I'm eternally grateful for water - more specifically, for water therapy. Water is not only a vital ingredient for life itself, it also aids in healing. The most basic healing benefit comes from the habit of drinking plenty of water every day. It keeps you hydrated and contributes oxygen molecules to your blood. Sometimes simply drinking a nice glass of water can cure a tension headache. Some believe that dehydration is actually at the root of many illnesses, that people are creating disease in their bodies by simply not drinking enough water.
Aside from the basic physical need our bodies have for water, there are also many ways that water therapy can help reduce stress. The ideas listed here for relaxing water therapy are ones I use and highly recommend.
The Sound of Water
The gentle sound of a babbling brook can be a very calming form of water therapy. The sound of a waterfall or the ocean is more overwhelming and powerful, but it has the effect of white noise which can help to soothe your brainwaves into a more tranquil state. A small indoor fountain can be very effective for stress reduction and it’s a nice accompaniment to meditation too.
Warm Water Soak
A hot bath is the classic relaxer. If you add bubbles, they can add to the feeling of pampering yourself. Aromatic bath oil is great too, especially a lavender scented one which helps aid in relaxation. If you are luck,y enough to have access to a jacuzzi or hot tub, you know what a powerful stress reducer a soak in one of those can be.
It’s common knowledge that exercise is a great stress reducer. When you add water therapy to an exercise routine, it adds the benefit of weightlessness and is even more relaxing and healthful. Some community pools offer Deep Water Aerobics classes in which you wear a special belt (like an “aqua-jogger”) that helps keep you afloat while you do various exercises around the pool. It is an amazing workout with no impact on your skeletal structure.
I have to mention one other great water workout - aside from just swimming laps in a regular pool, a workout in an Endless Pool is the ultimate! This is a special pool with a motor that creates a powerful current which you swim against. It’s like you’re “swimming in place.” These pools are used by people who have major physical limitations as well as olympic athletes. They don’t take up as much room as a conventional pool - in fact you can put one in a garage if you want to. Endless Pools are a big investment but worth mentioning because they are really an ideal option for a water workout, if you have the resources.
The Magic of Water?
This may be a little bit “out there” but I want to mention it anyway. The movie called “What The Bleep Do We Know?” (which I highly recommend) brought to my attention a fascinating idea about water. A Japanese scientist named Masaru Emoto wondered if water might be sensitive to our thoughts. He studied water crystals that formed when the water was exposed to both negative and then positive thoughts and words. The water exposed to negativity formed misshapen and irregular looking crystals, but the water exposed to positive talk and thoughts formed beautiful, symmetrical crystals. I was especially fascinated by his observation that since our bodies are comprised of mostly water, then imagine the impact of negative vs. positive on ourselves, based on these experiments. I went through a phase of always labeling my bottles of water with words like “love” or “gratitude” or whatever, and it did improve my outlook immensely! Of course it could have been more due to my positive focus rather than the actual water, but who knows?