Can Hydrotherapy Help with Kidney Function?

Improved Kidney Function

A hot tub or spa is not harmful to anyone with chronic kidney disease as long as you stay well hydrated during the treatment. Dehydration in the spa or hot tub could lead to a temporary decrease in kidney function.

Warm water immersion may offer more benefits than previously realized, including improved kidney functions.

There is also some evidence that suggests that immersion in hot tubs can positively affect kidney function. During warm water immersion renal function can become more efficient and oedemas can be reduced when they are present. This could be great news for those experiencing reduced kidney function due to any of several medical conditions.

Effects of Stress

When you understand basic anatomy and physiology of the kidneys, it is impossible not to understand why stress directly influences the kidneys. Therefore, you need to reduce stress as much as possible.

So how does stress influence your kidney function? Simple, first of all the adrenal glands literally sit on top of our kidneys, like a hat. In fact, they are so “connected” that in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) they are referred to by the same name (the “kidneys”). The interesting thing is that the main purpose of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones to counteract stress of various forms. The adrenal glands produce hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline when your body and brain begin to say “I am stressed!” Being joined to the adrenal glands, and continually stimulated has a immediate effect on the stress levels in the body. And if this becomes chronic (prolonged stress), you are at the risk of developing adrenal fatigue – 21st century’s number one cause of fatigue. Note: In TCM this would not been seen as an adrenal gland problem, but rather a kidney chi (= kidney energy) problem.

Unfortunately, on top of all this, when the adrenal glands produce and release cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream to cope with stress, it causes glucose and cholesterol to be dumped into the blood stream and causes the heart to contract harder to provoke high blood pressure. Not an ideal scenario for perfect kidney function!

Therefore, the relaxing hydrotherapy in your hot tub will do you and your kidney function a world of good!

Modern research is yielding new insights into the value of skin detoxification for kidney patients. One German study evaluated the benefit of sweating for Stage 4 chronic kidney disease patients. Patients sweated into towels, and the towels were then chemically analysed for content of uremic waste. Not only were uremic waste products found, but the researchers noted that the more often the patients experienced these sweating sessions, the more uraemia came out in each session.

The body learns to push this pathway through repeated stimulation.

As in all situations where your underlying condition may be serious, it is really important to discuss your situation with your GP before embarking on any additional treatment.