The healing benefits of hydrotherapy have been known to many of the world's great cultures, with a history that dates back thousands of years.
Egyptians bathed in heated waters treated with flowers and herbs, while the Greeks believed that water therapy was essential to optimal health. In India, hydrotherapy was essential to well-being, with treatments that included inhaling steam to optimize the respiratory system.
The Romans were famous for their hot spring baths, and developed architecturally magnificent healing centers built around the use of water for wellness. Much like today's spas, the Roman baths included heated pools used in conjunction with steam treatments. Japan and Germany have historically used natural hot springs for hydrotherapy in an attempt to treat medical conditions, enhance beauty, and promote healthy aging.
In its modern form, hot tub hydrotherapy has been found to be effective in treating muscle pains and stiffness, inflammatory disease, and the symptoms of daily stress. Particularly effective are spa hydrotherapy treatments that combine the components of heated water, water massage, and reduction of pressure on sore joints by decreasing body weight through buoyancy.
Massage works to relax muscles and relieve pressure on nerves. It also boosts circulation and accelerates the body's natural healing process. It’s used to promote relaxation, release accumulated stress, and gently stretch connective tissues.
Some of the areas that hydrotherapy can really help are:
Approximately 43 million people in the United States suffer from some form of arthritis pain. The good news for these victims is that there are safe and effective ways to both minimize the discomfort and prevent further damage.
According to The Arthritis Foundation, “Regular sessions in your hot tub help keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage. A hot tub fulfills the need perfectly . . . providing the warmth, massage, and buoyancy that is so necessary to the well-being of arthritis sufferers. The buoyancy of the water supports and lessens stress on the joints and encourages freer movement.” Source: Arthritis Foundation
Sleepless nights keeping you awake? A soak in a hot tub can do wonders to helping you achieve a peaceful night’s sleep since the body’s core internal thermostat drops after leaving the water, which signals the body that it’s time to sleep.
Sleep improvement is promoted by the hot water’s relaxing properties – the buoyancy of water reduces body weight by approximately 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles, creating the sensation of weightlessness. The hot, swirling water leaves you feeling both mentally and emotionally relaxed.
Back Pain/Muscle Injuries
Ask anyone who owns one and they will tell you that they feel better after using their hot tub. And there’s always been anecdotal evidence that the hot water and jets of a spa relieve back pain.
In 1995, a study published in the British Journal of Rheumatology offered evidence that hot tub therapy has both short– and long–term benefits for people with lower back pain. A later study, published in the Journal of Rheumatology by a group of researchers in France, showed that after three weeks of consistent hot tub therapy, examinations showed more improvement in the health status (as measured in pain duration and intensity and back flexibility) of the spa treatment group than of the medication-only group. After six months, significant improvement continued in the spa therapy group. In addition, their use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs had decreased.
The preceding research information was featured in the March–April 1996 issue of Arthritis Today.
The link between stress and illness should be of interest to anyone concerned with their health. We all have stress in our daily lives relating to work, family and society. Mental tensions, frustrations and insecurity are among the most damaging types of stress.
Affected by stress, the heart works harder, breathing becomes more rapid and shallow, and digestion slows. Nearly every process of the body is degraded. Since we usually can't avoid it, the key to dealing with stress is relieving it!
A soothing and relaxing soak in a hot tub can help counteract stress and its effects on the human body. It is the perfect antidote to a hectic and stressful lifestyle.
Heat, buoyancy, and massage are three key elements in your hot tub that combine to create a therapeutic, stress-relieving environment.
These days, we are all running in different directions, and sometimes we’re lucky if we see our spouse or kids for ½ hour before bedtime. Many families don’t even have time to eat together. However, families that have hot tubs find that it brings everyone together like nothing else can. You’d be surprised how much your kids suddenly love hanging out with you when there’s a hot tub involved!
And what about when the kids go to bed? Wouldn’t you rather soak in a hot tub with your spouse than to sit on the couch and watch TV? Remember – no couple ever had an argument in a hot tub!
Then there are those times where you just want to shut the entire world off and empty out your brain. Imagine escaping to your backyard at night, by yourself, and just soaking the stress away, while you stare up at the stars?
* Heat dilates blood vessels to increase blood flow to sore or damaged tissue.
* Buoyancy reduces body weight by 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles.
* Massage works to relax muscles and relieve pressure on nerves.
Numerous independent studies have proven that a warm water massage stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural “feel good” chemical. Your hot tub will enhance your sense of well being, and leave you feeling fresh, clean, and ready to tackle life’s daily challenges.