A Lifestyle Consultant's Course in Natural Living - Sample Lesson 103

Subject: Hydrotherapy

By John L. Fielder

Introduction to Hydrotherapy


We are, of necessity, vitally involved with water—for drinking, for bathing, for pleasure, for providing the right environment for the function and healing of our body—due to the fact that the body, which consists of approximately 67% water and protoplasm, with its need for the operation of metabolism (the basic function which enables the constant replenishment of the cellular structure of our bodies to continue), functions best in a warm moist atmosphere.

We may go many weeks without food, but after a few days without an adequate water intake, we will dehydrate and die.

It is not only necessary that we have water for the maintenance of life and health, but that we should have pure water. In these lessons not only will we be dealing with the use of water in a therapeutic way, to provide the right external environment to enable the body to carry out its natural healing process, but also with the purity of the water used, both internally and externally.

We shall be looking at and discussing such matters as the methods used for the purification of our water supplies, as well as when our water supplies are used for mass medication, as in fluoridation.

Other vital issues are pollution of our water supplies and methods that can be introduced to minimise and even eliminate this hazard to our health.

As a general rule Natural Hygiene does not advocate the use of hydrotherapy although its roots, through the works of the Hygienists, such as Trall, Shew, Gove, and others, are definitely to be found there. Today's Hygienists are known to use it on a very limited and conservative scale, such as in the case of extreme pain. As already mentioned, though, it is not advocated nor generally used by them today.

In the practice of Nature Cure we find an almost similar situation. I say “almost” in so far as Nature Curists do advocate the use of, and do use, hydrotherapy. In practice though it is used in a very conservative manner when compared to the uses it was put to by their early forbears.

They, along with the Hygienists, appear to have reacted to the “heroic” measures used by many hydrotherapists in that they, the hydrotherapists, had forgotten the dictum of the early pioneers to “suit the treatment to the patient”. In the words of Sebastian Kneipp, “every application is to be accommodated to the patient”. Kneipp also said: “To a sensible man the applications will always be the only means for the purpose, and if he can attain it by the mildest water application he will be happy”.

In many instances we find that what was actually happening was extremes were becoming the norm, where cold applications were indicated then it was considered the colder the better, the same criteria also being applied to heat. And in the case of rubbing or brushing that it be violent, whereas Kneipp stated it quite succinctly when he said: “The violent rubbing or brushing is entirely excluded from my system” and in this he voices the opinion of the present day Nature Curists.

As for the Biogenic Living approach to hydrotherapy, suffice it to say that Professor Szekely has taken a much wider view and applied completely the writings of Kneipp and his teachings as expounded in his book “My Water Cure”. The essence of Kneipp's teachings are to be found in his, Professor Szekely's book,

Healing Waters

In this course I will be presenting to you a much wider application than that which may be used by most under normal conditions as well as being much more than would be advocated by the average Hygienic practitioner. It will not be as wide, though, as would be used and advocated by a diligent hydrotherapist. As mentioned earlier, any advocacy is of a conservative nature. As with all things, too much is harmful, and so is too little, bearing in mind at all times the old adage to “Do no harm”.


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