Hydrotherapy and thermal contrasts, today, are officially recognized as a therapy of high potential

 

Today Hydrotherapy is officially recognized as a therapy with a high potential, both from a therapeutic and economic point of view.

It is well known that the use of contrast applications is particularly suitable for the treatment of the locomotor system, whether with hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments using the thermal contrast method. The treatments with contrasting applications act on muscular tension, nervous tension, circulatory system (with the elimination of toxins, the reinforcement of the immune system and the enhancement of the body's defenses), osteoarthritis, strengthening of the muscles In long convalescences, low back pain, etc. ... and even in "aesthetic" medicine treatments such as treatments that act on the flaccidity, the firming of tissues, rest of legs, etc., also in growing demand.

The first of all, Therapy Cool is a high-tech equipment, developed and designed for the realization of thermal contrasts, (heat / cold applications), and  in any case, for use in physiotherapy, rehabilitation, etc. ... will be the health professional: sports doctor, physiotherapist, etc ... who will monitor and determine each and every one of the operating parameters of the equipment, (temperature, duration of heat and / or cold applications, number of applications, etc ...), for its application in each of the treatments. Having said that, we have to say that with the design of Therapy Cool, we have tried to make available to professionals, health specialists, the power of hydrotherapy treatments performed in spas, along with the flexibility, comfort and versatility of an autonomous and modular system, of small dimensions.

 

Scientific basis:

 

Dr. José Luís Cidón Madrigal, medical surgeon from the University of Salamanca. PhD in Biological Sciences from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Specialized in Homeopathy and Nutrition. Diploma in Homo toxicology and Biological Medicine by the International Gesellschaft Homotoxikologie. Researcher worldwide known in the field of Biomedical Engineering. Presently he presides, among other National and international societies, the Hispanic American Institute of Research and Development in Biological Medicine, the Spanish Society of Bioresonance and the Spanish Institute of Functional Medicine. He has participated as speaker in many national and international Congresses and Seminars. He has been dedicated to the practice of Biological Medicine for more than a quarter of a century and he is the author of more than a hundred scientific studies published in medical journals .... In Chapter 30 of his book “Los Caminos de la Salud” ( "Paths of Health"), he explains that "Hydrotherapy is as old as man and that the therapeutic power of water has been recognized and used in all ages and by most cultures", and he continues to refer to data such as:

 

The Ebers Papyrus shows how Egyptian doctors recommended a series of hygienic steps, such as healthy diet, adequate clothing, regular physical exercise and certain hydrotherapy applications, to maintain good health.

 

In ancient Greece, women of the Macedonians bathed in cold water after the birth of their children. This fact must be considered not only as a cleaning measure, but also as a method to avoid postpartum hemorrhage, since cold water has a vasoconstricting and therefore hemostatic action.

 

Pythagoras, famous for his mathematical theorem, in the year 530 BC., recommended the practice of cold baths to his disciples . (Cold application, when the patient's skin is hot, "thermal contrasts"), and a vegetarian diet to strengthen both body and spirit.

 

The figure of Hippocrates, considered as the father of medicine, deserves special attention. He used hydrotherapy as a first-order therapeutic method, using his various procedures with great profusion. He made specific recommendations for each type of application and emphasized the importance of the skin as a body detoxifying organ.

 

In Roman culture, the baths enjoyed wide acceptance. Asclepiades, Cicero's personal physician, was one of the introducers of hydrotherapy in Rome. In the second century BC, the Romans came to have a large number of public and private bath facilities, which they used for the pleasure of bathing and to promote health and to treat sick people.

Later Galen, one of the parents of Western medicine and personal physician to the emperor Marcus Aurelius, collected information about the therapeutic procedures of showers and baths, and began to put them into practice.

 

After the Fall of the Roman Empire and the later domination of Christian thought (Middle Ages), the culture and practice of medicine fell into the hands of clerics and monks until the eleventh century, relegating hydrotherapy to oblivion, ….

 

Hydrotherapy does not reappear until the seventeenth century, especially with doctors Sigmund Hahn (1664-1742) and his son Johann S. Hahn (1696-1763), popularly known as the "tap doctors" of Schweidnitz (Silesia). They investigated the curative action of water, .... They have the merit of having emphasized the important role of the skin in removing harmful substances from the body, and how this function can be activated with certain applications of cold water. (Cold application, when the patient's skin is hot, "thermal contrasts”).

 

After Hahn doctors contributions, hydrotherapy once again lost ground, at a time when natural procedures receded against treatments considered more modern and scientific. The systematic application of hydrotherapy, its diffusion and progress, did not return to flourish until well into the nineteenth century, thanks to two great empirical therapists (without academic training): Vinzenz Priessnitz and Sebastian Kneipp.

 

Priessnitz (1799-1851) was born into a family of farmers in the village of Grafenberg, now part of the Czech Republic. When he was about to turn 18, Priessnitz had an accident working in the field. He injured several ribs, and for this reason recalled a fact that had caused him great surprise: he had seen in the field, how a deer introduced his injured leg in the fresh water of a spring, repeating the operation for several days to completely heal his wound. (Cold application, when the patient's skin is hot, "thermal contrasts").

