Participants: Margot Marshall (Host), Dr. Eddie Ramirez
Series Code: HL
Program Code: HL000024A
00:14 Welcome to "Healthy Living!"
00:16 I'm your host Margot Marshall.
00:18 Hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years
00:21 to bring relief from many ailments.
00:23 Today, Dr. Eddie Ramirez explains hydrotherapy,
00:27 and we'll show you some simple treatments that you can
00:29 do at home.
01:07 We are privileged today to have Dr. Eddie Ramirez help us
01:10 understand the amazing benefits of hydrotherapy
01:14 or water treatments if you like.
01:16 Welcome to the program Eddie! Thank you very much.
01:18 We are really looking forward to having you
01:19 tell us how to treat these ailments.
01:21 Well hydrotherapy is something that has been used
01:25 for a long period of time.
01:28 In fact, I remember recently I had a long layover in
01:31 England and so I was trying to figure out what I was
01:34 going to do with my time, but my top two options
01:37 ended up being in Stonehenge and Bath, England which is a
01:42 place the Romans used to use for hydrotherapy.
01:45 Unfortunately, the closest one was Stonehenge so that's
01:49 why I went there, but one of these days I'll end up
01:52 going to Bath.
01:54 But anywhere you go, you always
01:56 find these hot springs around the world. Yes.
02:00 And people have realized there are benefits of using these
02:05 hot springs.
02:06 What happens with hydrotherapy is that there is nothing
02:10 magic about the water per se, but it is the manipulation
02:15 of the heat through water - so some researchers actually
02:20 have proposed that the correct name of this modality
02:24 should be "hydrothermal therapy" because you are
02:29 manipulating heat with water.
02:31 Yes that sounds like a really good, you know, way to call it.
02:35 And you know, the reason why this is so effective is that
02:40 the largest organ in the body is the skin and the skin has an
02:47 effect on blood vessels and even internal organs
02:53 as we will be learning today.
02:55 You're going to learn quite a bit of information,
02:57 so I encourage you to stay tuned as we will be
03:01 learning the principles of hydrotherapy.
03:04 We even have some volunteers here that will help us
03:06 apply these treatments so you can see
03:09 how it's done. Oh excellent!
03:11 And when talking about the properties of water,
03:16 let's just understand a small concept.
03:19 There is a measurement of energy that we use
03:23 in physics that is called "the calorie," and in order to
03:28 raise 1 cubic centimeter of water 1 degree,
03:35 I'm going to be requiring 1 calorie, okay?
03:40 So water has the capacity to store tremendous amounts
03:47 of energy - that is why water is so useful in hydrotherapy.
03:51 For example, if you have ever been in a place where
03:55 there is snow, you will notice that even though it
04:00 snowed a few days ago and the temperature
04:04 is above zero degrees, still many times there is snow
04:10 on the ground - how come that happens?
04:13 Well, it's because you require in order to melt 1 centimeter
04:20 of snow, in order to melt it into liquid, you're going to
04:24 need 79.2 calories.
04:28 See, you needs lots of energy, the water is able to store
04:34 this heat and then the opposite also happens and I'm sure
04:37 many women that have been cooking,
04:41 they have experienced this.
04:42 They open the pan where the water is boiling,
04:47 the steam comes up and what happens?
04:49 Oh I know, I know what happens.
04:52 When we first got married, I wanted stainless
04:55 steel saucepans, I was determined to have them
04:57 and couldn't afford them straight away, so I thought
05:00 if I buy cheap saucepans, I won't want to throw them out.
05:03 So I used basins, enamel basins with a plate on the top.
05:08 Each time I would look into see if it was cooked,
05:11 that steam came out and I just had burns on my arms
05:15 for a long time before I figured out how to,
05:17 yes, it really does burn.
05:19 The reason why is because you are releasing 537 calories.
05:26 So within less than a second, you will get a nice burn there,
05:33 (Oh yes, a very nice burn!)
