Hydrotherapy: what it is and how it works

The use of water as thermal therapy has rather ancient origins: it has been practiced for hundreds of years worldwide and is still carried out on a large scale in almost all spas and wellness centers. Numerous treatments and therapeutic approaches draw on the healing properties of water, exploiting the body’s reaction to hot and cold stimuli. Specifically, hydrotherapy is the use of water to relieve pain and general discomfort of the person. In general, cold water is used to stimulate and tone the body, while hot water is used to calm and soothe contracted muscles. Alternating treatments with cold and hot water can help heal injuries and reduce inflammation in some cases. It is important to know that hydrotherapy can include treatments such as:

  • Exercises in the pool: these are special exercises that are performed in a pool in which the water temperature is usually of 33–36º degrees. This kind of approach provides gentle relief for back pain or arthritis;


  • Saunas and steam bath: saunas use rather warm and stable temperatures to create a “dry” environment, while steam bath are rich in humidity. Both of them boost sweating for the elimination of toxins and impurities and help relieve muscle pain;


  • Foot baths: this treatment will help with problems such as swollen feet, sore legs and poor circulation; yet hydrotherapy also passes through foot baths. Whether it is to cure some physical ailment or more simply for pleasure, just dip your feet in the tub of our Pedi Spa station and enjoy every moment;


  • Contrast therapy: as the name suggests, hot and cold water baths are used alternately. It involves immersion in water at different temperatures to treat chronic pain, swelling, inflammation and promote lymphatic drainage;


  • Compresses: this treatment involves the use of towels soaked in water. These can be both hot and cold. Hot packs encourage blood flow, which is helpful in relieving stiff muscles. While cold packs are used for common colds and skin ailments. Many wellness centers and spas use our Nettuno bed, as it is equipped with a mattress with a seamless cover, carefully selected to resist the action of water and also the innovative Aemotio Spa, a multifunctional cabin that contains, in a unique design, the most modern treatment technologies for hydrotherapy.

The benefits of hydrotherapy

Although the benefits of hydrotherapy are many, the main health benefits are as follows:

  1. It strengthens the immune system: As anticipated, hydrotherapy helps to increase blood flow and the circulation of white blood cells throughout the body. This, in turn, allows the lymph to move effectively through the body, helping fight infections and other diseases


  1. It relieves pain and reduces muscle tension: When you are in a hydrotherapy tub you feel a sort of lack of gravity that helps to relieve tension and pain in the limbs. Water supports sore limbs and facilitates movement. All this stimulates the release of endorphins which act as real natural pain relievers. It is important to know that reduced muscle stiffness can also lead to better muscle flexibility.


  1. It helps to eliminate stress: Hydrotherapy treatment can be effective in reducing blood pressure caused by stress. Through the release of endorphins, the feeling of discomfort caused by anxiety gradually relieves itself until it almost completely disappears.


  1. It rehabilitates damaged muscles: Hydrotherapy can also help heal tissues that have suffered trauma and support the rehabilitation of damaged joints and muscles. In addition, many clinics and professionals in the sector recommend hydrotherapy to patients with lumbar back pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis problems.


In conclusion, we can say that carrying out hydrotherapy treatments certainly offers a long list of benefits for physical and mental health. Think about it and talk to your doctor – hydrotherapy could be the perfect solution for you!