Water happens to be an essential part of our ecology. It possesses the essential quality of enhancing and improving our life cycle. These numerous and multi-faceted qualities of water, the life-giver, is the principal tenet of Water Therapy. Water Therapy can help us avert potential life threatening diseases such as breast cancer, kidney stone, asthma etc. The most immediate effect of Water Therapy is that it keeps our physiology hydrated enough to counter the effects of the above diseases.
About Water Therapy
The history of Water Therapy can be traced back to the mid- 19th century. Then it was popular as Hydropathy. The term ‘Hydrotherapy’ can be traced back to the 19th century and the early 20th century. There was a revival in the popularity of Water Therapy in the United States and United Kingdom in the mid 19th century. Records of the usage of water as a medium of therapy have been found in the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations.
Sir John Floyer, a Lichfield physician, stumbled upon the remedial qualities of spring water in the neighborhood when the same was reported by the local peasantry. He then zeroed in on the history of cold water bathing and the results of the investigations were then published in a book in 1702. The acceptance and popularity of the book is largely testified by the fact that the book was then published upto the sixth edition and had inspired Dr. J.S. Hahn (1696-1773) to write a book published in 1738.
Dr. James Currie, Liverpool, delved upon the usefulness of hot and cold water treatment for illnesses and thereafter published a book on his work in 1797. The book ran four editions and inspired Michaelis (1801) and Hegewisch (1807) to translate the book into German. The book enabled the first proper empirical study of the dietetic and therapeutic usage of water. Hahn and Professor E.F.C. Oertel followed the course and further assisted the establishment of the paradigm.
The mid 19th century populist revival was ignited by Vincent Priessnitz. Being a peasant of the Austrian Empire, his application of Hydrotherapy around 1829 helped in establishing Water Therapy on solid ground. This was followed up by other practitioners like Capt. R.T. Claridge, Sir William James, Erasmus Wilson, James Manby Gully, Edward Johnson and Sebastian Kneipp. Richard Russel took it to another level by introducing Sea Water therapy, which also became popular as thalassotherapy. Russel’s efforts can be credited to be the predecessor of modern day spas.
The upper class and the elite resorted to health spas to avail the remedies of Water Therapy. Therapeutic baths also known as ‘Balneotherapy’ was very popular in the period. However, methodological flaws have been chalked out in Balneotherapy by scientists.
Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle, Florence Nightingale, Lord Tennyson and Samuel Wilberforce had all been treated by Water Therapy. Malvern, Worcestershire was the haunt for all the above figures as the Malvern water was believed to have curative properties. Many of the then popular figures had their own water-cure specialists. The specialists ranged from qualified doctors to self-taught enthusiasts.
Benefits of Water Therapy
The immediate effects of Water Therapy are immense and numerous and most importantly it does not require any expert supervision. Listed as follows are the many positive effects of Water Therapy in the Human Physiology:
· Water therapy helps to control sinusitis, tachycardia, anemia, gastroenteritis, uterus cancer, rectal piodapse, ophthalmic hemorrhage, irregular menstruation, laryngitis, headache rheumatism, general paralysis, obesity, arthritis, bronchitis, meningitis, hyper acidity, dysentery, eye-disease, giddiness, cough, leukemia, and many other diseases
· Helps in detoxification through sweat and urine
· Retains normal body temperature
· Help discharging waste products from the body
· Helps control constipation in 1 day, acidity in 2 days, diabetes in 7 days, cancer in 4 weeks, pulmonary TB in 3 months, gastric in 10 days and BP & hypertension in 4 weeks
· Gives glowing, healthy and younger looking skin.