Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dangers of Yeast

The Role Several Species of Yeast and Fungi Play in Various Diseases
Dr. William Shaw, scientist and founder of The Great Plains Laboratory, has been studying for decades the microbial ecology of the GI tract and the role several species of yeast and fungi play in various diseases, including autism, Attention deficit disorder (ADD), Rett's syndrome, Ulcerative colitis, Seizures, Depression, Child Psychosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder, Colitis, Schizophrenia, Migraine headache, Alzheimer's disease, SLE, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette's syndrome, Inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.
Here are some of his findings.
Microbial Ecology of the GI Tract
"The number of microorganisms in the GI tract approaches the total number of cells in the body. Approximately 500 species of bacteria are present, of which 30-40 species of bacteria predominate, including several species of yeast and fungi.
The greatest number of species are anaerobic or facultative anaerobes. Yeast/fungi and Clostridia species are widely known to accompany the use of broad spectrum antibiotics. Furthermore, recent research indicates that the growth of certain Candida types is markedly stimulated by antibiotic addition to the culture media.
Books like The Yeast Connection and Yeast Syndrome have spread the knowledge about the health effects of Candida to the general public, but are widely ignored by a large segment of the medical community."
His treatment protocol focuses on prolonged doses of the antifungal medications, including Nystatin, Lamasil, Sporanox, Nizoral, Diflucan, Caprylic acid, grapefruit seed extract and garlic extract.
He found that the drugs worked well as long as the patients were taking them. When the drugs were discontinued, the symptoms would reoccur. These are his words:
"I have now detected this same phenomenon in hundreds of other cases. Even after six months of antifungal treatment, there is often a biochemical "rebound" and loss of improvements after discontinuing antifungal therapy. This rebound also occurs after other antifungal drugs as well.
Several explanations are possible for this phenomenon:
Because of one or more defects in the immune system such as IgA deficiency, IgG deficiency, or severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) which are found in most children with autism, the yeast, which are everywhere in our environment including the food we eat, repopulate the intestinal tract very rapidly.
The yeast are very resistant and have not been completely eliminated even after six months of antifungal therapy.
The yeast have genetically transformed some of the human cells that line the intestinal tract so that some of the human cells now contain yeast DNA. These genetically transformed human cells produce both yeast and human products and are somewhat sensitive to antifungal drugs but are not killed by them and produce yeast products whenever antifungal drugs are absent.
Some of the yeast are hidden in recesses of the intestinal tract or in the deeper layers of the mucosa that lines the intestine where they are relatively safe from the drug. Although their numbers are small, they readily repopulate the intestine after antifungals are stopped.
In addition to the immune system taking inventory of its own cells, it seems increasingly likely that the immune system also takes an inventory of bacteria and yeast cells present in the intestinal tract soon after birth. This inventory is performed by a group of cells called the CD5+ B-cells, which are among the very first immunological cells to appear in the developing embryo and appear to play a role in tolerance to intestinal microorganisms in postnatal life. These cells may play a role in regulating the secretion of IgA, the antibody class that is secreted into the intestinal tract and which may select which microorganisms are tolerated in the intestinal tract. Furthermore, the eradication of normal flora especially when antibiotics are administered repetitively during infancy may cause the CD5+ cells to reject these normal organisms at a later age. Any cells that are on this early inventory may be awarded immune tolerance and will not be attacked later on by the immune system. Either antibiotic use in infancy or yeast infection of the mother during pregnancy may result in later immune tolerance to yeast.
Not surprisingly, neurofibrillary tangles similar to those found in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims have also been reported in the brain of an autistic person at autopsy. It has been reported that frequent urinary tract infections and high amounts of circulating immune complexes are associated with more severe Alzheimer disease. The use of antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections would of course lead to yeast overgrowth of the gastrointestinal tract.
Elevation of yeast metabolites are found in many of the same disorders and are even more common in autism, SLE, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, attention deficit hyperactivity, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The finding of pentosidine in the neurofibrillary tangles of Alzheimer’s brains and its absence from normal areas of the brain may indicate a direct role of a yeast byproduct in accelerating the normal aging process. Tartaric acid from yeast overgrowth has a direct toxic effect on muscles and is an inhibitor of a key Krebs cycle enzyme that supplies raw materials for gluconeogenesis and offers an explanation for many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Interestingly, I have found that tartaric acid and/or other yeast byproducts are also elevated in urine samples of adults with the disorder fibromyalgia, a debilitating disease associated with muscle and joint pain, depression, foggy thinking, and chronic fatigue. (Dr. Kevorkian has assisted in the suicide of two people with this disorder, which is tragic since a simple antiyeast treatment may help relieve the symptoms of this disorder.)
Richard Jaeckle, MD, a psychiatrist and allergist in Dallas, Texas has treated a number of psychotic individuals using antifungal therapy and finds that psychotic patients with elevated CPK, uric acid and white cell counts may respond favorably to antifungal treatment. Patients with psychotic behavior may have gastrointestinal overgrowth of both yeast and Clostridia."
"The toxic yeast products were just discovered, but as knowledge of them increases, acceptance of the yeast-related illnesses will increase.
