate all our bodily processes.
Hydrotherapy has been shown to possibly promote the process of detoxification through improved blood flow, increased sweating (to remove toxins through the skin), better absorption of nutrients from food and more regular bowel activity. Furthermore, there is often increased urination (possibly indicating increased kidney activity which may mean a re-absorption of nutrients while excreting wastes.) Yet removing wastes is not hydrotherapy’s only function: it may also help build the blood by possibly increasing desirable elements, such as red and white blood cells, nutrients and oxygen.
In addition, hydrotherapy water treatments may also possibly improve immune functioning by nourishing the reticuloendothelial system, through which our illness-fighting white blood cells recognize invaders and are guided to the tissues where they are needed. Such that, external hydrotherapy treatments may possibly produce profound effects on immune function, particularly through applications of hot water, which possibly increases the number and activity of natural killer cells, key white blood cells that the body may also recruit in its fight against cancer.
It can be used whenever there is a fever or febrile illness, or to ward off illness which is beginning to manifest. It appears to be strengthening and healing to the digestive system, helps to normalize circulation, soothes the nervous system, stimulates eliminative and detoxifying processes, and stimulates the vital force (the body’s own self-healing mechanism).
It is a subtle yet powerful treatment with no potential for harm if done under the order of a qualified naturopathic doctor.