Contrary to the opinion of his doctor, he cured such wounds by repeated application of cold water compresses, recovering soon after his full vitality.

 

Priessnitz believed that the origin of the diseases resided in harmful substances in the body, and that expelling them could restore health. If you remember, this vision is identical to that offered by the Homo toxicology of Dr Reckeweg.

In spite of using water as a therapeutic method, he did not conceive it as a remedy in itself, understanding that the agent of healing was the life force of the sick organism itself. It is worth remembering some of his famous phrases about it: "The true doctor resides in the human being himself, I only help nature and it cures the disease" "We must strengthen the body, not weaken it, If we reinforce it properly, it does not go To let any harmful substance reside in it and will eliminate it. " "It is not the coldness of water that heals, but the heat that is produced in reaction to it".

 

(The success of the treatments with contrasting applications lies in the clinical result of applying to the body successive thermal stimuli (cold-heat), these stimuli mainly produce blood vasoconstriction, from the cooling of the hot body, in contact with water, and as an immediate reaction to heat vasodilatation, which causes an increase in blood circulation, helping the cleaning and elimination of pathogenic substances through the increase of white blood cells (arms of defenses of the organism), increased oxygen to because of the greater production of red blood cells that carry it, and therefore of the carbon dioxide in the body. This leads to a deeper breathing to eliminate it, which ventilates the bronchi.

The musculature heats up in contact with the cold and then relaxes. The thermal stimuli also produce a response in the skin and reflexively potentiate the nerves of the sympathetic system, which release cortisone in response to the stress situation and in turn acts the parasympathetic system regulating the physical balance and giving us a feeling of well-being and calm,….

In short, the treatments with contrast applications clean the tissues, eliminating the organic toxic residues and the excess of internal heat, by the Thermo-suction.

The hydrotherapy of Priessnitz, is based on three fundamental pillars:

 

1 - Cold water directs blood, vigor and warmth of the body to those parts of the body that directly come into contact with it. The physiological response of the organism to cold applications, in the form of reactive heating, plays a decisive role in understanding its therapeutic possibilities.

2- Cold water is only beneficial if the skin or part of the body where it is to be applied is hot, or even better, if it sweats. Never apply cold water to a cold body. Priessnitz was also able to make good use of the possibilities of water, as it was interesting to carry blood to one part or another of the body.

 

3 - One of his most amazing discoveries was to see how cold water applications could exacerbate many chronic diseases, sometimes triggering a slight fever reaction or the so-called crisis or healing reactions. Many badly or poorly treated acute illnesses become chronic, making greatly difficult their total healing. The only possibility of definitively ending them is to produce a controlled reactivation, in which the applications of cold water in the form of baths or cold wraps followed by sweating, play a decisive role.

 

In 1880 Professor William Winternitz, considered the founder of scientific natural medicine in general and hydrotherapy in particular, and the first to teach it in a university, specifically in Vienna in 1892, discovered the surprising fact that water acting on the nerve endings of the skin, causes it to transmit messages directly to a nearby organ, or indirectly through "reflex arcs". These arcs connect the skin with muscles, glands and organs. When water is applied to the skin, whether hot or cold, the reflex arcs stimulate the nerve impulses, which in turn are transmitted to other parts of the body. This action is similar to the electricity transmission that occurs when a switch is turned on.

 

Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) came from a humble family of weavers from Stephansried (Germany).

With the help of Vicar Mathias Merckle, he began his priestly studies and was able to enter the seminary. The effort made at that time, coupled with insufficient food due to its precarious economic situation, led Kneipp to a deteriorated state of health, aggravated by the relapse of a poorly cured tuberculosis that had suffered years ago. The doctor who treated him diagnosed that his illness was incurable and that he would not live long. And it is precisely in that time of misfortune and discouragement, when he makes the relevant discovery that would prove so beneficial to his deteriorated health.

In one of his visits to the library of the University of Munich, he found a small book entitled "Teaching about the force and action of cold water on the human body", written by the prestigious doctor and famous hydrotherapist Dr. Johann S Hahn. It explained how, through the proper use of water, even tuberculosis could be combated. It was rigorously subjected to the severe cure that the author proposed consisting of washes, frictions, baths and ingestion of large amounts of water. In the middle of winter Kneipp did not stop to visit the Danube two or three times a week, to take the recommended outdoor baths. In this way he regained his health and, at the same time, his intellectual performance increased, obtaining a scholarship for the seminary in Munich. Kneipp did not fail to read and study ancient books on water treatment, as well as reports on the great successes that Priessnitz had had with the liquid element years earlier. He soon perfected the methods others had developed earlier and improved upon his own. The companions who soon knew their practices, began to call him "Dr. Hydrophylos". The good spirit of Kneipp led him to combine throughout his life the religious duties, which he assumed from his priestly ordination, with the practice of hydrotherapy to relieve the sick. In fact, it was his therapeutic successes, rather than his religious vocation, that would make him famous.