As the philosopher Schopenhauer said, 'All truth goes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Then, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.' Within five years, people who ignore the importance of yeast-related illness will be in the same camp with those in the Flat-Earth Society."
While their work is extremely exciting, they do not warn of the dangers of long term usage of some of these potentially highly toxic drugs, such as liver damage and/or failure. And even Dr. Shaw concedes that the yeast overgrowth reoccurs after treatment is stopped.
Below is a letter we received from Dr. Robert DiOrio, a psychologist in Las Vegas, Nevada regarding ThreeLac:
December 19,2004
Dear Mark,
I wanted to let you know that my personal experience with Three Lac has been excellent. My chronic aches and pains in the joints, early morning congestion, and general sense of well-being have improved dramatically.
I have placed several of my depressed patients on ThreeLac along with a few other vitamin suggestions and the results have been highly satisfactory. Several of my more complex patients who have presented with numerous medical issues seem to bail out too soon believing that the ThreeLac is doing nothing for them. My attempts to convince them that time on the product is essential have been to no avail; we live in the age of highly frustrated people who are desperately seeking the "quick fix". Keep up the good work! Recommending ThreeLac with the personal experience of good health as a direct result of ThreeLac is easy to do. Thanks for all your valuable experience and information.
Sincerely, Robert J. DiOrio, Ph.D. 
The Many Symptoms of Yeast/Fungus Infestation 
“I would like to expand and strengthen understanding of the connection between Y/F (Yeast/Fungus) overgrowth, mycotoxins and so-called diseases. This connection usually involves vicious circles, wherein Y/F will take advantage of an unbalanced terrain, but will also compromise the terrain. As they do so, “host” resistance is decreased, and the poisons result in a host of physical and mental conditions. The following section relates Y/F and digestive imbalance to disease symptoms. These symptoms are often interrelated in a complex way, are usually chronic, and include, but are not limited to:
Allergy – food and environmental. As we’ve seen, the blood can be overwhelmed by fungus and poisons, severely stressing the immune system. In addition, digestive difficulties often prevent the proper breakdown of protein. Partially digested proteins (not usable by the body) can still be absorbed into the blood, especially when a leaky gut exists. In this form they serve no purpose other than feeding bacteria and Y/F feed on (putrefy and ferment) undigested proteins, they produce several toxins, including uric acid. These can be absorbed into the blood, or be produced in the blood by Y/F, which also activates an immune response.
Since this combination of poor protein digestion with Y/F and their mycotoxins is frequent or ongoing, our janitorial service is constantly irritated, overworked and on edge. Imagine yourself trying constantly to clean house as filth is being tossed in through the windows. These irritations may result in chemical or nutritional sensitivities – allergic reactions to other substances, which are called allergens. Allergens may be other foods, airborne matter or chemicals. An immediate or slightly delayed chemical chain reaction creates the various allergic responses we see (but there are some not commonly recognized, such as addictions). The allergy-causing food or airborne allergen does not cause the allergy directly, but only triggers it because immune processes are already compromised. That is, there is a threshold situation: the level of filth, toxicity or acidity has reached a point where the allergen instigates the reaction; but it does not cause the allergic condition.
The irritation/inflammation reaction produced (appearing as allergic symptoms) is a means of dealing with acid toxins. Sometimes the body will use sudden and drastic means in a cleansing reaction that is misinterpreted as an allergy if a beneficial, cleansing substance is taken, such as wheat grass. Soreness, swelling, tearing eyes, runny nose, eczema, etc., are all ways of eliminating acid toxins. Thus, Y/F, whose poisons are acid, may contribute significantly to your hay fever and sneezing. Once the process is under way, the number of offending substances can keep increasing until many individuals become so sensitive to the everyday environment that they must live in isolation or move to another climate. If you had no symptogenic Y/F, it would be impossible for you to have allergies.
Environmental hypersensitivity is another common complaint, closely related to allergy and immune function. Such things as smoke and auto exhaust, fumes in the home from carpet, fabrics, walls and natural gas leaks, can cause extreme adverse reactions. Environmental toxins stress and suppress the immune system, poison the cells, and promote the upward development of Y/F. Encouraged to grow in a terrain compromised by environmental toxins, Y/F weaken the entire body, making it more susceptible to the influence of environmental toxins: vicious circle. Symptoms are most dramatic when fungus, in the form of its tiny filaments (mycelia), infiltrates the heart, lungs, and sinus membranes. Serious tissue congestion and inflammation are the result. An autopsy performed on one woman who died of heart failure showed that her heart was encased in a fungal overgrowth!
Fatigue may have a slight edge on allergy as the most common symptom of bacterial and Y/F infestation. It can be especially pronounced after a night’s rest, after eating, and in the middle of the afternoon. Y/F infestation unbalances the process that controls the water and mineral content (electrolyte balance) of cells. Since this balance is necessary for cell activity, normal flow of energy is impeded.
As with allergy, disrupted digestion plays a major role in fatigue. If you cannot digest and assimilate food, the tissues will eventually starve, making you feel sick and tired. Acetaldehyde and other mycotoxins reduce the absorption of protein and minerals, which decrease the ability to produce enzymes and hormones. To make matters worse, the Y/F overgrowth is swapping its wastes for your hormones, blood sugar and other nutrients. Consequently, you are always hungry and/or have rapid drops in blood sugar (glucose) levels. Such disruption interferes with cell replacement and with substances necessary for energy production. The result is fatigue, poor endurance, and weakness. Thus, Y/F are the major players in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the so-called Epstein-Barr “nonvirus.” This syndrome may also involve damage to nerve transmission by toxic breakdown of neurotransmitters by acetaldehyde.
