Using Hot and Cold Hydrotherapy for Health at Home
Water is an ideal medium through which to transfer heat or cold to the body for the release of toxins through the skin and for the treatment of low mood, pain, and inflammation. Along with the use of plants and the hands, the application of water is one of the oldest healing methods. Hydrotherapy practices support relaxation, sleep, mood, and decrease pain and dissociation. Heat is relaxing and reduces chronic pain. Cold is stimulating, boosts mood, and reduces acute pain. Alternating hot and cold enhances circulation, boosts immune function, and balances our mood.
Setting Up Your Spa
It’s important to have a peaceful, intentional area in your home where you can invest in your health and wellness. Find an area of your home that is your quiet space, where you’ve got your pillows, aromas, and other self-care items. The checklist provided below offers suggestions and ideas of self-care items to gather for your at-home spa. You will also have a ‘wet’ room, such as the bathroom, where you can carry out water-based activities, or you may decide to have plastic protective equipment in another sacred space. Creating an altar or area with your unique items, such as fresh flowers or plants, crystals, incense, synchronicity tools (affirmation cards, celtic runes, soul collage cards), photos of loved ones, ancestors, and friends, can also be a great way to ground and support yourself.
Items to Gather for Your At Home Spa Oasis
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Epsom salts
- Essential oils of choice
- Skin brush
- Chamomile tea bags
- Beeswax Candles
- Eye pad/mask
- Block out curtains
- Air purifier
- Soft towels and washcloths
- Coconut oil
- Jade roller
- Scalp massager
- Hot water bottle, rice heat bag, body pads
- Magnet pads
- Breathing tools
Techniques for Applying Heat
- Epsom salt baths are relaxing and detoxifying. Add one cup of epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to a warm (not hot) bath. If you want to, you may also add some essential oil, such as lavender. Soak for 20 minutes. The magnesium will be absorbed and help relax muscles and help you sleep. The bath can be slippery, so use a mat.
- You can make your own rice hottie at home, which can then be used when you are feeling anxious or in pain. Begin by collecting sand from your favorite beach or some rice from your pantry. Fill a sock or small pillowcase with your chosen filling. Then, cut out a shape from an old shirt or blanket, fold it in half, sew up all but one side, then fill the cavity and sew the final size. If you have chosen to use a sock, leave enough room to tie the opening in a knot once the filling is inside. Microwave your hottie for 1 to 3 minutes and place anywhere on the body for comforting heat. Rub some CBD salve on your pelvic region and apply the hottie.
Techniques for Applying Cold
- When feeling low mood, or tired jump into a shower that is lukewarm and slowly turn up the cold until it is as cold as possible and let the water flow directly on the spine for 5 minutes.
- A hydrotherapy constitutional, while usually performed in a spa or naturopaths office, can be done at home to enjoy and benefit from it weekly or more often. It will require a hot water shower, 1 large cotton T-shirt or tank top, 2 wool blankets, 1 cotton (flannel) flat sheet, and a freezer. First, soak a cotton t-shirt or tank top in the sink so it is sopping wet; wring out excess water place it flat in the freezer. You will be putting it on after your shower. Spread two blankets lengthwise on a bed with a sheet over them. Take a hot shower and turn the heat up, so it feels hot but not burning or uncomfortable. Let the water fall all over you for 5 minutes. Use a timer if necessary. Finish, dry quickly, get the icy cold shirt from the freezer, and put it on quickly. You don’t want to lose time here. Use no clothing under or above this shirt. After pulling the T-shirt on, lay on top of your two blankets and sheet. Roll yourself into the blankets tightly within the sheet and blankets. Wrap up from neck to toes. If someone is at home to help you, you can lay down on the sheet and be wrapped up, mummy-style, with the blankets and sheet. Remain wrapped until your shirt is warm to the touch. During this time, sleep, rest, or listen to calming music. Slowly come out of your cocoon, dress, and stay warm. Relax for the rest of the day, perhaps taking a walk in the fresh air.
Techniques for Applying Hot and Cold
- Mix equal parts 1/2 c. coarse sea salt and ½ c baking soda. Mix in enough water, so it becomes a thick paste. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Jump in the shower with your skin brush, get wet, turn the water off, and begin scrubbing, starting at your toes and working up your whole body from front to back. Be sure to brush in the direction of the heart. At first, the brush may feel harsh; however, it will feel good and stimulating after the first few times. When covered, turn the water back on, rinse warm, make the water as hot as is comfortable, and then finish with a minute of ice-cold water. Towel dry and drink 6 ounces of water.
You can continue learning about the benefits of hydrotherapy and discover further techniques in my certification course, Integrative Medicine and Nutrition for PTSD and Complex Trauma.
- A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Hypothyroidism Treatment - November 17, 2023
- Flexing Your Self-Care Muscle (and Your Client’s Too!) For Success - September 4, 2023
- How to Eliminate Headaches, Congestion, and Detoxify with Mustard Seeds - August 7, 2023
Are You Ready to Advance Your Career?
If you want to advance your career in integrative medicine, explore my courses and certifications.