Do you want an easy and cheap way to soothe back pain or any kind of joint/muscle pain in between massages?
Hydrotherapy has been used since ancient days because of its accessibility, instinctive healing properties and soothing comfort. Hydrotherapy can be described as the application of water in its three forms either solid, liquid or vapor to internally or externally treat disease or trauma in the body. We have all used it at one time or another without knowing that it had a name, such as using ice on a sprain or hot water bottles on aching muscles. I'm going to give you two new fun and relaxing forms of hydrotherapy that you can do from the comfort of your own home after a long day.
1. Contrast Therapy for Back Pain:
Contrast therapy is when you use the power of hot water to cause blood vessels to dilate and then immediately switch to a cold application like ice to constrict blood vessels. The opening and closing of the blood vessels actually acts as a pumping action to rush out inflammation and toxins in the underlying muscle tissue and entire area which is what relieves stored tension and soreness. You wouldn't believe the incredible relief from pain that contrast therapy can achieve. Here is how you do contrast therapy, it is quite simple. You can either have a friend help you or can do this on your own.
You will need: A hot water bottle or (rice pack that you can heat up in the microwave) or even just a towel dipped in very hot water. A plastic sandwich bag to fill with ice or ice packs from freezer and a towel.
Place the towel on the floor, couch or bed and have person lay face down on it so that their back is facing you.
You then apply whatever heat source from the suggested list above to the persons muscles that run parallel up and down the spine. You do not want to apply hot or cold directly to the spine, just the muscles around the spine. Apply the heat source you have chosen to use for about 3-4 minutes moving up and down the whole length of the back.
Immediately switch to your cold source of ice in a bag or ice pack for 30 seconds to a minute along the same muscles along the spine.
Then you just repeat this process of alternating the hot and cold packs for a total time of 20-30 minutes, going for longer applications of each every time. If you are experiencing a lot of inflammation in an area (due to overuse or injury) you should end alternating cycle with cold application to keep inflammation away from area, however if you are using contrast therapy simply because of muscle soreness from working out and there is no inflammation you may end with heat. As with all alternative therapies all of this should of course be according to your comfort level of what feels good to you. If you are doing this by yourself then you simply put your hot or cold source underneath the muscles that run parallel to your spine on each side or on one side at a time and lay down on it to achieve the same result.
Important Note:You should consult your doctor if you have special circumstances such as a recent injury to your back or any other diagnosed conditions to your back muscles or bones.
2. Aromatherapy Foot Bath
Foot Bath's are a great way to relax and have numerous healthy benefits. Hot foot bath's can prevent or relieve the common cold, and can increase blood flow through the feet and entire skin surface resulting in detoxification of the internal organs and tissues of the body.
You will need either a large pan, plastic tub, or actual foot tub, your favorite essential oil, a pan or kettle to boil water and a towel.
Simply fill your container enough to cover ankles with water ranging in temperature of 100-110 degrees or (as hot as you can stand), add in a few drops of lavender oil for relaxation, or orange or pine essential oil for energy and drape a towel over your feet to keep the steam in. Add hotter water from the kettle or pan as the water naturally cools. Soak feet for 10-30 minutes. You may apply a cold compress to forehead or back of neck to avoid becoming too overheated.
Important Note: Hot foot baths are not recommended for people with arteriosclerosis or peripheral vascular disease.
These are two healthy and relaxing hydrotherapy techniques you can do to take care of yourself during an illness, when you have had a long day or simply to feel better and do something good for yourself! Enjoy!