The vicious circle is that low energy levels will encourage yet a further overgrowth of Y/F. This is why a whole food diet, combined with taking vitamins, minerals, and protein supplements, makes most people feel so much better.
Neurological imbalance is a symptom of Y/F and is occurring in epidemic proportions. Mycotoxins interfere with the production of coenzyme A. Coenzymes combine with other compounds to produce complete enzymes. As noted, enzymes assist almost all body processes, including those of the brain and nervous system. When coenzyme A decreases, conditions like depression, anxiety, and PMS symptoms are often worsened, without apparent cause. The mycotoxin acetaldehyde is continually produced by YF and converted by the liver to alcohol. Some people who appear to have been drinking are actually showing the effects of Y/F and its alcohol by-product.
Common symptoms are in many cases simply the result of being poisoned: paranoia, not being in total control of one’s actions, knowing the right thing to do but being unable to do it, mental incompetence, and a variety of other behavioral disturbances (emotional and psychological). Other possible symptoms are panic attacks, feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, and headaches. Hypochondriac-type reactions causing neurotic behavior and emotional instability are also possible.
How many people have spent fruitless, long periods of time in therapy trying to come to psychological grips with an imbalance in the brain and central nervous system created by toxicity? Given the enormous extent to which Y/F infestation has overtaken our population, it boggles the mind. Of course, the really tough cases get Prozac or something worse, on top of it. I’m not saying psychological problems don’t exist, but wouldn’t it seem wise to put the important Y/F variable into the equation? Or would this threaten the coffers of a most lucrative component of the pharmaceutical/medical complex?
How difficult is it to imagine that a lot of serious crime arises from mycotoxicity? A person may be very aware of their behavior, be miserable for it, yet, still be unable to realize how they lose control. Thus, our sometimes harsh, self-righteous attitude toward violent criminals may not always be appropriate. Think of the benefit to society of generating mental health through the simple process of balancing our inner terrain!
Additional neurological fallout from Y/F includes ailments such as mood swings, headaches, migraines, that fogged-in-feeling, inability to concentrate, poor memory, confusion, dizziness, and even MS-like symptoms such as slurred speech and muscular incoordination.
Hormone Imbalance and Yeast Infections
A woman who had been helped with her hormone imbalance symptoms by using natural progesterone cream told me she seemed to be having a relapse of her acne. I began reading a book by William Crook, M.D., THE YEAST CONNECTION AND THE WOMAN, and was fascinated, by what I read.
I learned first of all that many of the symptoms of hormone imbalance are the very same symptoms that have been identified as caused by yeast organisms -- specifically Candida albicans. There has been research into this ailment in recent years, but as with hormone imbalance, many in the medical profession are uninterested in checking out causes for common illnesses. They choose to treat symptoms, instead.
Yeast infections get a foothold in the body when antibiotics are used which kill not only bad bacteria, but also kill the “friendly” bacteria in our system which keep yeasts at a manageable level for our immune system. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are the biggest culprits. These include tetracycline,ampicillin, amoxicillin, septra, and other medications commonly used for ear infections, sore throats, bladder infections, or acne.
Of particular interest to me was the section that taught that if yeast is the problem, using progesterone, even natural progesterone, can cause hormone imbalance symptoms to become worse! This, I believe, is very important information to add to any study of the use of natural progesterone. The reason for the worsening of symptoms is because progesterone has an influence on yeast growth. All this has something to do with hormone and acidity levels at the time of month when a woman is fertile.
Since yeast overgrowth is a problem in men, children, and babies, as well as in women, --- a closer look at this problem needs to be taken. While the use of broad spectrum antibiotics is definitely a factor in yeast overgrowth, the use of foods containing sugar also play a part in this illness.
There is help for anyone of any age who is suffering from an illness stemming from yeast overgrowth. This help is the use of a diet free from sugar and if one must use antibiotics for a bacterial infection,-- acidophilus, yogurt, or something else must be taken to restore the “friendly” bacteria in the intestinal tract, and stop the overgrowth of yeast in the body.
When this yeast-fungus passes through the wall of the intestine into the bloodstream, and is carried throughout the body, many systems become involved, including the brain. Irritability, anger, forgetfulness, depression, lack of interest in sex, and many other problems controlled by the brain begin to show up. Yeast overgrowth also damages the immune system, paving the way for many illnesses!!
When intercourse is painful, there is an inability to achieve orgasm, or a lack of interest in sex, yeast overgrowth should be suspected. When either a husband or wife is treated for yeast overgrowth, the other mate should be treated also, as yeast infections are passed back and forth between sexual partners. Often the husband has no visible symptoms.
Older women who have not used antibiotics for infections except occasionally, are not bothered with vaginal yeast infections nearly as often as the younger generation who have been given antibiotics for illnesses from babyhood on. When a woman gets a yeast infection, usually only the local area is treated. Many doctors don’t seem to realize that the infection is probably caused by an overgrowth of yeast throughout the system.
