A sitz bath (Hip Bath) is where in only the hips and buttocks are immersed in water or saline solution. Its name comes from the German verb ”sitzen”, meaning ”to sit”.
As a form of Hydrotherapy — the use of hot and cold water, steam and ice to restore and maintain health — it increases blood flow to the pelvic and abdominal areas, and thus can help reduce inflammation and alleviate a variety of problems.
In Sitz baths we can use hot or cold water only or can alternate with hot and cold. Hot sitz baths are particularly helpful for disorders like haemorrhoids, muscular disorders, painful ovaries and testicles, prostrate problems and uterine cramps.
Cold Sitz baths are helps to relieve abdominal disorders, congestion, headaches, muscle disorders, neuralgia, and swollen ankles.
Procedure of Sitz Bath —
Fill a tub or basin so that the water covers the hip and reaches the middle of the abdomen. If no suitable basins are available, one can utilise a bathtub.
The temperature of the water should vary according to the type of illness . When using a hot sitz bath, the bathtub or basin should be filled with water of about 110 °F. Stay in bath for twenty to forty minutes.
When using cold sitz bath, fill the bathtub or basin with ice cold water. Patient must stay in the cold bath for 1-2 minutes only.
When using alternative hot and cold baths, fill one basin with water of about 110 °F, and a second basin with ice water. Immerse yourself first in the hot sitz bath and remain there for three to four minutes. Then move to the cold sitz bath and remain there for thirty to sixty seconds. Repeat this two to four times and dry using a towel.
Sitz baths are very helpful for a woman after childbirth irrespective of an episiotomy.
I’m Dr. Malini Bhat MD (Ayu); an Ayurvedic Doctor and a health blogger. Follow me on social media to get daily health tips which you can easily adapt to a healthy lifestyle.