The indigenous peoples call it the First Medicine, it’s considered sacred in all the perennial wisdom traditions, being used as a Holy substance for blessing, healing and protection.  The medicinal use of it hails back to the times of Hippocrates, the Father of Modern medicine and has endured in many forms across cultures and through the ages.
Water – The most basic of human needs and rights. We, the privileged minority of humans who are lucky enough to have water delivered to our homes every day, tend to take this for granted. It is only when there are shortages, cut-offs, contamination and oh yes, water charges talked about that we begin to think about water and how essential it is for life as we know it. The use of water as a natural healing tool is something that most people aren’t conscious of and has lost its prominence with the advance of modern medicine. There are many ways to utilize this resource for our health on an ongoing basis as a preventative measure as well as to treat disease and illness.
6 Simple Hydrotherapy Practices to Maintain our Health
1) Hydration – With the best of intentions, many of us fall well below what we need to be drinking in terms of water.  Water is essential for life and the healthy functioning of our bodies. The average adult should be drinking 2 liters of water through the day, more or less.
Tip: To monitor intake, fill a flask, bottle or jug with 2 liters of water in the morning and drink through the day.
2) Hot & Cold Showers – Sounds scary and definitely has a bite to it, but this practice has a hugely positive impact on your health. This practice stimulates your lymphatic system and circulatory system, increasing the body’s ability to cleanse waste, increasing blood flow for healing and boosting your immune system.
Tip: At the end of your morning shower, turn water to cold (yes fully cold!) for 30 seconds, return to hot for 1 minute and try to complete 7 repetitions. 
3) Detox Bath – This feels a little more like a luxurious treat, yet is a powerful treatment for cleansing the body. Once a week, fill a bath as hot as you can manage. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1 cup of baking soda and ½ cup of bentonite clay.
Tip: Have this bath at a time when you can go straight to bed afterwards and have a good night sleep to maximize benefits.
 4) Foot Bath– Not just for relaxing your tired feet, although that in itself is great! The feet are a wonderful gateway for healing to pass into the rest of the body systems. Therefore footbaths can be used to treat everything from varicose veins to the flu to insomnia. Add essential oils or strong herbal infusions to warm basin and soak for 30 minutes, topping up with hot water.
Tip: This is a wonderful way to administer natural treatments, especially for children or the more feeble and elderly. Choose herbs appropriate to condition.
5) Sitz Bath – Sitz baths basically work on the same principles as footbaths, but cater for the rear end! Any mothers out there should know what I’m talking about and if you don’t, you really missed out. Find a shallow basin that you can sit in and fill with warm water and appropriate essential oils or herbal infusions as above. Treats tears, piles, cysts and many genitourinary system disorders.
Tip: A baby bath is a perfect size for this.
6) Hot & Cold Local applications: As a therapeutic practice, this works on the same principle as the Hot/Cold shower treatments above. When an area of the body in injured, inflamed, painful or swollen the body is naturally attempting to bring healing to this area. By applying hot/cold compresses locally to the area, we increase blood flow, hence increasing healing. Very simple!
Tip: If applying herbal treatment to an injury or particular area of the body, this treatment performed before hand will increase the uptake and utilization of any further treatment. Wonderful on its own for pain relief.
So instead of giving out about the up coming water charges , lets take it as an opportunity to realize the vital importance of water and consider how we can utilize it in the best way for our ongoing health and wellbeing. And it you really have to do a bit of complaining, try doing it in a relaxing foot bath to help you chill out!
Let us know what you think of this article in the comments below and how you hydrotherapy endeavours are going! 

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