When a body’s immune system has been weakened by an overgrowth of yeast-fungus, it cannot adequately cope with either bacterial infections, viral infections, more fungus, or stress of any kind. The brain may be the first thing to react. It may shut down breathing, or cause impaired thinking. Hyperactivity is often the first thing noticed in children who are experiencing allergy problems. A stuffy or runny nose may be the body saying it has an overload of things. It cannot handle any more.
When a baby has recurring diaper rash or ear infections, suspect yeast. A baby can contract a yeast infection as it passes through the birth canal of an infected mother.
When a child is diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, always check the possibility of yeast before using a drug, such as Ritalin, with it’s many side effects.
Considering all the many illnesses, some very serious, caused by yeast and fungus overgrowth in the human body, it seems that this illness should be given more attention by the medical profession. Perhaps I should say that we, the patient, should be more alert, and give more attention to the symptoms of yeast overgrowth.
Illnesses Caused or Made Worse by Yeast Overgrowth
immune system dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, HORMONE IMBALANCE, digestive tract problems, thrush, diarrhea and constipation, colitis, abdominal pain, heartburn, canker sores, bloating, belching, flatulence, bad breath, dry mouth and throat, throat infections, food allergies, sugar cravings, crohn’s disease, psoriasis, rashes, hives, eczema, acne, asthma, allergic to smoke, sensitivity to odors, sensitivity to chemicals, sinus infections, ear infections, itching or pain in ears, headaches, night cough, nasal congestion or itching, muscle pain or weakness, joint pain, insomnia, low body temperature, athletes foot, tightness in chest, shortness of breath, attention deficit disorder, adult attention deficit disorder, hyperactive, persistent drowsiness, eye and visual problems, mood swings, lack of coordination, loss of balance, nymphomania, endometriosis, vaginal yeast infections, vulvodynia (burning vulva), sexual dysfunction, infertility, inability to reach orgasm, painful intercourse, disinterest in sex, vulvovaginitis, menstrual cramps, galactorrhea, impotence, jock itch, balanoprosthitis, prostatitis, urinary frequency, kidney and bladder infections, cystitis, hemorrhoids, depression, poor concentration, forgetfulness, anger, irritability, manic depression, meningitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, autism, multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes, alcoholism, hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin and mineral deficiency, PMS, numbness or tingling in hands or feet, swelling in hands, feet, or face.
Candida – An M.D.’s Perspective
Yeast overgrowth affects 80% of American Women.
Somewhere between putting out the recycling and setting the dinner table, it hits: a feeling of desperate tiredness. But, of course, a nap is the one “to-do” that never finds a spot on your already-long list. So, if you’re like 80 percent of women, you reach for a sugary snack to give you the energy required to power through your day.
Far from being the solution to tiredness, however, those sugar fuel-ups are a top cause of fatigue and cravings, not to mention recurrent vaginal yeast infections, gastrointestinal distress, body-wide aches, blue moods and even severe PMS or menopausal symptoms, cautions Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., medical health advisor to The Yeast Connection (founded by William Crook, M.D. and author of The Yeast Connection). The reason: High-sugar foods – as well as seemingly “healthy” foods like yogurt and high-fiber cereals that contain high-fructose corn syrup – create an acidic internal environment that allows candida yeast to thrive.
How yeast overgrowth sabotages health
“When yeast are growing out of control, they literally poke holes in the gut lining and secrete at least 79 toxic by-products into the bloodstream that can tax the immune system, trigger internal inflammation and cause a host of health concerns,” explains Dr. Dean. And excess yeast drags women into a vicious health-sapping cycle. “Yeast need sugar to create their preferred acidic environment, so they thrive by releasing chemicals that trick the body into thinking blood sugar is low,” says Dr. Dean. “This results in intense cravings for carbohydrates.”
Complicating matters for sufferers: “Mainstream medical schools teach doctors that yeast either manifests as a vaginal infection or a very serious blood infection – the chronic condition of yeast overgrowth that starts in the gut just doesn’t exist to the medical establishment,” maintains Dr. Dean. “As a result, women can endure a lifetime of misdiagnoses like irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. And many women are simply told their symptoms are all in their head.”
Probiotics can be a cure
Eating yogurt can build up internal stores of probiotics, beneficial bacteria that eliminate overgrowth by producing yeast-killing hydrogen peroxide. What’s more, probiotics literally plug the holes that yeast create in the gut lining to prevent symptom-triggering toxins from leaking into the bloodstream. But when it comes to using yogurt as an Rx, caution is in order: Many popular brands contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, both of which serve as food for yeast to thrive on, says Dr. Dean. To truly get the probiotic benefit of yogurt, opt for the plain unsweetened kind (which can be sweetened with fresh fruit). According to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, enjoying at least one cup a day can sometimes restore probiotic levels in two weeks. Or, for even faster relief, consider taking a probiotic supplement, since yogurt generally only provides 2 to 10 million live bacteria and probiotic supplements provide many times more than yogurt.
How To Help Menstrual Cramps With Hydrotherapy           Menstrual cramps are a natural part of every woman’s life. Every month, a few days remain very painful and distressing for women. Menstrual cramps can be treated with many natural methods. Hydrotherapy is one of the many successful methods that can be used for treating menstrual cramps to obtain great relief. Hydrotherapy employs the use of water for treating pain.Water can be used in its various forms like steam, ice, hot or cold water etc. to relieve the symptoms naturally. Hydrotherapy can be done by anyone and in the comfort of your home. All you need is water and hence it is a safe and easy to use as well.                                           How To Help Menstrual Cramps With Hydrotherapy.                Warm Compress
