Health Benefits of Hydrotherapy
Water has been used medicinally for thousands of years, with traditions rooted in ancient China, Japan, India, Rome, Greece, the Americas, and the Middle East.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Therapeutic use of water by external application, either for its pressure effect or as a means of applying physical energy to the tissues.
- A hot tub combines the healing powers of heat and water (and air in the form of bubbles).
- Soaking in a hot tub can raise the body's temperature. This can improve circulation, as the heat causes blood vessels to dilate.
- Water supports the body's weight -- as much as ninety percent of your weight. This can ease pressure on aching joints and muscles. The sensation of floating can be very relaxing.
- People who suffer from arthritis may find some relief with hydrotherapy. Not all people have symptoms that respond to heat therapy so talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of soaking in a hot tub for arthritis. (Studies have shown that water exercise can be beneficial for people with arthritis.)
- Those bubble jets can work as a massage, soothing tense muscles.
- Soaking in a hot tub can simulate exercise for the body -- it can increase heart rate and lower blood pressure. If you are unable to exercise due to other health issues, you may be able to "exercise" your heart in a hot tub. Talk to your doctor about whether or not a hot tub is safe for you if you suffer from a heart condition.
- A soak before bedtime can help you relax and unwind after a hard day. The warmth is so soothing!
- Some athletes choose to use a hot tub before and/or after a workout. Before a workout, a spa can help loosen muscles and improve circulation. After a workout, a spa can relieve minor aches and pains. Talk to a health care professional first if you have a sports injury -- some injuries need cold therapy, rather than hot therapy.
- The steam rising off the hot water can help open up nasal passages, soothe dryness during winter months, and help maintain upper respiratory health.