Since ancient times, humans have been immersing themselves in hot water for its healing properties. In modern times, we call this hydrotherapy. To paraphrase the North American Journal of Medical Studies, hydrotherapy is use of water in various ways at various temperatures to treat a variety of illnesses. Illnesses treated in a hot tub or spa can range from hypertension to psychiatric disorders, and the methods of treatment can range just as widely. Still not convinced? Well, here are four healthy spa benefits that have stood the test of time.
According to Livestrong.com, the National Sleep Foundation touts a soak in hot water will ease the transition into a deeper sleep. This is one way to contribute to good sleep hygiene, which can improve both mental and physical health. In fat, according to the National Sleep Foundation, good sleep hygiene leads to an overall improvement in productivity and quality of life.
A temperature increase of even one or two degrees can have a positive effect on the body. AARP notes that this increase in temperature can reduce inflammation and arterial stiffness. One study cited by AARP notes that that three sauna baths per week can even reduce the chance of stroke. The study also determined that hot tubs and spas can produce similar results.
We all know that stress is a killer. It can have a negative effect on almost every biological process. Luckily, another healthy spa benefit is that soaking in warm water can lead to a reduction in stress. There are two main factors according to Bruce Becker, a physician and research professor at Washington State University, warmth and buoyancy. When our bodies are immersed in warm water, Becker explains, the nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system fall into balance. Our bodies react to the immersion in the same way they do to meditation. Becker’s goal in this research was to show the benefits of spa usage to a larger, more diverse group. They can be so much more than just a social focal point.
Other Medical Conditions
Various other medical conditions can be helped with the use of a spa. These include diabetes, arthritis, and more. However, if you are looking to treat a specific medical condition (or you have a medical condition) you should always consult your physician before using hydrotherapy methods. Once you have the go ahead, you will find that the healthy spa benefits will have a positive impact on your life both mind and body.