Constitutional hydrotherapy is healing warmth from the inside out
Did you know hydrotherapy has been used therapeutically since the early 1700’s and continues to be used today because of its extreme, yet gentle, power?
Hydrotherapy is “the application of water, in any form, either externally or internally, in the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.” (Boyle & Saine)
Your constitution is the ‘stuff’ that you’re made of: not only your bones, muscles, skin cells, etc. but also your ‘vis,’ your vitality. How easily can you can keep your body balanced? Your vis is what puts the glimmer in your eye and the pep in your step; it’s what heals your broken bone, your stubbed toe, your diabetes, and your burned finger. An individual whose vis is strong heals quickly. You know those people – the ones who get the same cold that you did but are better in 3 days instead of 2 weeks. You could also say these people have a strong constitution.
Constitutional hydrotherapy treatments use water to strengthen your vis, which helps your body to heal itself. When your circulatory system is stimulated, your immune system improves its vigilance. Over time, your vis strengthens and can respond better and faster, just like your muscles can do when they get exercised. Adding in weekly or monthly constitutional hydrotherapy sessions to your existing naturopathic protocol can increase the speed at which your body heals itself. The treatment is gentle, with no contraindications. It is great for the very young and very old.
What Happens in a Constitutional Hydrotherapy Treatment?
Constitutional hydrotherapy treatment involves the application of alternating hot and cold towels placed on your chest and back while you lie down, with a soft pillow under your head, cocooned in sheets and wool blankets. All linens are organic. A hot towel prepares your body for cold; the cold towel stimulates your circulatory to warm it up quickly. The cycle is finished when your body has completely warmed the cold towel. It is your vis, your vitality, that warms the towels. For someone with lower vitality, the cold towel will not be made very cold; for someone with higher vitality the cold towel will be more icy. The idea is to challenge your vis, but not to give it more than it can handle. As your vis strengthens, you will be able to heat up a colder towel, more quickly.
“If water were not of central importance to health, the body would not be made up of such a large percentage of it; if heat were not vitally important to health, the body would not be equipped to maintain such a narrow thermic range”
– Lectures in Naturopathic Hydrotherapy: Wade Boyle N.D. and Andre Saine N.D.; 1988
Most people leave the treatment feeling like they have just woken up from a very refreshing nap. Others may feel tired and will need to be a little gentler to themselves that day, just like you would after a massage. The entire treatment takes about an hour. Ask me for a referral to the NUNM clinic for this supportive treatment!