Hydrotherapy is the term used for water treatments or water cures, also known as submersion hydrotherapy. With the recent popularity of colon cleansing, the term hydrotherapy can also refer to the cleansing of the colon through a tube inserted in the rectum. Water treatments for aches and pains, often associated with spas, can be safe during pregnancy as long as water temperatures are kept cool. Hydrotherapy for colon cleansing is not considered safe during pregnancy.
Water cures or submersion hydrotherapy has been used for more than a century to treat aches, pains and illnesses. There are two forms of hydrotherapy – hot and cool. Some spas will use a combination of the two therapies in one session. Hot hydrotherapy is not considered safe for use on pregnant women as core body temperature needs to stay below 102.2° F in order to maintain a healthy growing environment for the fetus. Some experts believe core temperatures above 102.2° F can result in spinal cord birth defects during development. Cool hydrotherapy is often combined with jets or moving water. This type of therapy is more closely related to massage as the moving water kneads muscles and ligaments to reduce tension.
Hydrotherapy used for colon cleansing is not safe to use during pregnancy. The procedure involves inserting a catheter into the rectum where water is pumped in and allowed to drain from the lower intestine naturally or moved out of the body with gentle suction. The idea behind colon cleansing hydrotherapy is to remove all waste and toxins from the lower intestine or colon. Water is typically warm, but not hot, so core temperature increases are not a problem. However, diarrhea can be a side effect of colon hydrotherapy which can lead to dehydration and dehydration to cramping and contractions.
Home hydrotherapy kits that are safe include hand and foot massagers that use water. Jetted tubs are safe as long as the water is cool or lukewarm.