There are few therapeutic agents that have been used continuously and extensively, and virtually is the same form, as water. History and methodology are both liberally sprinkled with stores about the effects of water or the bath. In the Bible, a number of cases of miraculous cures had been closely associated with the use of water.
Water, in addition to being essential to life, is also a source of pleasure. Water at the “right” temperature, in pure form, or with varying amounts of dissolve or suspended substances have been used externally or internally since recorded time, by kings and peasands and by physicians and unqualified healers, to improve health.
Hydrotherapy, which is out subject matter, pertains to the exernal use of water in the treatment of disease. It is unquestionably a valuable method of treatment in various diseases and conditions. For, aside from the buoyancy and mechanixcal properties of water, the wide spread and common use of hydrotherapy today is likewise due to its thermal conductivity.
Proponents of medical hydrology or hydrotherapy have made more than their share of false claims and struggles for or against such treatments will continue. It is to be remembered that its not cure-all, nor does it necessarily do all that is claimed to do, but conversely, it is not by far as valueless as some would indicate. Many physicians still find it difficult to understand why patients would travel long distances to bathe in a hot spring for comfort. Yet research unravels each year some additional rationale for the therapeutic use of water. All these scientific evidences, however, may not be as convincing as the patient’s various claims of comfort and relief of symptoms with hydrotherapy.