Hydrotherapy is essentially the external use of water in the treatment of certain diseases and conditions. This natural therapy has been used for thousands of years, dating all the way back to ancient Greece. Today it’s used by hospitals, physiotherapists, and spas across the globe to treat everything from fibromyalgia to sore muscles.
A hot tub makes it possible for you to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy in your home. But how exactly does hydrotherapy help your body and mind? And how does a hot tub provide these benefits?
There are three basic factors involved in the effectiveness of hydrotherapy: massage, buoyancy, and heat.
Hot tub therapy jets deliver moving water to various parts of your body, relaxing tight muscles and promoting the release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain relievers. Like a traditional massage therapy, hydro-massage jets improve flexibility, increase circulation, enhance digestive processes, and strengthen your immune system by promoting the movement of lymph. When choosing a hot tub, look for a model that has jets positioned towards particular areas of your body that you’d like to treat, such as your back, shoulders, neck or legs. You can target trigger points, which are sensitive “nodules” found in tight muscles, or even reflexology points in your hands and feet. Although many hot tubs come with a preconfigured number of jets in a specific arrangement, some models offers jets that can be controlled individually, allowing you to change the pressure and angle of the massage in order to get the most out of the hydrotherapy benefits.
The natural buoyancy of hot tub water reduces your body weight by 85-90%, relieving pressure on your joints, spine, ligaments and muscles. This effect is particularly useful in treating arthritis, a common joint inflammation disorder. By reducing stress on the body, buoyancy reduces stiffness and promotes easier, pain-free movement and improved range of motion. The gentle resistance force of the water also helps in re-building muscle strength.
The warm hot tub waters raise your body temperature, causing your blood vessels to dilate, which in turn increases your circulation. Heat helps your body’s cells eliminate wastes more efficiently, decreases inflammation, restores injured tissues, and promotes the release of endorphins, creating an overall sense of well-being. Relaxing in your hot tub in the evening can also promote a more restful sleep. The warm waters stimulate your body’s systems to lower your internal temperature, mimicking the drop in temperature that happens when your body prepares to sleep.
Lower water temperatures — around 34oC — help to reduce overall tension in your body, while higher temperatures — closer to 40oC — are ideal for loosening tense muscles and reducing the pain of stress-related muscle tension, such as shoulder pain. When buying a hot tub, look for models that make it easy for you to control the water temperature, and thus the type of hydrotherapy treatment it provides. Some models can save your preferred settings, which can be convenient as you gradually figure out the exact water temperature that is right for you.
Are you ready to begin your hot tub hydrotherapy treatment? Stop by one of our locations across Ontario and our hot tub professionals will help you choose a hot tub that meets your unique needs, or just send us a message!