Hydrotherapy and water healing have helped raise me from my depression many a time, and 99% of the time, it works. I say 99% because it’s not foolproof, but it’s what calms me down the most out of all my relaxation techniques.
Hydrotherapy and water healing using the shower is the most effective for me. I like the water to rain down my back, especially when my muscles are tense and sore. The water soothes those muscles and relaxes them so that I can breathe easier. Speaking of breathing easier, showers are also great for soothing headaches and opening up the nasal passages when you’re stuffed up. When my allergies are at their worst, I take a shower. It allows me to breathe freely for at least a little bit.
Hydrotherapy and water healing have been long studied and is considered an alternative medicine, but so far, there’s no conclusive proof that it helps with mental health issues. Hydrotherapy, formerly known as hydropathy, is most often used for physical therapy rather than psychiatric purposes, but it has been known to soothe symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental disorders.
It’s been around for awhile, too. Hydrotherapy has been around since ancient times. Wikipedia’s article on hydrotherapy states:
“Various forms of hydrotherapy have been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Persian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Egyptian royalty bathed with essential oils and flowers, while Romans had communal public baths for their citizens. Hippocrates prescribed bathing in spring water for sickness. Other cultures noted for a long history of hydrotherapy include China and Japan, this latter being centered primarily around Japanese hot springs, or (onsen). Many such histories predate the Roman thermae.”
Personally, I think the potential for hydrotherapy and water healing to help mental illness should be further explored, especially for anxiety. There’s something about warm water that just relaxes you and calms you down. Just make sure that if you use hydrotherapy, you check out the risks for your particular ailment in relation to it. Some ailments can be made worse by hydrotherapy. For the risks associated with hydrotherapy, see the section Potential Dangers in Healthy Places’ article on hydrotherapy.
Next time you’re feeling stressed, depressed, or even something as severe as an anxiety/panic attack, take a warm bath or shower. Go swimming. Take a dip in a hot tub (but not too hot!) and see if this helps you. I highly recommend giving it a shot. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times a shower has been my saving grace during a major anxiety attack or an illness like the flu. You just feel better after a nice soak. Try it out and let me know what you think!