Application of warm compress on the abdominal region helps in alleviating menstrual cramps. For applying warm compress, take a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of essential oils like marjoram oil, ginger extract or lavender oil to the hot water or on the cloth which is used for the hot compress.
Warm Compress
Dip the cloth and wring dry. Apply on the abdominal region. Continue application for 15 -20 minutes until your cramps are greatly relieved. The hot steam that gets absorbed through the skin will relax your muscles and relieve the pain as well. You can also use warm and cold compress alternatively for treating menstrual cramps. 
Hot Shower
 Hot Shower
Menstrual cramps that are located at the back benefit greatly by taking a hot shower, especially before going to sleep. This will improve your sleep and also relieve the menstrual cramps as a result of hot water flowing over the sore areas of your body. The pressure of the water falling on the back and the heat combined together will help in relieving cramps effectively. 
Warm Bath 
 Warm Bath
Warm bath too helps in easing menstrual cramps. Adding a few drops of essential oil of your choice helps in increasing the overall effect of your healing.
It is important to avoid tub baths and bubble baths in hot water during menstruation as it can lead to an imbalance in the natural good bacteria in the vagina, leading to other problems like yeast infections. 
Hot Water Bags
A simple remedy that can keep your cramps under control all throughout the day and night is to use hot water bags or bottles to apply heat on the abdominal area and lower back where it hurts most. This will reduce the intensity of the cramps greatly by relieving muscle tension.
Hydrotherapy is in any way better than the use of electric heat pads which are used for application of heat on the abdominal area. Electromagnetic heating pads release electromagnetic radiation with every use which is not good for health in the long run.
Hot Water Bags
Hydrotherapy is very safe and easy to be administered in any of the above mentioned forms. It also prevents side effects like the ones caused with the prolonged use of pain medications.
Hydrotherapy can be used for as many times as you want and for prolonged periods without any fear of complications in health
Hydrotherapy is the use of water in the treatment of disease. Hydrothermal therapy additionally uses its temperature effects, as in hot baths, saunas, wraps, etc.
Historical Perspective
Hydro- and hydrothermal therapy are traditional methods of treatment that have been used for the treatment of disease and injury by many cultures, including those of ancient Rome, China, and Japan. Water therapy has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks took therapeutic baths. Water is an important ingredient in the traditional Chinese and Native American healing systems.
A Bavarian monk, Father Sebastian Kneipp helped re-popularize the therapeutic use of water in the 19th century. There are now many dozens of methods of applying hydrotherapy, including baths, saunas, douches, wraps, and packs.
How it works
The recuperative and healing properties of hydrotherapy are based on its mechanical and/or thermal effects. It exploits the body's reaction to hot and cold stimuli, to the protracted application of heat, to pressure exerted by the water and to the sensation it gives. The nerves carry impulses felt at the skin deeper into the body, where they are instrumental in stimulating the immune system, influencing the production of stress hormones, invigorating the circulation and digestion, encouraging blood flow, and lessening pain sensitivity.
Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. If you are experiencing tense muscles and anxiety from your stress, a hot shower or bath is in order. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, you might want to try taking a warm shower or bath followed by a short, invigorating cold shower to help stimulate your body and mind.
When you submerge yourself in a bath, a pool, or a whirlpool, you experience a kind of weightlessness. Your body is relieved from the constant pull of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect. It has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, in motion, stimulates touch receptors on the skin, boosting blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.
Hydrotherapy and hydrothermal therapy are chiefly used to tone up the body, to stimulate digestion, the circulation, and the immune system, and to bring relief from pain. Description of indications are given under individual method used.
Water seems to have special powers in getting rid of stress and rejuvenating our body. It affects the skin and muscles. It calms the lungs, heart, stomach, and endocrine system by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal cord.
Proof it works
Various case reports, observational studies, and a number of controlled studies provide some evidence of success in the use of hydrotherapy.
In a study of 40 persons at University of Minnesota, 85% of the participants preferred a whirlpool bath to a still bath. Only whirlpool was effective in reducing the participants' reactivity to stress although both still and whirlpool baths were effective in reducing anxiety.
Risks, Cautions, and Contraindications
Please see under individual techniques for warnings and caution for the use and follow them.
Persons with impaired temperature sensation run the risk of scalding or frostbite at temperature extremes.
When a condition is recurrent or persistent, please consult your physician to determine whether a physical therapy of this type is suitable in your case.
  • If you have diabetes, avoid hot application to the feet or legs. Also avoid full body heating treatments, such as body wraps.
  • Avoid cold application if you are diagnosed with Raynaud's disease.
  • Hot immersion baths and long, hot saunas are not recommended for those with diabetes or multiple sclerosis, women who are pregnant or anyone with abnormally high or low blood pressure.
  • Don't take cold foot baths if you are prone to  bladder or rectal irritation. People suffering from sciatica, pelvic inflammation or rheumatism in the toes or ankles should avoid cold foot baths.
  • Elderly people and young children may be exhausted by too much heat and should avoid long full-body hot treatments such as immersion baths and saunas.
  • If you are pregnant or have heart disease, consult a doctor before taking a sauna.

