hydrotherapy

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hydrotherapy,

use of water in the treatment of illness or injury. Although the medicinal and hygienic value of water was recognized by the early Greeks, hydrotherapy attained its widest use in the 18th and 19th cent. through the practice of the British physician Sir John Floyer and an Austrian peasant, Vincenz Priessnitz. Priessnitz is credited with a number of inventions still in use including the sponge bath, the douche, and the wet sheet pack, and he is acknowledged as an important contributor to the rise of the health spa movement in Europe. Scientific hydrotherapy is based on the conduction of heat to or from the body by means of a water medium. Heated water is used for its sedative effect, and hot water vapor is used in controlled situations to relieve pain. Patients who have suffered extensive burns are often immersed in water for long periods. Maintained at skin temperature, i.e., approximately 93°F; (34°C;), the water prevents loss of body heat. Fevers are reduced by cold sponge baths taken on rubber sheets. Whirlpool baths are used to relieve painful muscle and joint conditions, and underwater exercise has proved a useful physical therapy in cases of paralysis and stiffness of the extremities.

hydrotherapy

[‚hī·drə′ther·ə·pē]
(medicine)
Treatment of disease by external application of water.

hydrotherapy

Med the treatment of certain diseases by the external use of water, esp by exercising in water in order to mobilize stiff joints or strengthen weakened muscles
References in periodicals archive ?
She has been a practitioner for 13 years, first in Harley Street, now at the Creative Health Centre in Regent Street, Leamington, and his a member of the Association and Register of Colonic Hydrotherapists.
Colonics are performed at the Center by certified and caring colon hydrotherapists, using safe FDA-approved equipment.
Pick a therapist as recommended by the Guild of Colon Hydrotherapists, found on www.
Richard Wheeler, secretary of the Association & Register of Colon Hydrotherapists, currently has 78 UK-based therapists on his books.