Throughout history, humans have sought physical relief, emotional healing, and even spiritual renewal in water. Here are 11 water therapy practices for healing.
From age-old steam rooms to new-age practices like plunging into freezing water in winter or floatation therapy in sensory deprivation tanks, water has long been revered for its healing benefits and used for all kinds of therapy.
Here are 11 water rituals and practices for health benefits:
- Start your day with chugging warm or hot water. Throw in some ginger, a slice of lemon, a cinnamon stick, but the warmth of the water is the best thing in the morning for your digestion. Opt for warm or hot water as opposed to cold, which, according to ayurveda, depletes the agni (digestive fire).
- Drink from a copper vessel. According to ayurveda, drinking from a copper vessel positively charges the water and has the ability to balance all three doshas. It is also believed to heal wounds, slow aging, fight cancer and combat arthritis, among many other health benefits.
- Get a water fountain. In feng shui, using a water fountain helps to move energies and increase prosperity. Try placing one somewhere by your front door (either indoors or outside) to keep the good qi flowing.
- Try a neti pot. This saltwater nasal rinse doesn’t only prevent sinus infections, it also enhances breathing! Yeah, we blow and scrape at the walls of our noses, but many don’t know how clogged their sinuses truly are until they try a neti rinse. I’ve heard, “I didn’t even know they were connected!” when referring to their nasal cavities. Yes, they connect and saline solution should be able to flow freely between the two.
- Sensory Deprivation Floatation Therapy. Essentially you are in a giant enclosed bathtub filled with salt and water. The abundance of salt makes your body float. There is a continual releasing and unfolding that no other therapy can replicate. When you let go of tension—whether physically, emotionally or mentally—you feel lighter and your vibration goes up, up, UP!
- Take hot/cold plunges. You would think something as simple as alternating hot and cold baths or showers couldn’t possibly make that much of a change in your body. Think again. It has been shown to increase circulation, speed healing, promote lymphatic drainage, and boost the immune system.
- Do watsu. If you haven’t experienced this “water massage” of sorts, now’s the time. Imagine floating in warm water while someone cradles and massages you. The surrendering in this experience is said to invoke a womblike state.
- Get your steam on. Steaming is an important part of cleansing the body. Our skin is the largest organ of detoxification, so sweating out toxins can release impurities, making us feel clear and rejuvenated.
- Administer an enema. It may be a taboo subject, but many report feeling lighter and happier after an enema. Enemas have been used for centuries to cleanse and detox the body and may be something worth trying if you have digestive issues or need to purge.
- Hug. Since we’re made up of mostly water, technically hugging someone is like hugging the element itself—kinda sorta. A 20-second hug has also been proven to release oxytocin (the love hormone) and greatly increase health. So hug and snuggle often!
- Take a dip in the ocean. Or any natural body of water. If you don’t want to take the dive, even getting your feet wet in saltwater draws out toxins and gives you the benefits of marinating in the healing negative ions said to release serotonin, alleviate depression, relieve stress, and increase energy.
Read about water rituals from around the world.