Hydrotherapy, formerly called hydropathy involves the use of water for soothing pains and treating diseases.
Its use has been recorded in ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Egyptian royalty bathed with essential oils and flowers, while the Romans had communal public baths for their citizens. Hippocrates prescribed bathing in spring water for sickness. A Dominican monk, Sebastian Kneipp, again revived it during the 19th century. His book My Water Cure in 1886 was published and translated into many languages. The use of water to treat rheumatic diseases has a long history. Today, hydrotherapy is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or spinal cord injuries and in patients suffering burns, spasticity, stroke or paralysis. It is also used to treat orthopedic and neurological conditions in dogs and horses and to improve fitness.
Types of hydrotherapy