In hydrotherapy, water is used in different ways; for example steam baths, hip baths, spinal baths, cold body packs and local compresses. The purpose is to dissolve and assist in the elimination of toxic substances stored in the body tissue through increasing blood circulation.

Hip bath is one of the most useful forms of hydrotherapy. A special type of tub is used for the purpose. The tub is filled with water in such a way that it covers the hips and reaches up to the navel when the patient sits in it.

Hip bath is given in 3 forms:
  1. Cold.
  2. Hot.
  3. Neutral or alternate temperatures.
Cold Hip Bath:

The water temperature should be 18-240C. The duration of the bath is usually 15 minutes. If the patient feels cold or is very weak, a hot foot immersion should be given with the cold hip bath. The patient should rub the abdomen gently with a moderately coarse wet cloth. The legs, feet and upper part of the body should remain completely dry during and after the bath. The patient should undertake moderate exercise or yogasanas after the cold hip bath to warm the body. A cold hip bath is a routine treatment in most diseases.

Benefits:

  • Relieves constipation & indigestion.
  • Obesity.
  • Helps the eliminative organs to function properly.
  • Helpful in menstrual problems like irregular menstruation, premenstrual and post menopausal problems.
  • Piles.
  • Enlarged prostate gland, seminal weakness, impotency, sterility.
  • The cold hip bath should not be employed in acute inflammations of the pelvic and abdominal organs.

HOT HIP BATH:

This bath is generally taken for 10 minutes at a water temperature of 40-45C. The patient should drink one glass of cold. water. A cold compress should be placed on the head. A cold shower bath should be taken immediately after the hot hip bath. Care should be taken to prevent the patient from catching a chill after the bath. The bath should be terminated if the patient feels giddy or complains of excessive pam.

Benefits:

  • Helps relieve painful menstruation, pain in the pelvic organs, painful urination, and painful piles.
  • It also benefits enlarged prostate gland, painful contractions or spasm of the bladder, sciatica.
Neutral Hip Bath:

The temperature of the water should be 32360C. This bath is generally taken for 15- 20 minutes. The patient should drink one or two glasses of cold water and sit in the tub, avoiding friction to the abdomen. Cold compress should be kept on the head. After neutral hip bath relax for 30 minutes.

  • The neutral hip bath helps to relieve all acute and sub-acute inflammatory conditions of bladder, urethra, and uterus.
  • Help in constipation, piles and menstrual disorders.
Alternate Hip Bath:

This is also known as repulsive hip bath. The temperature in the hot tub should be 40-450C and in the cold tub 18-240C. There are two methods of giving this bath. In both the methods 1-2 glasses of water should be taken before treatment. The head should be kept cool by applying cold compress over the head. The treatment should end with cold hip bath.

  1. The patient first sit in the hot tub for 5 minutes and then in cold tub for 5 minutes.
  2. The second method of giving alternate hip bath is 3 minute hot and I minute cold. Repeated 4-5 times.

Benefits:

  • This relieves gastric pressure and constipation.
  • Reduces the back pain.
  • Helps in relieving chronic, inflammatory condition of the pelvic organs.
  • Increases the peristaltic movement.
  • Activates the kidney and other genitorunnary organs.
Precautions:
  • Hip bath should be taken in empty stomach.
  • Pure water should be used. Women should not take hip bath in menstruation.
  • Discontinue the treatment if there is weakness / dizziness.
  • Avoid cold hip bath if there is back pain.
  • Cold hip bath must be followed by vigorous exercise while other hip baths will need some exercise.