Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Practical hydrotherapy

Water in the form of bathing and other techniques has been used since antiquity to relieve pain and promote healing. Also called water cure, it is now regarded as part of alternative medicine, often combined with massage, relaxation, and physiotherapy. It was particularly promoted in the early 1900s by Dr. Curran Pope, who claimed it would cure almost all ills, sometimes in conjunction with other practices such as electrotherapy or light therapy. To promote its use, he published Practical Hydrotherapy: A Manual for Students and Practitioners. Presented is an image from his book of a sitting tub designed to treat conditions affecting the hip or lower abdomen by soaking them. Other treatments found in Practical hydrotherapy are hot air boxes, water caps for the head, compresses for any part of the body, baths, sprays, and showers.

Page from Practical hydrotherapy, a manual for students and practitioners by Curran Pope. 1909. Accessed through Internet archive. Contributed by Columbia University Libraries. Public Domain.

Winter 2020



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