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Wonderful water: How hydrotherapy can improve your health

(BPT) – If you’ve promised yourself you’ll become a new, healthier you in the New Year, good for you! You’ll probably work to improve your eating habits, exercise more and reduce stress. You might also consider a time-honored, effective tactic that’s resurfaced among health-minded Americans — hydrotherapy.

Ancient people in the Middle East, Asia and North America all practiced hydrotherapy in the form of warm baths, steam rooms and sweat lodges. Many modern hydrotherapy techniques are rooted in the work of a 19th century Bavarian monk, who believed swimming in cold rivers a few times a week helped cure his patients from a variety of ills. Modern hydrotherapy can be much more luxurious and still prove effective.

Hydrotherapy is used to address a variety of health concerns, from simple stress relief and easing sore or strained muscles, to slowing inflammation, boosting hormonal function and improving circulation to internal organs. It can also be combined with massage to deliver even more health benefits.

Hydrotherapy employs both hot and cold water, and sometimes both in sequence. Typical experiences include saunas and steam baths, foot baths, compresses and showers, including Vichy showers. Hydrotherapy pioneers like Kohler Waters Spa – owned by Kohler Co., a company that has been helping people use water to improve their lives for more than 100 years – are continually introducing new, innovative hydrotherapy experiences. These treatments combine the health benefits of traditional hydrotherapy techniques with modern enhancements that enrich the relaxation and wellbeing of the patient.

While you can do basic hydrotherapy elements at home, treatments delivered by a professional can also be a valuable part of your overall wellness plan in the New Year. Here are some to consider:

Vichy shower — The Vichy shower experience allows one to relax while enjoying a cascade of water over the body. At the Kohler Waters Spa, the Lavender Rain service combines a custom Vichy shower with lavender-infused full-body exfoliation, warm cocooning and scalp, facial and foot massages with warm stones. While receiving a Vichy treatment typically involves the therapist adjusting temperature and pressure by hand before directing the shower over your body, Kohler’s Vichy is fully automated. Therapists are able to set temperature and pressure through a control panel. This means the therapist never has to take his or her hands off the guest in order to adjust water pressure or temperature while the treatment is underway.

Warm and cool temperatures — Some hydrotherapy experiences leverage the power of warm and cool temperatures to enhance muscle relaxation and detoxification, reduce inflammation and boost metabolism. Kohler’s Citrus Reviver achieves this combination of effects with a grapefruit-scented scalp massage, detoxifying foot treatment and full-body exfoliation (using cool elements) while the guest lays under a warm Vichy shower. An anti-stress pressure point facial massage and cool stone eye treatment enhance the relaxation, and a refreshing citrus moisturizer concludes the experience.

Steam — Saunas and steam baths are among the oldest forms of hydrotherapy. The heat from a sauna dialates blood vessels and can improve circulation. Steam can also help open airways and improve respiration, increasing blood oxygen levels. Because a steam bath or sauna also induces you to sweat, they’re thought to help release toxins from the body.

Blended treatments — Many modern hydrotherapy experiences also incorporate other wellness techniques such as massage and exfoliation. Kohler’s Bamboo Contour Drizzle incorporates a custom Vichy shower with exfoliating bamboo and massage performed with bamboo cylinders, warm ginger oil and a slimming serum to stimulate circulation.

As you’re making plans to incorporate hydrotherapy into your New Year’s wellness routines, keep in mind resorts like Destination Kohler, which offer a truly immersive relaxation experience. In addition to leading edge hydrotherapy experiences at Kohler Waters Spa, the resort offers world-renowned golf, yoga, nature trails and a variety of relaxing activities in five-star, five-diamond accommodations. Visit www.DestinationKohler.com to learn more.





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