If you watched the Olympic diving competition, you noticed that the divers soaked in the hot tub immediately after completing each dive. That’s because they wanted to keep their muscles warm and loose.
Most of us will never be Olympians, but we can enjoy the many health benefits hydrotherapy provides. The combination of warm water and strategically placed jets soothe stiff muscles, relieve nagging aches and pains, and stimulate circulation.
Here are 12 health challenges hydrotherapy can help alleviate:
1. Neck and back pain
The buoyancy provided by the water reduces body weight by 90 percent, taking pressure off joints.
2. Sports injuries
A warm soak increases blood flow to the injured area, bringing nutrients to help repair the damage.
3. Sore feet (or cold feet)
Soak your tootsies in a spa set at 103-104 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes per day. (Consult your doctor first if you have varicose veins, lymphostasis, or edema.)
4. Mental health issues
Color therapy, or chromotherapy, uses a combination of color and light to balance your physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental energy. (Many of Rich’s spas are designed to cycle through a spectrum of colors that provide light- and color therapy)
The soothing warmth and buoyancy of the water in a properly designed spa can help relieve arthritis pain.
6. Circulation problems
Heat from hot tubs can cause the blood vessels to open up (called vasodilation), which decrease blood pressure. The heat and massage ease blood flow and improve circulation, in addition to stimulating nerve impulses that boost the immune system and digestion.
7. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
The warm water may alleviate constant all-over body aches, particularly if you do some light stretches while you soak.
8. Muscle aches
Soak at a temperature between 102 to 106 degree F to loosen tight, tense muscles.
Studies suggest that spending 15 minutes in a hot tub 90 minutes before bedtime can lead to an improved night’s sleep.
The jets in a hot tub dilate blood vessels to help prevent headaches.
11. Type 2 Diabetes
Soaking up to 30 minutes a day, six days a week for at least three weeks is known to help individuals with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar, lose weight and improve their sleep patterns.
Warm water massage stimulates your body to release endorphins that reduce stress naturally.
Risks of Using Hot Tub Spas
If you have a recurrent or persistent health challenge, always consult with your doctor before determining whether hydrotherapy is for you.
- According to the American Heart Association, people with high blood pressure or abnormally low blood pressure should check with their doctor before using a hot tub.
- People with diabetes also need to be cautious, as they may be more susceptible to get burns on their feet due to nerve damage caused by diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, you may not notice a drop in your blood sugar while you’re in a hot tub, so leave the hot tub gradually to ensure you don’t pass out.
- Hot tubs are generally not recommended for people with multiple sclerosis or women who are pregnant.
- Elderly people and young children should avoid long soaks in a hot tub, as the heat can quickly exhaust them.