Common techniques
A number of techniques are available under the general heading of hydrotherapy. These include: baths and showers, neutral baths, sitz baths, contrast sitz baths, foot baths, cold mitten friction rub, steam inhalation, hot compresses, cold compresses, alternating hot and cold compresses, heating compresses, body wrap, wet sheet pack, and salt glow.

Cold rubbings
Soak a linen cloth in cold water, wring out and briskly rub the upper and lower trunk, or the entire body. Go to bed until warm and dry. Indications: For invigoration, to tone up the body, to promote blood flow, for use in problems of circulation, or infections of the respiratory system.

Gentle douches can be carried out with a watering can or hose. The water should not splash, but gently envelop the skin. The water stream should always be directed from the periphery toward the heart. After douching, stroke off excess water, dress, and exercise. There are various types of douche:

  • Knee douche. The water stream is directed from the right small toe, along the outside of the lower leg to the hollow of the knee, then back along the inside and over the sole of the foot. The process is then repeated for the left leg. Useful for headaches and migraines, low blood pressure, sleeplessness, contusions, and varicose veins. This treatment influences the digestive and reproductive organs and can help ward off vascular damage. Do not use for urinary tract infections,   irritable bladder, sciatica, or during menstruation.
  • Thigh douche. The procedure is as for a knee douche, but includes the upper thigh. It can stimulate blood flow and help improve poor circulation. Useful for the treatment of varicose veins, muscular rheumatism, crural paralysis, coxarthritis. Do not use for urinary tract infection, irritable bladder, sciatica, or during menstruation.
  • Lower trunk douche. The procedure is as for the thigh douche, but including the lower trunk. Useful for diabetes mellitus, meteorism, enlargement of the liver, enlargement of the gallbladder, stone formation. Do not use for urinary tract infections,  irritable bladder, sciatica, or during menstruation.
  • Arm douche. Direct the water stream from the outside of the right hand to the shoulder, then back on the inside of the arm. Repeat the process for the left arm. Useful for cold hands, nervous disorders, neuralgia and paralysis, rheumatism of the arms, heart problems, vertigo, headaches, catarrh in the nose and throat.
  • Chest douche. Douche the arms first. Useful for chronic bronchitis and bronchial asthma, angina pectoris. Caution: Moderate the temperature if there is risk of angiospasm.
  • Upper trunk douche. This involves the upper torso and arms. It can be used to improve blood flow to the lungs, heart, and pleura. Useful for the treatment of bronchitis, bronchial asthma, disease of the larynx and vocal cords, headaches, nervous excitability, varicose veins of the legs, for toning-up, and for stimulating cardiac and respiratory activity. Caution: Do not use if there is blood stasis in the pulmonary circulation.
  • Back douche. Useful for the treatment of weakened back muscles, back pain, spinal disease, multiple sclerosis, bronchial asthma, nearly all diseases of the lung. Warning: Do not use in debilitated patients or those with neurasthenia.
  • Neck douche. Useful for headaches, migraines, tenseness in the shoulder and neck, hypersensitivity to changes in the weather, mild depression, tinnitus, vertigo, arthrosis of the hand and finger joints. Warning: Not to be used in persons with high blood pressure, enlargement of the thyroid, or raised intraocular pressure.
  • Face douche. Proceed from the right temple downward to the chin, upward to the left temple, from right to left over the forehead, and repeatedly from the forehead to the chin, then in circles over the face. This is useful for relieving headaches and migraines, trigeminal neuralgia, toothaches, for relaxing tired eyes. Caution: Keep the eyes closed.

