With all the stress going on the world and in your personal life, self care is a must. Hydrotherapy at home is easier than you think, and can help you mentally recenter as well as provide health benefits. In our ultimate guide to hydrotherapy at home, we’re here to provide you with five different methods to jumpstart including hydrotherapy in your self care routine. If your skin needs some extra help beyond hydrotherapy- we offer a variety of massages, hydrafacials, and chemical peels.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is the use of any form of water to treat or help your health. This includes water in all forms: steam, ice, and liquid. Some common forms of hydrotherapy are saunas, warm baths, hot/cold compresses, and contrast showers.
The benefits of different forms of hydrotherapy include alleviating pain, reducing stress and improving mental health, relaxation, and recovering from workouts.
So what should I try?
Hydrotherapy at home is easy- it depends on the health benefit you desire! Contrast showering is one simple and fast way to try something new and is easy to do at home. Contrast showering is when you switch between hot and cold water during your shower which can cause blood vessels to widen and constrain.
With hot water your blood vessels will widen and increase your blood flow which activates your sweat glands and pushes toxins out of the skin. Cold water reduces blood flow and directs blood to your organs to stay warm. This contrast improves blood flow throughout your body!
What are the benefits to a contrast shower? Well, for starters it is really good for your hair and skin! It also can be a great stress reliever and increase your energy. If you were ever an athlete, you may have done a contrast shower or bath to alleviate sore muscles or an injury.
You have probably already taken a hot bath at some point in your life- so you have accidentally already done hydrotherapy! A nice hot bath is stereotypically used as a way to relax muscles and decompress mentally, and soften your skin. If you constantly have sore muscles you can try hot baths at home while treating yourself to a massage at a spa!
You may have also had a foot soak after a really long day, and this is a great combo of a warm bath and contrast showering! People use foot boaks to regulate body temperature, relieve stress, and alleviate muscle soreness. If you have ever had a pedicure, you have definitely had a foot soak. Here at Lemon & Honey Day Spa, we offer signature foot soaks in our Retreat Room if you arrive 15 minutes before your massage or facial service!
A refreshing water workout can help build strength and increase flexibility while working out without putting pressure on joints due to water resistance. This makes water workouts ideal for people with arthritis or limited mobility.
Lastly, you can have a facial steam bath. You know when you’re sick and take a hot shower to clear your congestion? This is the same concept! Obviously you can use it when you’re sick to clear congestion, but it also can open your pores and improve blood flow.
How can I do hydrotherapy at home?
Contrast Showering At Home
First you should start your shower with hot water for a few minutes. Then you should change the water to as cold as you can handle. I would recommend starting the cold water for a few seconds and building up to longer cold water intervals. Then just repeat for as long as you desire, at least 2-3 times! I would finish with cold water if you are a morning shower person for a jolt of energy or end with hot water if you’re a night shower person to promote sleep. Here are some of the other benefits of finishing your shower with cold water!
To create the perfect hot bath, run the tub at 98-100 degrees. Make sure it’s comfortable for you and doesn’t burn to the touch. You can add some bath salts or herbs such as lavender or rose petals for a little extra pizazz. You can sit there as long as you need to, but your water might get cold after 30 minutes. If you’re really looking to add some relaxation to your bath, try some relaxing sounds to perfect your hydrotherapy at home.
If you’re interested in a foot soak, just put your feet in a tub with hot water for as long as you want! Similar to a bath, you can add extra elements to your foot soak to increase the relaxing effects- such as bath salt or Epsom salt. If you’re feeling really extra, there are tons of recipes for you to try and find what is the most relaxing for you. You can also take the same routine as a contrast shower and alternate between hot and cold water to similar effects!
Facial Steam Bath
To get the most steam possible, ditch the shower steam and boil water in a covered pot. You can add herbs of your choice such as thyme, eucalyptus, or rosemary. My personal favorite is eucalyptus, especially when I feel a little under the weather. If you’re looking for some great essential oils that are effective and safe to use in a facial steam bath, here are a few recommendations. Once your water is boiling, stand in front of the pot and uncover it a little bit to inhale the steam. Use a towel to cover your head and the pot at the same time so all the steam doesn’t escape and it hits your face.
You don’t have to do a “real workout” to be able to feel the effects of this hydrotherapy technique at home. Just hopping in the pool and treading in water can work! If you don’t have a pool at home, head to the local creek, river, lake, or beach to try it out. If you have a physiotherapist, they are able to show you the best aquatic poses and exercises for your medical issues- but if you don’t, here is a short list anyone can do.
Hydrotherapy is Not for Everyone
Before we send you off into the world to try hydrotherapy at home, you should know that it is not for everyone and we always recommend checking with a doctor before trying anything. Hydrotherapy creates sudden changes in body temperature and could not be beneficial, and even dangerous, if you suffer from:
- Heart conditions/ high blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Uncontrolled epilepsy
- Open wounds and/or skin infections
We recommend checking with a medical professional before starting hydrotherapy at home and mentioning which specific treatment you are interested in.