Water has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments. The technical term “Hydrotherapy” simply means using water in any of its forms (water, ice, steam) for health promotion or treatment of various diseases. 1

One example of a hydrotherapy treatment is the cold shower. You can imagine that this brings a shock to the system. The preferred method is the adapted cold shower (68 ºF for 2-3 minutes). When “shocked” with cool water, the high density of cold receptors in the skin send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain. This may have antipsychotic effects similar to that of electroconvulsive therapy without the negative side effects. In addition cold showers have analgesic effects and are not addictive.2,3

1 Mooventhn and L. Nivethitha. Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body. N Am J Med Sci. 2014 May; 6(5): 199-209

2 Shevchuk NA. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70:995-1001. [PubMed: 17993252]

3 Shevchuk NA. Hydrotherapy as a possible neuroleptic and sedative treatment. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70:230-8. [PubMed: 17640827]