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Health Blog: Water and Its Healing Properties - How Water Promotes and Restores Health

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Ancient spas traditionally evolved around natural springs or beside the sea, with most spa therapies having a basis in the "water cure," which is now called hydrotherapy.

Water as a natural medicine was used in many ancient cultures, including those of ancient Rome, China, Greece and Japan. Natural minerals in these healing waters have long been known to promote health due to their restorative and detoxifying properties. In addition, healing baths and related spa therapies offer cosmetic benefits because of their ability to hydrate, oxygenate, and revitalize the skin. In general, warm water was used to slow down the body and rest the internal organs while cold water was used to invigorate and stimulate the organs and improve circulation.

Aided by modern technology and medical wisdom passed down through the ages, today’s modern spas have learned to combine ingredients and hydrotherapy methods that intensify the healing benefits found in these healing waters. For instance, today’s spas often add aromatic oils, dead sea salts, herbs and other ingredients to their specialized spa treatments.

Starting with Water

Water is liberally offered to spa patrons to keep them hydrated during their spa services. After massages, body wraps, and facials, it is particularly important to drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration and to enhance detoxification. Water is also the primary ingredient in many spa therapies, including body wraps, facial masks, mud baths and body scrubs.

Water is also used as a moist form of treatment in steam rooms, hot tubs, saunas, aromatic diffusers and whirlpools. Besides traditional hot tubs and showers, spas may offer Swiss showers, Scotch hose treatments or Vichy showers.
Water Therapies

The Swiss shower consists of a walk-in shower containing multiple jets located on the shower walls. The jets alternate spraying invigorating bursts of hot and cold water. In addition, the shower may contain a hand held jet spray so that clients can aim the spray individually.

The Scotch hose uses a pressurized hot/cold spray of water directed at specific pressure points. Either regular water, mineral water, or seawater may be used.

The Vichy shower utilizes a soft overhead mist of water similar to that of a summer rain, which is sprayed gently over the client as he she reclines on a massage table. A Vichy shower may be used as a follow-up treatment to rinse body scrubs, mud and other products used during spa treatments

Enhancements to Water

The healing properties of fragrant oils are well known and frequently incorporated into spa treatments. Lavender in particular is used for its antiseptic and relaxing properties.

Dead sea salts, mud, herbal infusions and mineral salts are used to soften skin and assist in detoxification. Other products such as fruit acids are also sometimes used for their astringent and purifying properties.
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