 

In the same way Dr. José Luís Cidon Madrigal, explains in the same chapter "HOW HYDROTHERAPY ACTS IN THE ORGANISM" and he says:

 

The success of hydrotherapy procedures does not lie in the water itself, but in the result of applying thermal stimuli to the body  (cold-heat), mechanical stimuli (greater or lesser pressure on the skin) and chemical (mineralizing content of the water), with the aim of provoking reactions in the body that start the healing process. (Therapy Cool is based on this principle and allows the medical professional to perform the hydrotherapy treatments with applications of heat and cold, from the comfort of a stretcher and without the patient needing to be in direct contact with the water).

 

The effects of hydrotherapy vary from one individual to another. Therefore, treatments should be designed taking into account the particular case of each patient, which will be determined by factors such as their constitution, age, chronicity of disease, etc.

 

In general terms, hydrotherapy exerts a detoxifying and invigorating action on the organism, increasing its resistance to diseases.

It contributes to the mobilization and elimination of toxic substances through the emuntorial organs (intestinal, renal, respiratory and cutaneous). Stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation, defense mechanisms and tones all vital activities.

In addition to its general action, hydrotherapy has specific effects on the different organs and body systems that we are not going to describe, since this chapter does not aim to analyze in detail the different hydrotherapy procedures.”

 

And he concludes the chapter by saying: "Almost all the great civilizations of antiquity knew and used hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is one of the oldest methods of preventive treatment of diseases that mankind has arranged, and it is ironic that such a natural and effective medicine must be rediscovered in every age.”

 

Note: The annotations in red, are clarifications made by us on the original text.

 

On the other hand, we must refer to the Health Technologies Assessment Report, prepared by the Carlos III Health Institute, Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, (Sanitary Technologies Evaluation Agency).

 

According to the document itself, the purpose of the report is to:

To spread among the medical professionals, mainly family physicians, the information that helps to orient them in the matter, to know the therapeutic or rehabilitative applications that the different thermal centers can offer and to explore their interaction with the habitual medical treatments to which the users of these thermal programs are usually submitted.”

 

“As concrete objectives of the publication, it is intended to make health professionals aware of the possibility of applying other complementary and effective therapeutic measures, in line with less aggressive therapies widely used in other European countries, due to their high Rehabilitation capacity, promoting the search and investigation of new socio-sanitary therapeutic strategies that serve to curb the high number of physical incapacities caused by the continuous increase of the population age and the greater life expectancy of our population.”

 

The mentioned document refers to the different pathologies and specific specialties, as well as the specific treatments for each of them, their form of application, their results, etc. Including an extensive bibliography on each of them. On the other hand, in the document, a systematic review is performed on the scientific evidence of the thermal treatments and their study and valuation by other international Agencies of Evaluation in Sanitary Technologies and scientific organisms.

 

Twenty-two collaborators, most of them medical specialists in Medical Hydrology, as well as in another specialty or medical subject, have been involved in the preparation of the document, which has allowed for a dual approach to the different chapters In order to get a better understanding on the part of the different medical specialists.


We also have to mention the document of Dr. Josep Lluis Llor Vila, "Scientific Evidence of Hydrotherapy, Balneotherapy, Thermotherapy, Cryotherapy and Thalassotherapy”.

According to the document itself, the objective is to answer the question: Is there scientific evidence with hydrotherapy techniques?

 

To reach conclusions, the author analyzes numerous treatments whose results are based on evidence from clinical trials published until February 2008.

 

In the results, he concludes that balneotherapy is recommended for the treatment of an important number of ailments.

 

On the other hand, the document refers to the different hydrotherapy techniques, as well as to the treatments for which each one has demonstrated scientific evidence, establishing the different degrees of scientific evidence, depending on the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

In sections "4", Other hydrotherapy techniques; "4.1", Thermotherapy; 4.2, Cryotherapy; and 4.3, Alternative temperature hydrotherapy, refers to many ailments that improve very noticeably with the applications of these treatments based on the applications of heat, cold or contrasts of heat and cold, establishing for each of the treatments the degree of scientific evidence demonstrated.

Finally, mention the report made by Dr. Pablo Sanz Peiro, in which he mentions the definition, classification, etc. Of the mineral-medicinal waters, as well as of the elements that define it: flow, temperature, pH, making mention of the different effects that the applications of heat and cold produce in the organism, and explains that "In the man, being homeothermo and with an internal system of regulation of the temperature, any stimulus that produces a temperature difference, will initiate physiological reactions that can be used in therapeutics ",  basically that is the principle in which the equipment of Therapy Cool is developed.

There are many references, in different forums, to the therapeutic properties that have hot and / or cold applications on the body in general. In this document we have tried to mention some of them, with special emphasis on the scientific bases that have led us to develop the equipment at hand.