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HYDROTHERAPY LECTURE 1. INTRODUCTION TO HYDROTHERAPY Hydrotherapy as a modality for rehabilitation has a long history and is as important today as it was in the past.

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hydrotherapy lecture 1


Hydrotherapy as a modality for rehabilitation has a long history and is as important today as it was in the past.

Physiotherapists are encouraged to use water, making the most of its unique properties .Hydrotherapeutic techniques must be learnt and new ideas explored and developed.

The word hydrotherapy is derived from the Greek words hydro (water) and therapeia (healing).

Hydrotherapy is as old as history of mankind, and information on activity in water for both therapeutic and recreational purposes has been documented.

New knowledge regarding the physiology of hydrotherapy and new techniques using patterns of movement adapted to water and more specific water-exercises are ensuring that hydrotherapy is becoming increasingly accepted as a medium for rehabilitation.
To go into water- one of only two environments available to the human-is a unique experience. Here the body is simultaneously acted upon by two forces- gravity (or down thrust) and buoyancy (or up thrust) - providing us with the possibility of three-dimensional exercise not available in the medium of the air and allowing movement and non- weight- bearing activities to occur before they are possible on land.

The history of hydrotherapy as a modality used in physical therapy goes back many thousands of years. Hydrotherapy was first used therapeutically is not known, but records dating back to 2400BC in Indian culture. Also the early Egyptians used mineral waters for curative purposes. The Hindus used water to combat fevers. Japanese medical men, the Chinese as well as the Greek and Romans used baths long before the coming of the Christ.

Around AD 339 some of bathes were used for healing purposes and treatment of all symptoms of rheumatic disease, paralysis and after effects of injuries.

Early pioneers of hydrotherapy were Sir John Floyer who wrote a treatise in 1697, An enquiry into the right use of hot, cold and temperature baths.

In America, Dr. Joel Show developed a more systematic water cure in New York. Advanced in the use of water continued in Europe but America lagged behind during the nineteenth century.

The two world wars, especially the second, highlighted the need for the use of water for exercise and the maintenance of fitness and the use of the hydrotherapy pool using total immersion as a means of rehabilitation.

Today, the increasing popularity and value of hydrotherapy appears to become important by applications of researches into many different aspects of water, the physiology of exercise in water and so on.
Recognition of the ways in which the characteristics and properties of water may be used to create techniques that enhance activity in the water as an integral part of the total physical and physiological care of many varied conditions will ensure the place of hydrotherapy in their total rehabilitation.