The use of water, hot and cold, in the form of baths, showers, water bottles and wet packs is an inexpensive, completely safe and wonderfully effective way of relieving pain, recovering from illnesses and remaining healthy.
These simple remedies can be done right in the comfort of your own home, and will afford you surprising relief from a great variety of problems such as arthritis, upset stomach or constipation, or even a sprained ankle or back pain.
1) Kneipp Sitz Bath .You need two large buckets that you can sit in; or one large bucket and the bath tub. Put 20 cm of hot water in the tub and sit with your knees drawn up to your chest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Then sit in the cold bath for 3 to 5 minutes. You can make this alternation between hot and cold twice. Finish with cold water.
This technique is especially beneficial to those who have inflammation of the reproductive organs, sluggish digestion or low vitality. It is excellent for regenerating the body energy.
2) Hot Water Bottles are especially useful for finding relief from back and neck pains or stiffness. Fill the bottle with hot water and be sure to squeeze out the air before twisting in the stopper.
Now rub some olive oil or castor oil on the problem area and place a hot wet (but squeezed dry) towel over the area and the hot water bottle over that to keep in the hot moisture. For back and neck problems you can place the bottle on the floor and lie on top or it so that the heat rises up into the muscles. Remain this way for 10 to 20 minutes.
3) Wet Packs can be used to relieve pain or tension from the arms and legs or head. Dip a towel in hot water and wring it out as much as possible. Then wrap the problem area with the hot towel. If you have a heating pad, you can wrap it around the towel to keep inthe heat. Otherwise, you can keep changing the towel for a new one. At times it may be useful to alternate hot and cold packs.
Apply the packs for 10 to 15 minutes for tight muscles, cramps, or pains in the arms or legs.
For non-inflamed arthritic joints, apply a castor oil pack on the affected area and cover with a plastic sheet larger than the cloth. Then cover this with a thin towel and place an electric heating pad over it. Cover the whole pack with a large towel or blanket and keep on for 1/2 to 1 hour. (Peanut oil may be used as a substitute for castor oil).
c) Other Natural Therapies
By the words «natural therapy» we mean those systems of healing which stimulate the natural healing forces of the body in order to balance again the physical-mental forces, which balance amounts to health.
These methods do not override the functioning of the body in the way that strong drugs and surgery do, but rather they serve to stimulate the natural defenses of the body and thus help to reestablish the proper energy flow in the vital (bioenergy) body.
Whenever there is a an imbalance in the amount or flow of the bioenergy through its various channels in the body, then there will be corresponding symptoms of tiredness, mental agitation, illness, or pain.
It is upon this principle of encouraging the natural pshyco-mental balance that the systems of shiatsu massage, accupunture, osteopathy, foot reflexology, and energy healing are based.
Shiatsu Massage – is based on the principle that the energy flow in the body will become blocked at specific points along the lines of flow. These pressure points can be located and pressure applied to them with the thumbs and fingers, in order to release the tension and reestablish the proper flow of energy.
This is very safe, simple, yet effective form of therapy for most minor illnesses such as headaches, constipation, nervous tension, insomnia, back aches, menstrual problems etc.
Accupuncture – is based on the same principles as Shiatsu Massage. However, in this system needles are applied to the points of energy blockage. This has more dynamic effect and is used to treat more serious problems. Once the energy flow is reestablished, most illnesses will be overcome more quickly.
Osteopathy – is more concerned with the condition of the spine and the various nerves which run along the spine branching out to supply nervous information and energy to the organs of the body. Many illnesses result simply from a nonalignment of the spinal vertebrae thus causing a breakage in the nervous impulses and energy flow to the organs. In this way specific organs become more susceptible to illness or malfunctioning. The osteopath seeks to correct the alignment of the vertebrae in order to reestablish the proper flow of energy.
Energy Healing – is done by some people who are able to control their own bio-energy and pass it on through concentration to others who are lacking in sufficient energy. This extra healing energy helps the body to reestablish health. This can be done by the laying on of the hands, or at a a distance with the power of the mind. The effect will be greater when the patient is open and also concentrating on his or her own recovery.
Foot Reflexology – is similar to shiatsu massage but deals only with the energy points found on the bottom of the feet. It has been found that all of the organs of the body have corresponding points on the bottom of the feet which when stimulated by pressure affect the organs positively. Massaging the feet can affect the whole body.
The following map of the feet will help you to practice this technique on yourself and others. It can be especially useful in working on simple problems like tiredness, lack of energy, constipation, headaches, etc.
Apply strong thumb or finger pressure to these points, occasionally moving your fingers in small circles to stimulate the energy flow all over the body.
Your feet carry you everywhere – take care of them.
It must be remembered that the best therapy is preventative therapy. In other words, it would be preferable to avoid an imbalance condition to begin with, by eating properly, exercising the body and breath, and relaxing the mind regularly.