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Careers in Hydrotherapy (Water therapy)

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Hydrotherapy also known as water therapy / aquatic therapy is a physiotherapy exercise that use water to treat diseases or maintain health. Hydrotherapy is derived from the Greek word 'Hydro' meaning 'water' and 'Therapeia' meaning 'Healing'. Formerly called Hydropathy, this traditional method of treatment has been used for centuries for the treatment of many diseases and injury. Hydrotherapy is also considered as a part of Naturopathy, Occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

The theory behind water therapy is that water has many properties that gives it the ability to heal. Water is an important part of good health, as it can store and carry heat and energy, dissolve other substances such as minerals and salts and can minimize the effort of gravity on weight bearing joints, spinal column and ligaments. According to Father Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th century Bavarian monk who is said to be the father of Hydrotherapy, use of water eliminates waste from the body, and diseases could be cured.

Hydrotherapy involves the use of water internally and externally in the form of ice, liquid, or steam. Hot water is used for its relaxing properties. It stimulates the immune system and reduces stress. Cold water or ice pack decreases body temperature, reduces inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which thereby reduces blood flow to the treated part. Alternating hot and cold-water decreases inflammation, stimulate circulatory system and thus improve the immune system. Adding herbs and essential oils to water can increase the therapeutic value of the treatment. Steam inhalation with essential oils treats respiratory problems. Massage, yoga and other exercises in water helps to mobilize stiff joints or strengthen weakened muscles. 

Considering the effectiveness of water therapy, nowadays most people use it for relaxation, to reduce or relieve sudden or long-lasting pain and to maintain health. The entire therapy rehabilitates neurological, muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular function of the individual, rejuvenates, maintains, treats burns and restores health, helps blood flow, improves balance and co-ordination.

Besides relaxation and maintaining health, Hydrotherapy is used to treat many illnesses and conditions including acne, arthritis, neck pains, colds, depression, headaches, stomach problems, joint, muscle, and nerve problems,  sleep disorders and stress. Qualified professionals in this field are called Hydrotherapists. Hydrotherapists use numerous therapeutic methods such as water jets, underwater massage, mineral baths, whirlpool and steam baths, hot or cold compresses, ice packs, saunas, wraps, scrubs and aid in drinking mineral water etc. for beneficial results. As Hydrotherapy is used as a technique of physiotherapy, physiotherapists can also offer hydrotherapy treatment. 

Before trying hydrotherapy, it is important that the therapist have a clear idea about the physical condition and medical health of the patient. Generally hydrotherapy treatment is safe if done properly. But different people may respond differently to the length and intensity of the treatment. 

How to become a Hydro Therapist


Candidates having bachelors or postgraduate degree in any field with training in Hydrotherapy can become a Hydro therapist. Obtaining a certificate in hydrotherapy will help one to succeed in their career as a Hydrotherapist. Having a Hyrotherapy certificate is an additional advantage for Physical therapists. Hydrotherapy courses are offered rarely by Indian institutes. 

All India Alternative Medical Council, Nainital offers 3 years diploma course in Hydro Therapy. The minimum eligibility for joining the course is 10+2 or equivalent with science as a compulsory subject.

Some institutes offer Hydrotherapy courses through online and distance learning. Indian Board of Alternative Medicine- Kolkata; All India Para Medical Technology & Alternative Medicine Council- Punjab offers 2 years Bachelor courses and 1 year Diploma course in Hyderotheraphy. All India Para Medical Technology and Alternative Medicine Council also offers 6 months Certificate course and 2 years Post Graduate Diploma course in Hydrotheraphy. Chhattisgarh University offers 1 year Diploma course in Hydrotheraphy. Minimum eligibility for admission to all these courses is a pass in 10+2 or equivalent.

Course covers: Hydrotherapy topics consist of History and basic principles of hydrotherapy, hydrotherapy techniques such as dry brushing and wraps, Equipment used in hydrotherapy, Therapeutic Effects of Hydrotherapy, Promotion and Preservation of Health through Hydrotherapy, Use of water in various forms and temperatures, Physiological effects and medical contraindications

Personal Attributes Needed

Hydrotherapists should possess the following skills 

Job Opportunities

Those with knowledge and practical applications of Hydrotherapy can pursue a career as a hydrotherapist. Graduate with skills and experience can find job in a variety of wellness and relaxation centers such as rehabilitation centers, Fitness and health clinics, health spas, long-term care facilities, community health clinics, physical therapy clinics, burn centers, hospitals etc.

Hydrotherapy treatments are often given at health spas. The recent growth of the spa industry requires highly educated practitioners for spa and hydrotherapy treatments. So the hydrotherapy graduate, diploma holders can also find job as spa therapist, senior spa therapist or Massage therapist in various spa industries. Many naturopathic doctors, massage therapists,  estheticians, physical therapists and alternative practitioners also practice hydrotherapy in spas, clinics and hospitals. 

Remuneration of Hydrotherapist

Salary of hydrotherapists varies with the industry standards. The massage therapists with specialized knowledge such as hydrotherapy training can charge hourly rate for a single therapy session. A hydrotherapy session usually last about half an hour to one hour. Depending on the needs, a patient may require up to six sessions. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

Hydrotherapy Colleges in India

To get the list of institutes click on course name.

   career in alternative medicine , water therapy

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