Constitutional Hydrotherapy

Constitutional hydrotherapy is a special and specific technique that utilizes the healing power of water to greatly improve recovery from countless illnesses, acute and chronic. It serves to improve and normalize circulation, soothe and regulate the nervous system, support detoxifying and elimination processes, strengthen and heal the digestive system, and stimulate the immune system, all while optimizing the body’s natural ability to heal.

Stemming from modern hydrotherapy treatments that originated in Europe, the constitutional hydrotherapy treatment was developed and perfected by a naturopathic physician, Dr. O.G. Carroll (1879-1962). Dr. Otis G. Carrol, who was also an electrician, originated the practice of constitutional hydrotherapy, by combining the traditional applications of hot and cold packs with sine wave stimulation. It was this addition of sine wave stimulation that made each treatment twice as effective while shortening the treatment time from 4 hours to 45–60 minutes, requiring fewer sessions to achieve the same results.

Constitutional hydrotherapy is a special type of hydrotherapy that uses alternating applications of hot and cold in conjunction with electrical stimulation. During the treatment, the patient will lie comfortably on a soft table while hot towels are applied to the upper torso. The individual is then covered with a sheet and several layers of blankets. Once the skin is warmed, a single cold towel is exchanged for the heated one, and electrical stimulation is applied to the back.

The use of electrical stimulation is assumed to cause smooth muscle contraction of the ducts of the pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, and liver, therefore, supporting digestive enzyme production and improving circulation. In addition, the stimulation is believed to cause an influx of white blood cells to the lymphatic tissue surrounding the intestinal region. As the cold towel warms up, blood and lymphatic fluid are returned to the skin.

Once warm, the single towel is removed, and a dry towel is placed on the torso with electrical stimulation to the digestive region of the body. The process is then repeated on the back, however, this time without electrical stimulation.

The benefits of constitutional hydrotherapy include an improvement in sleep, digestion, and bowel function; an increase in energy level; a reduction in chronic pain; and promotion of relaxation. Hydrotherapy also enhances the immune response, improves overall nutrition, promotes detoxification, and helps restore nervous equilibrium. Naturopathic constitutional hydrotherapy works because it helps to optimize the quality of blood while improving the efficiency of its circulation.

Other benefits include:

  • Reduced inflammation and chronic pain in the local area
  • Increase in energy level
  • The strengthened immune system, specifically an increase in white blood cell count
  • Improvements in digestion and bowel function
  • Regulation of blood sugar levels
  • Improvements in sleep
  • Decrease in stress response

Other naturopathic therapies such as herbal medicines, special diets or homeopathy often work better due to concurrent constitutional hydrotherapy treatments. For the best results, constitutional hydrotherapy should be repeated 3 or 4 times per week for several weeks. At Eden for health, we will customize a treatment plan to your individual needs.


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