05:35 as a result of steam converting from gas into liquid.
05:40 So this is something very unique about water,
05:43 the ability to concentrate that energy.
05:47 So that's escaping - all that extra heat is just
05:51 escaping out of the water.
05:53 That's right, as it converts from steam to water,
05:56 it releases that energy.
05:58 If your skin happens to be there, that energy
06:02 goes ahead and hits your skin.
06:03 That's why you get burned.
06:06 And also we have another quality in hydrotherapy which
06:11 is called "the conducting capacity."
06:13 We can actually see this on the screen.
06:16 The conducting capacity of water is 27 times more than
06:23 of air - that's why if you are in 23 degrees centigrade
06:29 outside, the day feels very nice,
06:32 the temperature is wonderful.
06:34 Yet if you jump into a bathtub with 23 degrees,
06:40 you're going to feel that it is quite chilly.
06:42 You will feel very uncomfortable.
06:44 How come you're comfortable outside in the air,
06:48 but not in the water?
06:49 Because of the ability to transmit that much efficiently.
06:55 Wow, that explains it really well because, you're right,
06:59 I remember once doing some hydrotherapy and the pool was
07:02 16 degrees and you wouldn't think that would be as
07:04 cold as it is, I'm telling you...
07:06 Yes that is very cold!
07:08 Very cold but in air temperature it's not, so the water has
07:12 this capacity to conduct temperature. That's right!
07:16 Also there is a law that we can have in mind when
07:21 we are doing hydrotherapy treatments and this is called,
07:26 "Van't Hoff's Law," which says that the velocity of any
07:30 simple chemical reaction increases 2 to 3 times
07:35 for each rise in 10 degrees Celsius within a limited range.
07:41 Basically what this says is, when things get warmer
07:46 in the body, the internal functions of the body
07:51 happen quickly.
07:53 Why would we need this?
07:54 We are blessed with something that is called "fever."
07:58 Fever - what it does is it raises the body temperature
08:02 in order for the internal reactions of the body
08:05 to happen better.
08:07 So you're fighting a cold, for example, there are viruses
08:12 all over your body, so the body in order to make the
08:17 killing of this virus more efficiently - what it does is
08:21 it raises the energy and in that way you're immune system
08:26 happens to run faster; cells happen to consume
08:30 the energy faster and you actually see this in the
08:34 respiration - that's why you breathe a little bit
08:37 more when you have fever.
08:39 And it was very interesting, I was in the immunology class
08:42 when I was in medical school, the topic of the day was
08:46 "fever," and the professor was explaining with great
08:50 detail why fever, you know, increases metabolism,
08:55 increases the ability of the immune system to kill germs.
08:59 Some germs actually don't like to be so hot,
09:01 so you end up actually damaging some of the germs
09:04 when the temperature does up.
09:07 So then I raised my hand and said, "Professor, I have a
09:10 question, so how can we remove the fever when somebody
09:14 has fever?" A good question that was!
09:17 He kind of stumbled a little bit - didn't expect it.
09:19 And basically what he said was, "Well, it's tradition that
09:25 we do that." Ohh.
09:27 And the thing of it is, is that you have to use common sense.
09:32 But when you have a fever, you need to learn to
09:35 work with the fevers.
09:36 It's a good idea to be measuring the temperature,
09:38 make sure it doesn't go too high - then we can get in
09:41 trouble and if you saw even Van't Hoff's Law,
09:44 it says there - "... within a limited range."
09:47 In other words, this is not infinitum - it has a
09:50 certain limit.
09:52 So you're saying that the fever - when we get sick
09:55 and our temperature goes up, it's the body's own way
09:59 of helping you to deal with what's going on in the body.
10:02 That's right! It's helping you aid with the problem.
10:05 If you cut down the fever, the disease is going to
10:09 extend farther okay, so be careful with that.
