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Contrast hydrotherapy  is a simple therapy which uses alternating hot and cold water to create a pumping action in the body. The hot water dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to contract and reduces inflammation. This helps repair tissues faster and detoxifies the body. It’s very effective, cheap and easy to do. I especially recommend it for sprains and strains (use the” localized version” in this case) and for use  with a detox diet to promote the release of toxins (use the “full body” version in this case.)

Localized Contrast Hydrotherapy I have had great results healing bad sprains with this treatment especially in conjunction with electro acupuncture. For acute conditions use ice only until swelling begins to go down. Submerge affected area in very hot water for 3 min. Plunge area into very cold water for 1 min. repeat three times. Do this 1-2 times daily until bruising, swelling and pain have subsided. For best results use ice water.

Full Body Contrast hydrotherapy Can be done in the shower or even better at one of our local spas like Olympus (women only), or Banya 5.

Shower version (less intense) Finish your daily shower with 3 min. of very hot water followed by 1 min.. of very cold water. Do this three times and end on cold. You will feel invigorated.

Spa version (more intense) This therapy can leave you feeling tired and should be done with caution the first few times especially if you feel run down. Start in the warmest hot tub or stream room available and stay in until you are very warm then move to a cold plunge and stay in for 1 min. Then move immediately back into the hot area. Do this three times. Make sure you are drinking lots of water. Stop if you feel lightheaded. This in my own personal approach and does not take into account health issues that may be present. This is a vigorous therapy not for the faint hearted. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOUR ARE PREGNANT HAVE OR HAVE HIGH OR LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. IF IN DOUBT, CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE DOING FULL BODY CONTRAST HYDROTHERAPY.

Lindsey Lawson is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Shamanic Practitioner at Glow Natural Health Center.

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