Health through Water©

SPA & Hydrotherapy
by Jeanne Rose

BATHS - See individual listings for different baths and therapies.

Showers are to clean the body while baths are to heal the mind and body and used ritually to cleanse the spirit. Hydrotherapy has been a system of therapeutic bathing rituals or various therapeutic baths to aid in the healing of various systems of the body. It has been prescribed since before the Roman baths with their distinct and separate rooms of various temperature baths.

However, full body immersion is the key to cleansing the body of illness and with modern baths where only the lower part of the body is fully immersed this does not lend itself to a healing experience. I n a modern bath, one must lay down flat on your back in the tub with the legs up and out in order to get the proper healing effects. Worried about your hair? Wear a shower cap.

In a bath/hydrotherapy treatment, it is important to use three baths per week of 20-30 minutes each. The temperature of the water is not important. Start with warm baths, add Seaweeds, Moor mud, various types of salts, herbs and/or hydrosols.

A simple bath is the infused herbs of any fresh ones that you have available with 10 drops complimentary essential oils. i.e. Citrus peels infusion plus citrus and Patchouli [1 drop each Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange, 3 of Neroli + 4 drops Patchouli].

For example, for hypertension, shower and clean first, then fill the tub and use body temperature water, add 1 cup of Melissa hydrosol, add the appropriate essential oils, soak for 20 minutes, wrap in a large towel, drink a cup of your Hypertension Tea Blend and go to bed. Melissa is the most useful, but Lavender or Rose Geranium hydrosols can also be used. Don't have hydrosols? Use herbal infusions of the herbs mentioned. Our aromatherapy kits for hypertension and Women’s Care are also very helpful.

Balneotherapy is the treatment of disease by bathing, especially in mineral springs. (The use of the minerals in hot springs for therapeutic bathing). Balneotherapy (spa therapy) is the act of bathing in thermal or mineral waters at temperatures of about 34 C. The hydrostatic force of the water is thought to bring about pain relief, which may result from taking stress off the affected joint, relaxation or other factors. It is most commonly recommended for patients with psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.

The hot springs gradually increases the temperature of the body, which helps to kill harmful germs and viruses. Bathing in mineral springs increases static water pressure on the body, which increases blood circulation and oxygenation of the cell. This increase in blood flow also helps to dissolve and eliminate ‘toxins’ from the body. Mineral and Hot springs bathing increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, improving hydration and nourishment to vital organs and tissues.

Bathing in thermal water increases body metabolism, including stimulating the secretions of the intestinal tract and the liver, aiding digestion. Repeated hot springs bathing (especially over 3- to 4- week period) can help normalize the functions of the endocrine glands as well as the functioning of the body's autonomic nervous system. Trace amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and lithium are absorbed by the body and provide healing effects to various body organs and system. These healing effects can include stimulation of the immune system, leading to enhanced immunity; physical and mental relaxation; the production of endorphins; and normalized gland function. Mineral springs contain high amounts of negative ions, which can help promote feelings of physical and psychological well-being.

The direct application of mineralized thermal waters (especially those containing sulfur) can have a therapeutic effect on diseases of the skin, including psoriasis, dermatitis, and fungal infections. Some mineral waters are also used to help the healing of wounds and other skin injuries.

Indications for Balneotherapy are the chronic diseases such as: Chronic rheumatic diseases, Metabolic diseases, especially diabetes, obesity, and gout, chronic gastrointestinal or respiratory diseases, circulatory diseases, especially moderate or mild hypertension, chronic skin diseases, psychosomatic and stress-related diseases, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, vibration disorder (a middle ear disorder affecting balance), chronic gynecological diseases and other ailments.

See The Herbal Body Book for many formulas and enroll in our Aromatherapy Course-Home & Family.

Fangotherapy (fango = mud from Italy thermal springs) or pelotherapy is volcanic ash or mud used with thermal springs in curative treatment at SPAs. In California there is only one hot springs using the true Fangotherapy — Indian Springs in Calistoga, CA. It can also mean any clay or mud used in therapy.

Hydrotherapy is the treatment of disorders by the application of water, especially externally by immersion or use of water in any way as a treatment. Water used in therapy, especially as compress, packs, masks, wraps, hot water, cold water, sprays, immersion, cold water, hot water, etc.

Hydrosol therapy is the use of hydrosols with any other hydrotherapy to affect change in the body. A hydrosol is the non-alcoholic water solution obtained from plant distillation. It is the solution in which the liquid constituent is water that contains the micro-drops of essential oils and the infused properties of the plants that were distilled.

Pelotherapy (pelo from the Greek word for clay or mud) is the therapeutic application of mud to the body. It is used in conjunction with other forms of therapy especially hydrotherapy, Balneotherapy or thalassotherapy.

Thalassotherapy is the use of seawater or seaweeds as a therapeutic treatment. Thalasso comes from the ancient Greek meaning 'ocean'. Thalasso-therapy uses the nutrients in seawater, Seaweed. The different nutrients found in the sea help to nourish and cleanse the body. The theory is seawater has practically the same chemical make-up as human plasma, so the body easily absorbs the water that is rich with nutrients from indigenous plants or plant matter. Click here to read the salt bath article.

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Source: Salud Per Aqua or Health Through Water by Jeanne Rose. The SKIN/SPA booklet produced for Jeanne’s SPA class. SPA Booklet (Salve per Aqua) and A Seminar by Jeanne Rose is a collection of Jeanne's personal SPA information and formulas.

Everything you need to know about skin, salt, water, hydrosols, essential oils, herbs for the skin and body and to make your own products. Have you ever wondered why some women have such wonderful complexions? Would you like to learn how to make your products and to treat skin like a queen? Essential oils have a profound ability to penetrate the skin and can have a very rejuvenating affect. Read this booklet for salt, water, and care and treatment of the skin. $23.50. The complete article is available from the Aromatic News, 415-564-6785 and in the articles section of

Rose, Jeanne. The Spa/Skin Booklet
The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

The water source at Vichy Hot Springs in Ukiah, CA  

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