10:14 Also be careful with children that have had seizures
10:18 and so forth - you don't want those children to be
10:22 experiencing fever and so forth,
10:23 those are going to be very, very delicate illnesses. Sure.
10:27 But anyhow, let's continue with the topic - there is
10:30 something important about hydrotherapy and that is
10:34 management of temperature.
10:37 In fact, ideally, when you do hydrotherapy you actually
10:40 should have a thermometer that will be a good investment.
10:43 Thermometers are not that expensive, it's just a matter
10:45 of just having one handy so you could have
10:48 good control of the temperature.
10:51 And we actually have a little chart we want to share with you,
10:55 and here you can see the different temperatures.
11:00 In hydrotherapy, we don't use very hot temperature above 40.
11:06 Then we have hot - this one is the one we usually use
11:09 38 to 40; warm 33 to 38; neutral which is the
11:13 temperature of your skin 34.5 to 36;
11:17 tepid 27 to 33; cool 21 to 27, and then cold 13 to 21,
11:25 and very cold 0 to 13.
11:28 Now they're all Celsius.
11:30 That's right, they're all Celsius those ones, you know,
11:32 so we're talking to Australians so they can understand
11:36 very well what we are saying. Um hm.
11:38 Now, my point is that very hot temperatures - we don't
11:43 use in hydrotherapy.
11:44 They are excellent if you have a chicken and you
11:46 want to remove the feathers, they work wonderfully for that,
11:49 but for hydrotherapy, you do not use that.
11:52 Also, I want you to use common sense - a child you cannot
11:57 give too much range of temperature.
12:00 Somebody very ill - you cannot
12:01 give too much of a temperature change.
12:03 So not too not and not too cold. That's right!
12:05 You just bring that margin in a bit closer.
12:08 Closer to the neutral. Yes.
12:09 Somebody very elderly, you don't do that.
12:13 So have common sense, you know, when you are
12:17 applying these principles that you may not cause trouble.
12:21 Hydrotherapy is not righteousness by works.
12:25 It doesn't mean that you have to be burned
12:27 in order to get the benefit.
12:28 So it needs to feel good, in fact, somebody applying
12:32 hydrotherapy needs to be a good communicator.
12:35 As you are talking to the person that the treatment
12:38 is being applied, the person is to be giving you feedback;
12:42 "Yes, it's too hot," "No, it's not hot enough,"
12:45 and so forth.
12:46 Then let's go quickly through the effects of heat
12:49 and the effects of cold.
12:52 That's the reason why we do that change.
12:54 If you notice, blood flow will increase with the heat
12:57 and so does inflammatory response.
13:00 Spasm, actually both of them will decrease spasm.
13:04 Hemorrhage, heat will increase that and edema also.
13:08 And the last thing that is important - heat will bring
13:13 blood to the surface, cold will send the blood from the skin
13:18 down to the internal organs."
13:19 That's why in hydrotherapy, as a general rule,
13:22 you always finish the hydrotherapy treatment
13:26 with cold - even when you're taking your hot shower
13:30 in the morning, it is a great idea if you can actually
13:35 finish that treatment with cold water.
13:39 To send the blood back where it belongs. That's right!
13:41 You send the blood back where it belongs.
13:44 So let's talk a little bit about the prototype of the treatments
13:49 which is called "the hot foot bath."
13:52 You can see on the screen - that depends
13:55 on what we want to accomplish.
13:57 If we want to use it as a stimulant, let's say in the day
14:01 you want to start your day in a good way you can do a
14:04 hot foot bath from 3 to 5 minutes hot followed by
14:08 cold within 30 seconds to 1 minute.
14:12 Then sedative - at the end of the day you have a headache,
14:15 you want to relax, so for 6 to 10 minutes and the heat
14:20 should be mild heat - not very, very hot but just nice
14:24 and comfortable so that the person can enjoy it much better.
14:29 And also, what would you use this for?