Sauna and Steam Baths
Saunas and steam baths are similar in effect; the decision to take one rather than the other will be guided by personal preference. In a sauna the heat acts more quickly to eliminate toxins through the skin, though some consider the moist air of a steam bath to have a more satisfying effect on the respiratory system. Saunas are deeply relaxing and are a great way to melt away stress.
A sauna is an eliminative procedure; it stimulates blood flow, increases the heart rate, has an immune-modulating effect, promotes hormone production, encourages mucosal secretions in the respiratory system, opens the airways, reduces resistance to respiration, regulates the vegetative system, relaxes, and can improve mental outlook. Children can start to take saunas at two or three years of age.
Indications: For "toning-up," for health promotion, as a way of treating pain caused by pulled back muscles, chronic rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, unstable hypertension (stages I and 11), severely disturbed peripheral blood circulation.
Warnings: Saunas should not be taken by persons with acute rheumatoid arthritis, acute infection, active tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, acute mental disorder, inflammation of an inner organ or blood vessels, significant vascular changes in the brain or heart, circulatory problems or acute cancer.
Do not spend more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time in a sauna. Wipe your face frequently with a cold cloth to avoid overheating.

Full and partial immersion baths
Various substances can be added to warm and rising temperature baths. See herbal baths below. The following are the different kinds of bath used:
Rising temperature hip bath. This is taken in a tub filled with a hand's breadth of tepid water. Hot water is then gradually added until the level reaches the navel. The final temperature should be 103-104'F. Following this procedure, the patient is wrapped warm and proceeds to bed. It should last 15-30 minutes, not more than three times per week.
Indications: incipient and abating common colds, back pain (sciatica).
Warning: to be used with caution by persons with heart or circulation problems, hemorrhoids, or varicose veins.
Cold foot bath. The feet are placed into a foot bath filled to calf depth with cold water. Stop when a cold stimulus is felt or when the water is no longer perceived as being particularly cold. Stroke off excess water, dress, and walk or run until dry. A special form of this treatment is "walking in water," which involves walking stork-like on a non-slip mat placed under the water.
Indications: Varicose veins, susceptibility to edemas, headaches, low blood pressure, circulatory problems, sleeplessness, proneness to the common cold, sweaty feet, or a contused ankle.
Warning: This type of treatment is best avoided by people who suffer from cold feet, very high blood pressure, an irritable bladder, urinary tract infection, diabetes, or vascular occlusion.
Rising temperature foot bath, warm foot bath. The feet are immersed in a foot bath filled with water at body temperature. Hot water is gradually added to give a final temperature of 103-104'F. In warm foot baths water of this temperature is added straight away. Keep warm afterwards. The procedure should last 10-15 minutes and can be done daily.
Indications: Cold feet, start of a common cold, for relaxation.
Warning: Best avoided by people with varicose veins, lymphostasis, or edema.
Cold arm bath. A basin is filled with cold water until it reaches a depth several inches above the immersed elbow. If the treatment becomes intolerable, stop and repeat as desired.
Indications: Headaches, sleeplessness.
Warning: Best avoided by people with heart or circulatory problems.
Rising temperature arm bath. In principle, this is the same as the rising temperature foot bath. It should be followed by a cold arm douche, then by half an hour's rest.
Indications: Bronchitis, asthma, incipient respiratory infection, circulatory problems, angina pectoris.

Sitz bath. This is generally taken in a hip bath as a cold, rising temperature, or warm sitz bath. Prior to a sitz bath, warm the feet, e.g. through a warm foot bath. Parts of the body not immersed in water should be covered. Cold sitz baths may help men increase their sperm counts. Alternating hot and cold sitz baths can improve pelvic circulation in both sexes.

Indications: Cold sitz bath for hemorrhoids or inflammation of the anus; warm or rising temperature sitz bath for difficulty in voiding the bladder, an irritable bladder, inflammation or infection of the prostate, preparation for pregnancy.
Warning: Do not use warm or rising temperature sitz baths for hemorrhoids.

