Health Benefits of Hot Tubs and Spas
Hot tubs and spas are great for relaxing and also fun for family or social get-togethers, but did you also know about the many great health benefits of hot water therapy?
Sure you did - it's been known for thousands of years. 100 years ago, mineral hot springs were prescribed to all manner of illnesses - maybe a bit too liberally!
Modern medicine has recognized the long list of curative and restorative powers that soaking in hot water can provide. Here's a quick list of hot tub benefits.
Lower Blood Pressure
Soaking in a hot tub improves circulation of blood to all parts of the body. Blood vessels respond to the warm water by relaxing and dilating. As the circulatory pathways get larger, the blood pressure reduces. This allows for faster flow of oxygenated blood cells to the smallest capillaries in the farthest reaches of your body.
Reduced Mental Stress
Soaking in hot water reduces mental stress. Why? Soaking in a hot tub releases endorphins, which feels good, so you focus on the stimulating sensations on your skin as you feel your muscles relax. Secondly, when the jet blower is on and the water is very turbulent, this creates a white noise that crowds out external sounds. Third, if your life is as busy as mine, it may be one of the few times per day where you can enjoy solitude!
Some spa owners combine meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga to their hot tub soaks, which can provide even greater levels of stress relief.
Burn calories as you soak in the tub. That's my kind of diet - and it worked for Bridget Praytor, author of the Hot Tub Diet. The warm water stimulates endocrines in the intestines, which speeds up digestion. As the body temperature warms up in a spa, the natural response of the body is to make efforts to cool itself through perspiration and sending blood to the skin's surface. Actual calories burned during a hot tub session is not that great, but the effects on the digestion and blood flow stay with you - for hours after your time in the spa.
The moisture and humidity of a hot tub, in addition to the temperature, really opens up your pores, and allows clogging dirt and oils to release. Dermatitis, Psoriasis or fungal infections can all be helped with hot water soaking. Add some of our Spa Salts to the water to condition the skin, and add some of the benefits of soaking in plant extracts and essential minerals.
And faster sleep. Studies show that people who soak in hot water in the evening do tend to fall asleep faster, and report feeling more rested than those who went to bed without a hot water soak. The sense of well being, and stimulation of your central nervous system, is likely the cause of easier and more restful sleep. I like to joke that my spa releases tryptophan - the chemical in turkey that makes you sleepy!
Muscle and Joint Pain Relief
The buoyancy found in a hot tub creates an environment where the muscles and joints can finally relax, without having to support the body. Heat releases the tension of tendons and muscles, allowing them to expand and release inflammation. People with arthritis, tendonitis, and fibromyalgia have found wonderful relief from their hot tubs. Back Pain, Knee Pain, Hand Pain - it soothes them all with relaxed muscles and improved blood flow.
Hot Tubs - it's the cure for what ails ya! Did I miss any benefits to hot tubs? Let me leave you with a word of caution - don't overdo your time in the tub - limit your spa sessions to 30 minutes. Also, those with high blood pressure, heart disease, or if you nursing or pregnant - seek advice from your physician before using a hot tub.