The unexpected benefits of home spa use and how to make the most of your hot tub over the years.
Most of us have experienced the relaxed feeling you get after soaking in a hot tub, but few realize that their spa can work for them in many other ways as well. Researchers estimate that a staggering 80% of disease can be linked to stress. Warm water therapy can combat stress, aching joints, muscle stiffness, and even increase circulation. Many doctors recommend aquatic exercise to patients that suffer from a variety of conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain.
How does aquatic therapy work? Because your body is naturally buoyant in water, the stress on your joints is greatly decreased. The warm water increases blood flow, loosening muscles and making stretching and exercising more comfortable. Exercising in your spa or hot tub 2-3 times weekly can help increase flexibility, range of motion and can prevent further joint damage. “In water, a person who has trouble moving on hard land with gravity and surfaces can move in ways they would never be able to do out of the water.” says Dr. Robert Gilbert, an orthopedic surgeon and clinical professor of orthopedics at University of California San Francisco Medical Center¹. In addition, hot tubs provide jet action massage that helps to provide immediate relief for muscle discomfort and stiffness.
Not only does warm water therapy help alleviate physical discomfort; it can also have significant emotional benefits. In case studies, researchers found a majority of patients participating in aquatic therapy programs experienced positive psychological changes including reduced anxiety, depression and improved mood. Adding aromatherapy or mineral salts to your aquatic exercise routine further helps to calm the senses and promote happy feelings.
Read more about the therapeutic benefits through use of home spas here. Hot tubs come in all different sizes to accommodate the needs of many, including light weight portable spas. The nation’s leading brands include Hot Spring, Master Spas, Belize, Dimension One, LifeCast and SuperTub soft tubs.
Consult with your physician before beginning any hot water therapy program. Your doctor can help determine if it’s right for you.
∙ University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: Benefits of Aquatic Therapy Continue to Grow
∙ Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital www.madonna.org/specialized_programs/aquatic_therapy/index.html
∙ Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/water-exercise.php