14:34 Well there are many applications about it.
14:37 For example, we have the fact that the organs are connected
14:43 to the rest of the body.
14:44 So for example, your feet are connected to your pelvic
14:48 organs, your lungs, your sinuses and your brain - meaning
14:53 the things that are related to that can be benefited by that.
14:58 For example, you've been working the whole day, you have a
15:01 congestion headache from so much thinking,
15:03 you have this headache.
15:04 A hot foot bath would be a fabulous therapy to apply.
15:09 So let us ask our volunteers to show us how you do
15:15 one of these hot foot baths and we will see that on the screen.
15:20 So we have the therapist measuring the temperature
15:24 of the water - remember we said that we need to make sure
15:27 the temperature is correct; then the patient sitz down
15:32 and needs to feel comfortable.
15:34 It's a nice idea to cover him up so that we can
15:38 warm the body more efficiently.
15:41 And it's nice to have a little towel so that if sweat
15:46 is coming down, we can actually capture it.
15:48 When you have the right temperature, you can also
15:52 test the water with your elbow and then you can
15:55 put the feet in the water.
15:57 You talk to the patient - how is the temperature?
16:01 Be sure that you are communicating well.
16:03 You cover him up well so that the treatment can
16:08 conduct that heat correctly.
16:11 It's a good idea to put a cold cloth on the head
16:15 so the head doesn't get too hot but the rest
16:18 of the body does get warm.
16:20 And you wait, remember how long you want to apply the
16:24 application - 5 minutes, 10 minutes depending on the
16:30 And then it's a good idea to do contrast - we said that
16:36 cold brings cold water there.
16:39 If you need to put higher temperature on the water,
16:43 you always lift the feet as she just did, add the hot water,
16:48 then you put the feet there.
16:49 The water does tend to cool over time too. That's right!
16:52 It cools down so it's a good idea to do that.
16:56 Then once you have been satisfied with the time,
17:03 then, as we said, you always finish with some cold water
17:07 and that's what she is doing.
17:09 If it's for relaxation purposes, the water is not going to be
17:11 that bad, that cold or you can actually put your
17:15 feet in a basin that has actually cold water - ice cold
17:21 water, you know, but that would be like more type of
17:24 stimulating - like to start the day and so forth.
17:29 And after treatment, make sure the patient has enough
17:33 covering and make sure there are no drafts in the room.
17:37 And it is a good idea to rest 15- 30 minutes as the person
17:44 is receiving this therapy.
17:46 As you can see, it is actually quite simple and effective.
17:51 Very doable, very doable.
17:53 I've done those and they're very, very potent
17:56 for a congested headache and it's amazing that probably
18:00 in 20 minutes or so and, you know, the blood just seemed
18:03 to be relieved from the head and it's wonderful.
18:06 Also for menstrual pain, fabulous
18:09 treatment for that, okay.
18:11 We said the feet are connected to the pelvic organs,
18:15 this is not reflexology, this is called "reflex effect."
18:21 And let's go briefly through some of these reflex effects.
18:27 So for example, in your feet as we said, we have
18:30 a connection between brain, nasal area,
18:35 lungs and pelvic organs.
18:37 This is something we can actually measure in a
18:40 physiology laboratory - this is no hocus pocus type of thing,
18:44 there is science behind this.
18:45 That's the reason why when you walk barefooted,
18:48 when the floor is cold, you're actually going to get
18:52 a little stuffy nose and so forth.
18:54 I have a friend who, if her feet get cold, she starts sneezing.
18:58 That's right because of that reflex effect.
19:02 Also, the area around your face, that is also related to the
19:09 brain area and so is the back of the neck and when you
19:14 apply hot or cold, you are doing an effect
19:17 towards the head also.
19:18 So also, if you have a congestion headache,
19:20 that could have that effect. Oh okay.
