From ancient times, spas and hydrotherapy centers have offered hot and cold immersion baths and treatments, sitz baths, foot baths, steam baths, wet sheet treatments and other wraps, colonics, water fasting, and much more.
Water has always had a prominent place in healing. The treatments listed above enhance physical health and soothe the emotions.
Water cure facilities have long offered residential social and cultural experiences as well as physical treatments.
Water is an integral part of the ritualistic purification practices of many traditions.
- Japanese Shinto monks bathe under waterfalls.
- Christians are baptized in water.
- Tahur, the water used in Islam for daily ablutions, can be drawn from rain, snow, or hail, rivers, springs, lakes, or oceans. Per Allah: “We sent down water from the sky to purify you.”
- Hindus bathe in the Ganges and use water to purify ritual objects, and themselves.
Purity, calmness, and clarity are among the spiritual qualities attributed to water.
As the symbolic element of the second (sacral) water chakra in the subtle spine (Svadhishthana, literally “the dwelling place of the self”), its flowing, water-like subtle energies are described in ancient scriptures.
In Eastern medicine, it is believed that water must be balanced with earth, air, fire, and ether. When the water element is unbalanced, we may experience lower back pain, weak knees, emotional detachment, and feelings of isolation.
Acupuncture, acupressure, and specific hand gestures (mudras) are believed to be beneficial in dehydration or water retention.
(Diets that include pure water, dark berries, and root vegetables, saltwater fish, nuts, and seeds are also helpful in these conditions.)
The water chakra is associated with the bladder, kidneys, and reproductive organs. Water represents flow, fluidity, and flexibility. Practices of meditation, yoga and other breathing and movement exercises can help us become more sensitively aware of subtle movements of energy in the spine; these practices can help us learn to regulate the movements of energy in the chakras and release blockages that may be preventing the energy from flowing freely, with physical health consequences.
Drinking pure water is an obvious first step toward keeping the body working well, and efficiently removing metabolic byproducts and toxic substances.
- Nowadays, there’s lots of conversation about the comparable value of oxygenated water, hydrogen water, alkaline water, blessed water, water purified with ultraviolet or solid carbon filters, water from natural sources versus city water, water stored in glass versus plastic, and in containers of various colors. But the need for hydration is undisputed.
Bathing in the ocean or in lakes or rivers is invigorating.
- I’ve found it an otherworldly experience to receive water massage (watsu) while floating in water and cradled by a skilled therapist. Floating in a flotation tank has similar effect.
- Bathing in baking soda and magnesium flakes in your own bathtub is calming.
- Steam and infrared saunas release toxins. Healers of the East tell us that we should find a way to sweat twice daily.
- Feng shui advises placing water fountains in the home to keep good energy flowing.
If you’re drawn to water cures, you can find many resources online in Eastern and Ayurvedic literature, as well as in discussions of naturopathic nature cures.
For information about the services we offer at Pacific Naturopathic, please give us a call at 650-961-1660, use the convenient Contact Form to get in touch, or follow the link to: Consultations – Pacific Naturopathic. Thank you!