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Is There a Connection between Hydrotherapy and Weight Loss?

By Kathleen Howard
Updated May 17, 2024
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Hydrotherapy is a term that describes several therapies in which water of varying temperatures and pressures is used to improve circulation, reduce pain, and eliminate toxins from the body. The most common type of hydrotherapy used for weight loss is colon hydrotherapy. Many hydrotherapists believe these treatments stimulate weight loss by flushing waste from the colon and improving digestion. Some medical doctors, however, argue that hydrotherapy is not an effective way to permanently reduce body weight. Due to a few possible side effects the safety of hydrotherapy sometimes comes into question as well.

There are many forms and uses of hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy refers to several different treatments like mineral baths and sitz baths that are used to improve circulation, relax the muscles, and reduce pain. In addition to these benefits of hydrotherapy, research has indicated that regularly soaking in a hot tub might reduce weight and improve the appearance of cellulite. This connection between hydrotherapy and weight loss was thought to be due to improved circulation. As of 2011, additional research has not been conducted to establish a concrete connection between this form of hydrotherapy and weight loss.

Of the different types of hydrotherapy, colon hydrotherapy is most commonly used for weight loss. During colon hydrotherapy, a practitioner flushes the colon with water and other substances in order to loosen impacted mucus and waste matter in the colon. Some hydrotherapists and alternative healthcare practitioners believe that colon hydrotherapy is an effective way to lose weight.

After a hydrotherapy treatment, it is not abnormal for patients to weigh less than before the treatment. During these treatments, waste matter is expelled from the colon, which is one explanation for the link between hydrotherapy and weight loss. Some practitioners also believe that colon irrigation improves digestion and metabolic function. This could possibly lead to continued weight loss after hydrotherapy treatment.

Many medical doctors, however, do not believe there is a solid connection between colon hydrotherapy and weight loss. Doctors often believe that any weight loss a patient experiences will be temporary. While hydrotherapy will speed up the process, a healthy colon should be able to eliminate toxins and waste matter naturally.

The effectiveness of hydrotherapy is not the only factor that has been called into question, as the safety of colon hydrotherapy is a source of concern as well. Colon hydrotherapy can lead to dehydration, infection and tears inside the colon. These treatments can also alter a person’s electrolyte balance, which can be problematic in people with heart or kidney disease. Before using hydrotherapy for weight loss, patients are urged to discuss the safety of these treatments with their physician.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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