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Water as a Natural Remedy in Massage Therapy

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Water as a Natural Remedy (H2O)

The body is about 60-78% water. A human baby is formed in water and for all good reasons is the most abundant compound on this earth and 70% of the earth is water. It is a universal solvent and it can change its form from gas to liquid to solid quickly. Water can be used for various ailments both in preventative treatment as well in healing bodily imbalances.

Water has a wide range of physiological effects on the body. As ice it is an effective cooling agent. Short applications can be stimulating but long applications depress physiological processes. As liquid water may be applied as a bath, spray, immersion, packs, douches, and fomentations with varied temperatures. As a vapor or gas it may be used for inhalations and steam baths.

Water temperatures:
Very Hot 104o F and above (40o C)
Hot 100o to 104o F (37-40o C)
Warm (neutral 94o to 97o F) 92o to 100o F (33-37o C)
Tepid 80o to 92o F (27-37o C)
Cool 70o to 80o F (21-27o C)
Cold 55o to 70o F (13-21o C)
Very Cold 32o to 55o F (0-21o C)

The physiological changes can be described as (1) thermal, (2) mechanical, and (3) chemical.
• Thermal changes happen when the temperature is either above or below the body temperature.
• The mechanical effects are those that are caused by the impact of water on the body in whirlpools, douches, sprays and frictions.
• The chemical effects of water are produced when it is ingested or used as an irrigation of body cavities.

Thermal is the most important type of heat used in home remedies. Heat can be transferred through (1) conduction, (2) convection, or (3) conversion. Therefore it is important to have a means of measuring the temperature during water therapy.

Soon you will learn more about water and individual home remedies with water.

Sources:
(1) Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage by Moor, Peterson, Manwell, Noble and Muench.
(2) Rational Hydrotherapy, Volumes 1 and 2 by Dr. John Kellogg

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