Hydrotherapy in Ancient Greece & Other Cultures For over thousands of years, the therapeutic use of water has been studied, developed and recorded by ancient cultures, early scientists and modern pioneers in the field of health. Hippocrates, the father of Medicine, stated that “the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day. He learned about the healing properties of aromatic baths from the ancient Egyptians and subsequently developed teachings about using water as a form of treatment, which he called Hydrotherapy (water cure). Medicinal bathing is also called Balneotherapy or Thalassotherapy, which may have been derived from the ancient Greek word, thalassa (small sea) or from the Greek philosopher Thales (circa 636-546 B.C.E.), who believed that the physical world is derived from a single underlying substance – water.” (The Journal of the American Botanical Council, http://www.holistichorse.com/Herbs/history-of-herbal-baths.html).
That’s one version. However, the history of Hydrotherapy is linked to many cultures, used as a means to provide cleansing of the mind, healing of the body and purification of the spirit. Ancient baths were considered an integral part of society for many ancient cultures. A culture’s attitude toward bathing was a measure of its approach to well-being, and as such, it was often an indispensable part of the community. Today, modern Hydrotherapy is an essential feature of a true spa experience. And in the spirit of its tradition, an indispensable means to treat the body. By means of Hydrotherapy and bath equipment, the positive effects of water and massage on the body are used to provide comfort, relaxation and reinvigorating benefits.
The True Benefits of Hydrotherapy Hydrotherapy is defined as the science and art of applying water in its various forms, i.e. solid, liquid or vapor to heal the body. As such, water is used as the external medium in which an internal message is sent to enhance the body’s ability to heal. The properties of water effect the body through temperature, pressure and chemical means. In Hydrotherapy, the external environment of the body is changed by the application of water at various temperatures and with different methods. Three elements underscore the environmental influences of the skin and its relationship to the Hydrotherapy experience: thermal, mechanical, or biochemical. These have a plethora of benefits from stimulation of the lymphatic system to detoxification of the skin and body (via the dilation of sweat pores), as well as to the breakdown of body fat to slim the body.
Hydrotherapy + Essential Oils = A Powerful Healing Combination Harness the therapeutic properties of water with the benefits of essential oils and you have a powerful healing combination. Linda Lee Smith in “Essential Oils – 6 Ways the Ancient Greeks Used Aromatic Oils to Achieve Greatness,” explains that the “Greeks learned a great deal from the Egyptians concerning the use of aromatic essential oils. Both Greeks and Egyptians ascribed the healing power of these aromatic “medicines” to the Gods. Recipes for a number of medicinal oils inscribed on marble tablets were found in the temple of Aesculapius (the Greek god of healing) as well as in the temple of Aphrodite. Healing oils were dispensed by the priestesses in the temples for all kinds of ailments. These healing temples were very popular places for the Greeks, where one could go to refresh both mind and body. Clearly, aromatics were a part of ordinary life in ancient Greece.” To learn more about the vast knowledge of aromatics held by the Greeks, click here: http://www.ISHAaromatherapy.com.
Modern Day Hydrotherapy – DECLÉOR’s “Aquaroma” In our “Aquaroma” rituals, DECLÉOR inextricably links the power of aromatherapy to the therapeutic aspects of water. True to our aromatherapy heritage, DECLÉOR offers “Aquaroma,” an in-spa professional only program combining the traditional benefits of water (Hydrotherapy, Vichy Shower, etc.) with the therapeutic properties of essential oils. The synergy between aromatic oils and trace minerals provides long-lasting benefits, from slimming to circulation stimulating to relaxation. To find a DECLÉOR Hydrotherapy treatment near you, visit: spa locator.
Hydrotherapy in the Comfort of Your Home Create a Hydrotherapy experience in the comfort of your home by incorporating Aromessence™ de Bain Energizing Body Concentrate to your bath water. Infusing Lavender, Hazelnut Plant Oil, Lemon, Angelica, and Savory, this 100% pure and natural essential oil and plant oil blend activates the elimination of toxins, stimulates circulation, leaving your mind and body energized and reinvigorated.
Modern Day Hydrotherapy Trending Thanks to ancient cultures, including the Greeks, here’s yet another contribution that has transcended generations and is still used in modern day spas today. Though not all spas offer Hydrotherapy treatments, including Vichy Showers, many are starting to incorporate them into their menus. Not only is it beneficial to clients (and will keep them coming back for yet another Hydrotherapy treatment), but it is also completely on trend. Even as recently as today, Lindsey Darnell of the Best of New Orleans, featured an article titled, “Water, Water Everywhere : From steam rooms to showers, here’s how local spas harness the restorative power of H20.” This trend is on the rise and really starting to permeate the spa universe. That’s great news!
Have you ever experienced a Hydrotherapy treatment? Please share your Hydrotherapy stories, we would love to hear from you!
Photo: courtesy of Stathis KarathanasisShare