Having an ancient origin, this treatment was further developed and perfected by the Naturopathic doctor Dr. O.G. Carroll (1879-1962). Known as the “busiest health practitioner of any persuasion” during the 1930-1940’s, Dr. Carroll’s practice centered around this treatment. The practice and principles have been carried on through the succeeding works of Drs. John Bastyr, Harold Dick, Leo Scott and Bill Carroll. This treatment has since been used by thousands of practitioners for almost a century. It was at one time a standard treatment in hospitals and clinics.
Goals and Principles
One principle of Naturopathic Hydrotherapy is that health and healing is proportional to the normal flow of healthy blood. This relates specifically to quality as well as quantity of flow through out the body. The goal is to increase flow through the organs of elimination (skin,liver,lungs,kidneys,colon) to increase the quality of blood by eliminating metabolic waste. The effects of this simple therapy of alternating hot and cold towels maximizes the distribution of oxygen and nutrients, enhance immune response, improve digestion, and restores nervous equilibrium.
This technique greatly improves recovery from many acute and chronic illnesses by stimulating the bodies own healing forces. Examples of acute conditions benefitted by NCH include bronchitis, asthma, colds,flus, cough,headaches, sinus infections and digestive complaints. Chronic conditions that benefit from repeated treatment include asthma/bronchitis, heart disease, digestion issues ie: IBS and Crohnes disease, effects of cancer treatment, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, stress/anxiety,fatigue, circulation/metabolic issues, and environmental toxicity. Studies recently done at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine determined that constitutional hydrotherapy will raise a low basal body temperature, moderate low or high blood sugar, and moderate high or low blood pressure. Remarkably, an increase in white blood cell count by 10,000 more cells on average in circulation is seen within 2 to 8 hours after only 1 treatment. This is a rapid way to boost your immune function and fight any infection.
What to Expect
Hot towels are applied to the chest and abdomen in several layers. When the body and skin are sufficiently warm, the hot towels are replaced with a thin cool towel that is covered with layers of wool blankets. The body quickly warms the towel, and during this phase, low-volt massage currents may be used. A dry phase with electrical stimulation to the abdomen and back area follow. The hot, cold and warming towel phases will be repeated on the back. The treatment last approximately 45-60 minutes. Treatments are adjusted to the individuals needs and comforts.