Did you know the healing benefits of hydrotherapy dates back thousands of years? Known by many of the world's greatest cultures, water therapy was used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans who all believed water therapy was the key to optimal health and well-being. In India, hydrotherapy treatment included the inhalation of steam to optimize the respiratory system, and the people of Japan and Germany have long used natural hot springs for medical, beauty and anti-aging treatments. So, what about the modern day benefits of hydrotherapy?'
Health Benefits of Hot Tubs and Spas
Hot water therapy is no longer a thing of the past. Today, hydrotherapy takes places in hot tubs and spas around the world, offering the human body a wide variety of benefits. But what actually takes place? Immersing yourself in hot water raises your body temperature and causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing circulation. The buoyancy of the water then reduces your body weight by 85-90 percent, relieving pressure on joints and muscles, while creating the relaxing sensation of floating in space. Here are just a few of the health benefits of hot tubs and spas.
Reduce Tension, Pain and Aches
Water temperature between 94º to 96º F, which is close to your body temperature, will do wonders for reducing tension and body aches. Some people even turn the heat up to 102º to 104º F to loosen their tight, tense muscles and reduce the pain of stress-related conditions and athletic injuries. The best time to enjoy your hydrotherapy treatment is in the evening when you can take advantage of your newly relaxed state.
Sleep Like a Baby
Did you know that insomnia is the second-leading reason that people visit their doctors? Our often busy, stressful lifestyles can cause lack of sleep, leading to memory problems, nerve conditions and depression. You can help your body prepare for a deep and restful sleep by taking advantage of hot water therapy. Soak in hot water approximately 90 minutes before you plan to sleep. When you lie down, your body temperature will start dropping, which has been shown to induce sleep more easily.
Arthritis is essentially the inflammation of a joint or joints that causes pain and swelling. Considering that approximately one of every three families has someone who suffers from this disease, the fact that water therapy can improve the symptoms is very good news for many. According to the Arthritis Foundation, people whose arthritis symptoms respond well to heat have discovered the many benefits hydrotherapy. In a home spa or hot tub, the buoyancy of the hot water therapy makes it a comfortable environment for relieving arthritis symptoms while improving the range of motion.
Weight Loss and Cellulite Reduction
Not up for going to the gym for a workout? Believe it or not, the health benefits of hot tubs and spas include the improvement of your physical appearance. Hydrotherapy can aid in weight loss, and even help diminish the appearance of cellulite. When you soak in a spa, it simulates exercise by dilating blood vessels and promoting better circulation, while relaxing your muscles and skin. It can also increase your heart rate and lower blood pressure.
Keep in mind, while the benefits of hot tubs and spas are widely accepted, hydrotherapy is not for everyone. If you're pregnant, or have heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or any other medical condition, consult your physician before starting hot water therapy. If you're healthy enough to try it, what are you waiting for? Contact your local pool and spa business to discuss your options.
By Steve Metz