A wrap is primarily used as a supportive measure for treating fever and local inflammation. The person receiving treatment should first adopt a relaxed position. Then a linen cloth is moistened with cold water (warm water for respiratory diseases), well wrung out, and then wrapped tightly around the appropriate part of the body, but not so tightly as to cause constriction. The moist linen cloth is in turn wrapped with a dry cotton or linen cloth. The patient is then usually wrapped in a blanket or another cloth, and should rest for 45-60 minutes or, if the intention is to induce sweating, for up to three hours.
If the wrap is not felt to be warm after a quarter of an hour, heat should be applied in the form of a hot water bottle or by giving warm tea. The wrap should be removed immediately if the person complains of feeling unwell.

  • Neck wrap: sore throat
  • Chest wrap: bronchitis, lung disease, neuralgia
  • Body wrap (between costal arch and pubic bone): inflammatory disease of the upper abdomen, gastric and duodenal ulcers, cramps, sleeplessness, fever
  • Trunk wrap (between pubic bone and armpits): high fever
  • Hip wrap (with gap between the legs): prostatitis, vaginitis, hemorrhoids, anal eczema, inflammation in the pelvic cavity
  • Calf wrap (between foot and knee): lymphostasis, edema, for withdrawing heat in fever and phlebitis; in varicose veins the effect can sometimes be amplified through the use of healing earth or loam poultices Joint wraps: rheumatoid arthritis, arthrosis
Warm packs. A wrapping cloth is soaked in a hot infusion or decoction of herbs, then wrung out and applied to the patient's body. Alternatively, the wrap may receive a coating of hot mud mustard flour, or fango. As a further alternative, hayseed may be placed in a sack and steamed.
Indications: Painful chronic diseases such as arthrosis, renal disease, or cystitis, and for stimulating blood flow.
Warning: Always check that the temperature is tolerable before applying a wrap.
Cold packs. Cooled cataplasm is spread onto the wrapping cloth and placed on the part of the body. Crushed ice in a plastic bag may also be repeatedly applied for one minute, then removed for four.
Indications: Various inflammatory arthropathies, sprains and strains, pleurisy. Ice packs can also be used for headaches.
Warning: When using ice packs, place a thin cloth between the pack and the skin to prevent frostbite.

Herbal baths can be particularly soothing when you are experiencing a period of stress. There are several ways to prepare an herbal bath:
1. Simmer 1/2 cup of herbs in 1 quart of water in a covered pot for fifteen minutes. While the herbs are simmering, take a short shower to cleanse your body, then fill the tub with hot or warm water. Strain the liquid from the decoction into the bath water, and wrap the herbs in a washcloth. Soak in the tub for at least twenty minutes, using the "herbal washcloth" to rub over your body. -
2. Add 1/2 cup of herbs to running bath water, preferably hot. You might want to cover the drain with a thin mesh screen to prevent the herbs from clogging the pipes. Soak in the tub for twenty to thirty minutes.
3. Fill a thin cloth bag with 1/2 cup of herbs, either placing it in the bath water or tying it to the spigot so that the hot water runs through it as it fills the tub. Again, soak for twenty to thirty minutes.
Certain herbs are quite effective for creating soothing baths. Combine a handful each of valerian, lavender, linden, chamomile, hops, and burdock root, and add it to your bath according to one of the preceding methods. Soak for thirty minutes in the tub. Another soothing herbal bath calls for a handful each of hops, linden, valerian, chamomile, yarrow, and passionflower. Prepare this bath according to one of the preceding methods, or simmer the herbs in a quart of water, then drink 1/2cup of the liquid (with lemon and honey added, if you wish) and pour the rest in the tub. While soaking in an herbal bath, you can read, meditate, listen to peaceful music, or just sit quietly, concentrating on relaxing yourself.

Importance of Drinking Sufficient Water
It is very important that we drink sufficient amount of water in a day to make up for the water lost. The benefits of drinking water is widely recognized. Drinking pure, fresh water is essential to our health and well-being.
Our need for water increases as we grow older. As we age, our skin and mucus membranes become thinner and lose more water, and our kidneys function less efficiently. So our need for water increases. You may not feel thirsty. But you should get into the habit of drinking water, nevertheless.

Follow these steps for an Effective Hydrotherapy:

  • For overall tension reduction, use a neutral bath (temperature between 92 to 94 degree F) that is close to the skin temperature.
  • Use water temperature between 102 to 106 degree F for loosening tight, tense muscles and reducing the pain of stress-related conditions such as backache. (Using temperatures higher than 106 degrees is not recommended as it can raise your body temperature very fast, inducing an artificial fever.)
  • Take a cold shower after you step out of the bath. This brings and immediate rush of blood through your system, as well as a rush of energy. (Try alternating cold and hot shower to get a similar effect. 3 minutes of hot water followed by 30 seconds of cold water and the 3 minutes of hot water, etc.)
  • Stay in the bath no more than 15 to 20 minutes. If you have high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems, don't stay long enough to raise your body temperature.
  • Evening is the best time to soak in water. A study conducted in England found that people who took a soaking bath before going to bed slept more readily and deeply.

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