Hydrotherapy Glossary

Ablution- Washing of the body by hand, usually using a towel or mitt

Affusion- Pouring on of water

Analgesic– Decreases pain

Anesthetic– Reduces local pain, diminished or loss of sensation

Antipyretic- Reduction in fever

Antispasmodic- Reducing  muscle spasms

Astringent– Agent which causes local vasoconstiction and closing of pores

Balneology- The science of baths and bathing

Colonics- A washing out of the colon 10-20 times over 45-60 minutes

Conduction – Heat is transferred by direct contact of one heated object to another.

Consensual reaction- A reflex reaction occurring on the opposite side of the body from the point of stimulation

Contrast Bath-  The immersion of a body part alternately in hot and cold water in one treatment

Convection – transference of heat by moving currents of heated liquids of gasses as in a sauna to increase body temperature

Conversion – Heat is generated by passing energy through the tissue or substances in heating of body tissues by ultrasound

Cryotherapy- Therapeutic use of cold; ice massageHydrotherapy Poultice

Derivative effect- Transfer of fluid from one part of the body to another; warming the feet to draw congestion from the head:  Pulling the blood or lymph out of one area of the body by increasing the amount of blood in another.

Diaphoretic- Increases sweating

Diuretic- Increases urine production

Douche- a stream of water directed at the body or into a body cavity

Ecchymosis– Discoloration of the skin due to hemmorrhage

Edema– Collection or pooling of fluids in the interstitial tissues

Effusion– Collection or pooling of fluids in the joint capsule

Eliminative- Dissolves foreign elements in the blood, colon, and interstitial spaces of the body

Emetic- Ejecting poisons from the body by drinking warm water or salt water

Erythema– Description of color of the skin indicating a red appearance

Fomentation- Local applications of moist heat to the body surface, usually made of wool and cotton to retain heat and moisture

Heating Compress- An application of a cold compress that when applied and covered causes an initial cooling followed by a warming and increase in circulation.

Heliotherapy- Using direct sunlight or other light source for therapeutic purposes; electric, ultraviolet, infrared.

Hunting reaction- sudden reddening and warming of cooled skin areas; body’s mechanism to avoid tissue damage

Hydrocollator- Steam heat packs filled with silicate gel that keeps them hot and moist; Extremely hot – water is heated to 150-160 F

Hydrostatic effect – The shifting of fluid from one part of the body to another

Hyperemia- Increase in quantity of blood flowing through the body or part of the body characterized by heat, redness: Vasodilatation

Hypothermia– Extreme reduction in body temperature

Hypoxia- Diminished oxygen supply usually due to poor circulation

Ischemia– Diminished or lack of circulation in an area

Krause Corpuscles– Cold receptors (sensory organ) in dermal layer of integumentary system

Paraffin Bath- Using melted paraffin (wax) to dip body part in to build a paraffin glove to retain heat. Operating temperature 126 degrees to 130 degrees.   Used to treat arthritis, bruises, bursitis, gout, spasms

Pelotherapy- Therapeutic use of mud, peat moss, or clay applied to the body or part of the body

Poultice- External application of warm moist substance to relieve pain, reduce and soothe inflammation, draw impurities from the body, encourages muscle relaxation

Purgative- Causing vommitting or bowel evacuation

Revulsive effect- Increasing the rate of blood flow by alternate use of heat and cold

R.I.C.E – Standard care for acute stage of healing:  Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation

Retrostasis- The drawing of blood to internal organs

Russian Bath- A body steam given with the patient reclining and head outside the steam room or cabinet.

Saline Bath-  Salt baths

Salt Glow Massage– Vigorous rubbing of sea salt over entire body

Sauna- Dry Heat which increases body temperature and increases perspiration.  May put strain on nasal passages, throat and lungs.

Sedative-  Causes central nervous system to decrease the responses of nerve stimuli for relaxation

Shampoo- Using soap and water together on one or all parts of the body

Showers- The use of water streams directed at the body to stimulate.  Examples are dousing, jet, fan, alternate hot and cold.

Sitz Bath- A partial bath covering the pelvic region

Spanish Mantle Pack- The client is showered, tubbed or sponged and then wrapped in a dry sheet and blankets while still wet.

Sponging- Using a sponge to apply water, alcohol, or witch hazel to the body, usually for a cooling affect.

Steam –Water particles dispersed through the air; good for the skin and lungs.  Hot seam increases body temperature and perspiration and releases toxins.  Cold steam as from a humidifier, moistens dry rooms in winter and can help prevent colds and sinus headaches.
Stimulant- increases nerve stimulation

Swedish Shampoo- Shampoo given on a marble slab using soap and skin brushing, usually washing and rinsing one part at a time and drying briskly.

Thalassotherapy- Bathing in or drinking of salt water

Thermophore- moist heat pack; heating unit wrapped in flannel which absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

Tonic- Increases vigor; return of cellular activity to normal state

Turkish Bath- Hot air bath (dry sauna)

Whirlpool bath- A partial immersion bath in which water is agitated and mixed with air to be directed at the affected area; Used to soften muscles for massage, stimulate circulation, relieves pain.