Welcome To Traditional Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy to treat disease

Hydrotherapy can be used on many conditions that are not amenable to medical treatment.

Hydrotherapy has been used for thousands of years and can be as simple as washing a wound or as complex as Alternate Compresses. It is not commonly used these days because it can be inconvenient, for example, taking an antibiotic pill is easier than arranging a Hot Bath. However, despite the labour involved, hydrotherapy is very effective. Its few adverse side effects are obvious immediately. It leaves the patient feeling comfortable and actually strengthens the body.

Hydrotherapy can be used on many conditions that are not amenable to medical treatment.


Traditional Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy for professionals, according to Dr John Harvey Kellogg, Dr George Knapp Abbott and others.

Our Features

Expert Opinion

Today's hydrotherapy professionals can easily benefit from the wisdom and experience of doctors, who early last century gathered treatments from around the world to treat thousands of patients with a wide range of conditions. Traditional Hydrotherapy is compiled from their medical textbooks and allows you to consult with these men and women from the time when hydrotherapy was at its peak in the US.

Most of the terminology is unchanged, some will appear archaic. Temperatures have been converted to Centigrade and the spelling Anglicised.

How to Use Hydrotherapy

For those who are just starting out, learn the important points to be observed with all treatments. Follow these recommendations and you will find how effective simple water treatments are for problems that stump even the best today. Treat many of the minor illnesses of your family and learn how to react early to problems before they become major illnesses.

Diseases section

Diseases Find the diseases treated with Traditional Hydrotherapy. Follow the links to the Problems and the recommended treatment Techniques.

Problems section

Problems - these days we would call them signs and symptoms, but they are more than that. This is the most valuable section because it breaks the disease up into components that can be targeted specifically with hydrotherapy. Once you know the problems you will be able to treat diseases that are not in the "Diseases" section.

Techniques section

Techniques - the actual treatments. Usually with temperatures and durations. Detailed instructions are given for most common procedures.

Therapeutic Effects section

Therapeutic Effects - classifies the Techniques according to the effects they have on the body. These directly correlate with the Problems. Also a very useful section.

What to Do

Original DOS Hyperstack Exit Card

HyperHelper Exit Card

First Traditional Hydrotherapy Home Page

Fixed Size Home Page Evaporating Wet Sheet Wet Sheet Rub Sitz Bath

Before Using this Information

We assume that you already have a diagnosis from a qualified Medical Practitioner. Inform the doctor if you want to use Hydrotherapy and ask if there are any contraindications.

We have given you the prescriptions as Kellogg, Abbott and the other doctors gave them. If any problems occur as a result of using these prescriptions, we would like to know, but I cannot accept responsibility for the outcome.

These treatments DO work but MUST be applied correctly to correctly diagnosed problems. The procedures themselves have few adverse side effects. Major problems you may encounter are a poor response, or a slow or no recovery. In these cases re-check the diagnosis and the procedure.

Seek medical help if acute conditions do not respond positively to hydrotherapy.

How to Use this Site

If the diagnosis you have doesn't match one of the Diseases listed, you will need to discover the Problems involved in the particular disease you are dealing with. It will probably take some time to become familiar with the Problems section as they are quite different to the signs and symptoms of today. Try to find a disease listed that has some of the same problems as the one you are dealing with.

Once you identify the problems you are dealing with you can then follow the links to the appropriate Techniques or to the Effects required for alternative techniques.


The contents of Traditional Hydrotherapy were originally cards in a HyperHelper stack. On the left is the exit page of the original "Traditional Hydrotherapy". Below that is the front page of the first Traditional Hydrotherapy website.

Bruce began to put the stack together in 1992 for his own use. He wanted to know, quickly, what hydrotherapy treatment to use for his patients, or when asked for advice. It was based largely on the book, Simple Remedies for the Home by Clarence W. Dail, MD and Charles S. Thomas, PhD, MMI Press Harrisville, New Hampshire, 1985. This book is now out of print but a simpler version, by the same authors, is Hydrotherapy - Simple treatments for common ailments, Clarence Dail, MD and Charles Thomas, PhD, TEACH Services, Brushton, New York, 1989.

Other books used included:

  • Home Remedies: Hydrotherapy, Massage, Charcoal, and Other Simple Treatments, Agatha Moody Thrash, MD and Calvin L. Thrash, Jr, MD, Thrash Publications, Seale Alabama.
  • Natural Remedies A Manual, Phylis Austin, Agatha Thrash, MD, Calvin Thrash, MD, Family Health Publications, Sunfield Michigan, 1983
  • More Natural Remedies, Phylis Austin, Agatha Thrash, MD, Calvin Thrash, MD, Thrash Publications, Seale Alabama.

Dr JH Kellogg's Prescriptions was finished in 1994. Bruce had begun it back in 1991 but Dr John Harvey Kellogg's Rational Hydrotherapy (e-book version or read online) had defeated him. It is the summary of Kellogg's "Hydriatic Prescription Making" section from the last half of that book.

Dr JH Kellogg's Hydriatic Techniques came next, finished in 1997, compiled from the "Treatment" section of Rational Hydrotherapy detailing each of the treatments and what they are used for. It compliments the prescription section and is like a second opinion.

Dr GK Abbott's Prescriptions, finished in early 2001, is more hydrotherapy, this time from the books of George Knapp Abbott:

While compiling the two Kellogg programs Bruce assembled pertinent or over-the-top quotes from Dr Kellogg's book which appear at the top of the relevant pages. Enjoy!

For the complete and messy saga of how HyperHelper cards on the same topic were converted into webpages go to the Traditional Hydrotherapy blog and search under the "Making of" topic.