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June 20, 2018  |  Login
Constitutional Hydrotherapy
By James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.D.

The most powerful of the hydrotherapy treatments is constitutional hydrotherapy. It has been named constitutional since it has benefits to the entire constitution of a person.

  1. Optimizes circulation
  1. Detoxifies and purifies the blood
  1. Enhances digestive function and elimination
  1. Tonifies and balances the nervous system
  1. Stimulates and enhances the immune system

It is particularly helpful for people suffering from digestive problems; respiratory problems, such as sore throats and bronchitis; or infections, such as a cold or the flu.

Note: If a child has asthma, this procedure should be used only under the guidance of a physician.

Frequency of Treatment

  • Acute conditions: one to two times daily
  • Chronic conditions: five to seven times weekly


Note: This treatment is best done with the help of an assistant.

  1. The person lies in bed on his or her back.
  1. An assistant covers the bared chest and the abdomen with two thicknesses of towels that had been placed in hot water and wrung out (wet towels can be heated in the microwave). Towels should be hot, yet tolerable, for children. Place a small section of the towel on the child first to make sure it is not too hot.
  1. Cover the hot towels with a dry towel.
  1. Cover the person with blankets to prevent the individual from getting chilled. Leave the towels on for five minutes.
  1. After five minutes, remove the hot towels and replace with a single thickness of a thin towel that has been run under cold water and then wrung out (with some moisture left in the towel).
  1. Place the cold towel on the bared chest and the abdomen. Cover with a dry towel and blankets. Leave on for ten minutes. The towel should be warm after ten minutes. If not, leave it on longer, or do not make the towel so cold or wet next time.
  1. Take cold towel off, and have the person turn over and lie on the stomach. Repeat the same procedure on the back. Five minutes of hot towels, followed by ten minutes of a thin cold towel.

How It Works

The alternation in hot and cold increases the immune system's white blood cells to help fight off infections. It also increases circulation to the digestive organs and other organs of elimination

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