19:23 Also when you have the areas of the upper body such as
19:30 the right lower or upper abdomen, that one is related to
19:36 the liver and if you go to the other area which is
19:40 on the left of the upper abdomen, that area is
19:44 related to the spleen.
19:46 Also the lower back is related to the kidneys,
19:54 so I'm hoping you're taking notes, you know, because
19:58 this is going to be quite a lot of information.
20:00 The central part of your abdomen - that one
20:03 is related to the kidneys and ureters.
20:06 So if you want to do an application of heat and cold,
20:09 you would apply that.
20:10 Then also the area that is called the perineal area which
20:16 is the area between your anus and your genital organs,
20:21 that area is related to the prostate in the case of
20:26 the males and is related to the female organs
20:31 in the case of the females.
20:33 So you can do what is called, "sitz baths" the same way
20:37 that we apply that hot foot bath - that just to the pelvic
20:41 areas and in that way - you can get some benefit from that.
20:44 Also, if you have nervous problems, for example - a
20:49 diabetic has issues with the nerves in their feet -
20:52 beware of that.
20:54 In fact, it is contraindicated to do treatments
20:58 on a diabetic's feet as they don't feel the heat
21:02 and you can actually burn him
21:04 and then it ends up being worse than that.
21:08 So then that demonstration we just saw of the hot foot bath,
21:11 you're saying that wouldn't be a good thing to do
21:14 on someone with diabetes. That's right!
21:16 That would be contraindicated.
21:17 Or with someone who had poor circulation or what else?
21:21 Any other? That's right, people that have
21:24 very bad varices, (varicose veins), that would also
21:28 be one of the contraindications.
21:31 Also we have the skin over the breasts - those are related to
21:35 the pelvic organs and so does the skin above the abdomen,
21:40 that one is related, in general, to the whole intestines.
21:45 And finally, the area around the heart - that one also has
21:51 an effect towards the heart, so as you can see -
21:54 Oh well that's good, that's not hard to remember.
21:56 I can remember the heart relates to the heart - yes.
21:58 There are many areas in the body,
22:00 so how are we going to get there?
22:02 Well we can use a modality called, " the fomentation,"
22:07 and the fomentation is an effective way of applying
22:10 moist heat - not only for the internal organs as we were
22:15 talking about the different areas of the body,
22:18 but also whenever you get an injury.
22:20 For example, you get a sprain in the hand or so,
22:25 what we want first we want to apply what is called "the RICE,"
22:30 and RICE is the word for "REST Ice, Compression, Elevation"
22:37 for the first 2 to 3 days.
22:41 While the body is trying to control things up,
22:44 the best thing you can do is to apply ice.
22:47 If you apply heat, the blood vessels that are broken
22:51 you will create a big hematoma and so forth.
22:54 Yeah bruising, so don't use heat when you've
22:58 just had that kind of injury to prevent
22:59 any bleeding or any kind of bruising. Um hm.
23:01 So you want to apply ice there.
23:03 Then after that, then you apply the moist heat.
23:08 So let us see an example, we're going to ask
23:10 our volunteers to show you how you can do,
23:15 very easily, a hot fomentation.
23:19 So you need a microwave, you'll need a towel,
23:24 and that towel is wet, it's wrung very well,
23:29 it's put in a plastic bag and then you put in the microwave.
23:32 I think we can see it there in the microwave...
23:34 That's right, it's inside the microwave right now. Yes.
23:37 The patient gets on the bed and then
23:41 it's a good idea to cover him.
23:43 In his case his problem that we are simulating here is
23:47 a fact that he has a little bit of congestion in the chest.
23:53 So we make the person comfortable.
23:57 It's a good idea to apply some heat on the feet.
24:00 You can actually put the feet also in hot water
24:03 at the same time you're doing that with the same methodology.
24:06 It's a good idea to pray before the application and by
24:09 personal experience I can tell you it's much more
24:13 efficient when you do that.
