Hydrotherapy is the application of water in any form, either externally or internally, in the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health. Hydrotherapy utilizes the manipulation of blood circulation throughout the body to maximize the life-giving properties of blood.

Indications for Hydrotherapy

  • Digestive tract problems
  • Dyspepsia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pleurisy
  • Infectious diseases such as colds and flues
  • Pneumonia
  • PMS
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
  • Environmental hypersensitivities
  • Varicose veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Poor circulation
  • Raynaud’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Psoriasis

Whether preformed by a naturopathic physician or physical therapist, hydrotherapy is a valuable enhancement to health and well-being.

Benefits of Hydrotherapy

  • Gives a sense of well-being
  • Decreases stress
  • Decreases swelling and edema
  • Decreases aches and pains
  • Speeds up healing time after injury or surgery
  • Increases relaxation
  • Increases circulation
  • Increases cellular detoxification

Brief History of Hydrotherapy

Modern hydrotherapy starts with an Englishman, John Floyer, who wrote; The History of Hot and Cold Bathing in 1697.  This book was later translated into German in 1749 and used by Johann S. Hahn.

Hydrotherapy was further popularized by Vincent Priessnitz who achieved spectacular success with water treatments starting in 1816.  People came from around the world to experience and learn water cures from Priessnitz.

One of Priessnitz’s students, J. H. Rausse (1805-1848) wroteThe Water Cure Applied to Every Known Disease.  Seven decades later, Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897), like Priessnitz,  also rose to international prominence with his water cures.

John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) brought water cures to the United States.  He ran a famous sanatorium in Michigan where he used a wide variety of water treatments.  His monumental work, Rational Hydrotherapy, first published in 1901 remains the definitive textbook on hydrotherapy even today.

Two students of Kneipp, Benedict Lust (1872-1943)  and Henry Lindlahr (1852-1925), also brought hydrotherapy to the United States.  Lust founded the American Naturopathic Association in 1896 and published many natural health journals.  Lindlahr wrote Nature Cure in 1913.   Both these men are considered fathers of naturopathic medicine and promoters of naturopathic hydrotherapy.

Dr. O. G. Carroll (1879-1962) learned about hydrotherapy from Kellogg, Lust, and Lindlahar.  He established his sanitarium in Spokane, Washington in 1917.  He was the busiest health practitioner of any persuasion in the U.S. in the 30’s and 40’s.  His practice centered around constitutional hydrotherapy treatments, which he perfected in 1923.

Dr. Carroll’s work is now being taught in several naturopathic schools, which is where I learned about this wonderful treatment.


Contact Rosetta Koach, LMT, ND at 503-628-6357
for constitutional or other hydrotherapy treatment