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Ancient civilizations recognized the healing power of natural hot and cold springs. Back in the 4th century BC., the Greek physician Hippocrates prescribed bathing and drinking spring water for its therapeutic effects. The Romans built outstanding communal baths because they believed in the value of hot springs.

Water healing at home couldn't be simpler. Baths and showers are good for whole body treatments. In the whole body treatment, the water has to come to shoulder level. Then there are sitz baths, which are for treating only the bottom, hips, and lower abdomen. Then there is the foot bath, the vapor bath, and various others concentrating on specific parts of the body. Adding various healing herbs to the water increases the value of the bath.

Alternating hot and cold baths are good for treating hands and feet, with water as hot as you can stand it, in one bowl, ice water in the other. Put hands or feet in the hot water for one minute, then plunge into the cold for 20 seconds. Then back into hot and cold again until a total of 10 minutes have been spent doing this, ending with the plunge into the ice water. Beneficial for arthritic joints and tired, aching feet, and the alternating hot and cold stimulates circulation.

Remember that the application of heat is soothing, easing muscle tension and relieving pain. Heat also improves circulation by causing blood vessels to dilate. Cold can either be stimulating or soothing.

Water healing is helpful in maintaining metabolic function, and in making us feel much better, and is easily accomplished right in our own homes.