24:15 Very carefully, it can be very hot, you get that fomentation
24:20 you use some hot-type of fabric, okay?
24:27 Now they're going to put a barrier between the...
24:29 That's right, you don't want to burn the patient - you apply
24:34 the moist heat. See that steam coming off.
24:37 She is using a wool fabric which is fabulous for that purpose,
24:43 and then you apply a towel.
24:44 You communicate with the patient - if it is too hot,
24:47 you need to ask and you add another layer.
24:50 Be careful males sometimes they tend not to speak very much.
24:53 Make sure you ask him.
24:55 If you notice, he is nice and red, so then you apply
24:58 between the transition and nice application of cold.
25:03 It could be all the way to ice water.
25:05 But that steam didn't last very long, probably 3 minutes?
25:08 That's right, 2 to 3 minutes depending on how thick
25:11 the fabric is - is how long the application is going to last.
25:15 So you need to keep...
25:16 And you need to have another fomentation ready
25:19 in the microwave while you apply that.
25:24 And you could do that, two, three, four times?
25:27 That's right, you can do this three, four, five times.
25:30 So how long you are going to leave it depends on
25:33 how warm the fabric is that is carrying the heat.
25:37 You can even put your hand underneath so you can be
25:39 testing to make sure that it's nice and warm.
25:42 You always finish with cold.
25:44 She has ice cold water and you quickly rub over the area
25:48 that you have done in order to send the water there.
25:51 Make sure you dry it so the person feels comfortable
25:55 and it is important to cover up the patient and let him rest.
26:01 And you can also close with a word of prayer.
26:06 Make sure the patient is comfortable,
26:08 then leave him there in the room, make sure that he is
26:12 resting enough and make sure that you keep the
26:18 communication open, you know, if there's any
26:21 uncomfortableness and so forth.
26:23 And as a general rule, if you are uncomfortable with
26:26 something, don't do it, okay?
26:29 For safety, you'd say, "Well what about that problem,
26:31 should I apply it? Yes or no?"
26:33 If you're not comfortable, please don't do it.
26:36 But where else might you apply that kind?
26:39 Like the patients that you were saying...
26:40 You can apply this like for pain in joints, for pain with nerves
26:45 like somebody has probably with arthritis.
26:47 That's right, you would apply it like on the hands
26:50 if a person has some arthritic-type of pain.
26:52 Muscle tension - works wonderfully on your back.
26:56 Insomnia - you apply this before going to bed.
27:00 This will relax the back.
27:02 Where would you apply it for insomnia?
27:03 Whereabouts on the body would you?
27:05 On the chest would be a good application. Okay.
27:07 And also if you have problems like pneumonia, bronchitis,
27:12 you can actually apply a double one on your chest and the back.
27:15 As you are taking your normal treatment, this can
27:18 complement things - also to produce sweating in case
27:21 you want to remove a certain substance - if somebody is
27:24 trying to stop smoking and so forth.
27:26 And also, warming up before, a massage - this would be
27:31 a fabulous application - then the therapist can just work
27:35 on those nice, warm muscles. Yes.
27:38 So you can see, very useful and very simple to apply these
27:41 principles - I hope you try them out.
27:44 Thank you for that excellent information Eddie,
27:46 and you're well qualified to share it with us, thank you.
27:49 Well since the 1990s, I became certified by the
27:52 state of California to allow me to teach hydrotherapy
27:56 principles and I've done it literally all over the world
27:59 from Africa to America, to Asia and now here in Australia.
28:03 And we are very privileged, thank you so much!
28:06 Well we hope that you will tap into these water therapies
28:10 and experience their benefits.
28:11 We certainly tried to make them very simple for you.
28:14 And if you want to watch our programs on demand,
28:17 just visit our website at: 3abnaustralia.org.au
28:22 and you just click on the watch button and then you
28:25 can view our programs at any time.
28:27 Please join us next time. God bless you.