As long as there has been civilization, people have recognized the healing ability of water. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and Japan each had a unique and powerful culture of using water (natural hot springs and baths) for rejuvenation and treatment of ailments. Take a step back into history and embrace ancient wisdom. Discover hydrotherapy, natural and soothing treatments that you can have in your own backyard.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is a complementary treatment that uses water’s thermal and mechanical effects to relieve discomfort and promote physical and mental well-being. It’s an integrative or alternative treatment option and a great way to reduce symptoms without medication or other more invasive treatments. The following are some of the ways that the waters of a hot tub function as hydrotherapy, improving your health and your life.
- Improved sleep: A deep and restful sleep is preceded by a drop in body temperature. A 20 to 30-minute soak in a hot tub approximately 1 ½ hours before bedtime triggers this cooling process. The hot water elevates the body’s temperature above its normal 36 to 37 degrees Celsius. After exiting the spa, your body slowly cools telling your system it’s time for sleep, enabling you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. A soak in your hot tub helps you maintain a healthy sleep cycle and aids with issues such as insomnia and racing thoughts, encouraging relaxation and drowsiness.
- Reduced stress: Just a few minutes in a hot tub can lower your blood pressure and reduce your heart rate, two body functions that, when elevated, contribute to tension, stress and anxiety. The heat of the water diverts blood from the head to the body, lowering brain activity and settling the mind. Hot water and a jet massage help the body produce feel-good endorphins and dopamine, reducing tension and calming the mind. Regular hot tub use helps regulate the nervous system, increasing the body’s relaxation response and decreasing the stress response.
- Diminished pain: Body pain makes life difficult. The buoyancy of the water in a hot tub reduces the force of gravity on joints and relieves pressure across the entire body. The heat stimulates the body’s production of endorphins (natural pain-killing hormones), dilates blood vessels, increases blood flow and eases pain and inflammation. The increased blood circulation removes pain-causing chemicals that build up in the tissues of our muscles. The massage jets relieve tension and stiffness in muscles and tendons.
- A thermal workout: Soaking in hot water enlarges the arteries, increasing blood flow and bringing more oxygen to the muscles. This response resembles the effects of physical exercise. If you live a sedentary life, a short soak in a hot tub simulates light exercise.
- Removal of toxins: Hot water makes the body sweat causing skin pores to enlarge and release toxins gathered through the day. As your body temperature increases, blood vessels dilate, circulation improves and oxygenation of tissues rises.
- Relief of cold and flu symptoms: A short dip in a hot tub allows steam to permeate your lungs and nasal passages, loosens mucus and relieves congestion. Steam from the hot tub is great for relieving stuffy noses, coughs, inflamed nasal passages and mucus blockages. Plus, elevating your body temperature boosts your immune system.
- Speeding Healing: Immersion in a hot tub increases blood circulation bringing more nutrients to the cells and helping them regenerate quickly.
- Injury-free workouts: Exercising in your hot tub (aqua yoga, aquacise) is great! The water supplies resistance resulting in a workout with little chance of injury.
- Lowering blood pressure: The heat of the water and the pressure on your chest increases your lung capacity, improves oxygen intake and reduces blood pressure.
- Promoting a healthier heart: The hot water in your spa induces better blood flow, makes your heart work harder and increases cardiac efficiency.
- Improving mental health: Soaking in a hot tub provides quiet and comfort, allowing your body and mind to relax, and diminishing feelings of depression and pessimism. Warm water increases levels of serotonin, the happy hormone. A 30-minute soak in warm water has a more positive impact on mood than a physical workout!
- Diabetes management: Regular hot tub use improves circulation allowing nutrient-rich blood to reach muscles and help reduce blood sugar levels.
- Burning calories: The warm water in a hot tub makes your heart beat faster, burning as many calories as taking a walk.
- Improving your lungs: The heat of the water and the pressure it places on your chest can improve your lung capacity and oxygen intake.
- Soothing irritated skin: Add a few drops of a soothing essential oil (lavender, tea tree, peppermint, rosehip) to your hot tub and you can hydrate and heal dry or irritated skin.
- Waking you up: A 10- to 15-minute soak on rising will make you feel calm and energized.
- Speeding sports recovery: Lactic acid builds up in muscles during intense workouts causing stiffness and soreness. The increased blood flow and decreased strain on muscles/joints that a hot tub provides can reduce inflammation providing immediate relief and speeding the recovery process.
- improving range of motion: Regular usage of your hot tub can help restore lost flexibility and slow the natural stiffening that comes with age. The buoyancy experienced in a spa relieves muscle tension, allowing your joints and muscles to relax and become more pliable.
- Reducing lower back pain: Chronic and acute back pain are common ailments. Hydrotherapy and massage can help loosen tight muscles and joints, decrease stiffness, boost circulation and assist in the release of toxins. A hot tub is a perfect place to get both hydrotherapy and massage for your back pain!
- Reducing fibromyalgia symptoms: Hydrotherapy improves sleep quality, physical function, psychological disorders and physical symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia.
- Headache reduction: The heat and steam of a hot tub help fight the congestion associated with sinus headaches. By dilating blood vessels and providing warmth and relaxation, your spa can decrease pressure easing headache symptoms.
- Stronger relationships: Our hectic schedules can make it difficult to find time to devote to the ones we love. Spending time with loved ones in your hot tub is a great way to strengthen your relationships as it removes you from distractions and opens the door to conversation.
A hot tub offers much more than leisure and relaxation. The buoyancy, heat and massage provided by a spa can help improve a variety of ailments. Take a soothing soak in a hot tub and reap the multitude of health benefits. Reduce stress, ease pain, improve sleep and increase flexibility. Make time in a spa a part of your daily routine.
Want to improve your overall wellness? Wish to experience the many health benefits of soaking in a hot tub? Call Alberta’s premier hot tub store, RnR Hot Tubs at (403) 203-0860 or fill out the request form. We are a leader in spa technology and education and a trusted provider of superior spas, ensuring quality, longevity and affordability to all of our customers. Our in-house experts can help you find the perfect spa to meet your needs. RnR is Alberta’s premier hot tub/swim spa store specializing in the world’s first steel-framed spas from American Whirlpool, Vita Spas and MAAX Spas.