Ah…there is nothing like a hot bath or shower to ease sore muscles and help us relax at the end of a hard day. We know it works, but did you know there is a history dating back thousands of years, along with modern scientific research which encourages using water, baths and showers to improve health?
“Hydrotherapy, or water therapy, is the use of water (hot, cold, steam, or ice) to relieve discomfort and promote physical well-being.” (Source: http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Hydrotherapy)
In her article on Livestrong.com “The Health Benefits of Hot Tubs,” Tricia Mangan lists several situations in which hydrotherapy at home in a hot bath or hot tub can improve health.
Sleep benefits – soaking in a hot tub can help relieve stress and improve sleep. “Studies suggest that spending 15 minutes in a hot tub 90 minutes before bedtime can lead to an improved night’s sleep,” writes Mangan.
Joint pain and muscle relaxation – massaging jets along with the buoyancy of water help to soothe muscles and reduce pressure on joints and associated pain; particularly helpful for those suffering from arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Type 2 diabetes benefits – “Hot tub therapy involving 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. Those with diabetes need to exercise caution, however, as they may be more susceptible to get burns on their feet due to nerve damage caused by diabetes. Drops in blood sugar may also not be obvious until getting out of the tub so individuals are advised to leave the hot tub gradually to make sure they do not pass out.”
Reducing chronic pain and fatigue – those suffering from chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia may also find some relief in hydrotherapy practices.
*Please note: there are many health conditions for which hot tubs, hot water and steam would be contraindicated. In many cases, tepid or even cool water may be preferable. Speak to your health care provider before beginning any type of home hydrotherapy treatments.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to take your health into your own hands and want to install a hot tub, Jacuzzi tub, soaker or steam shower in your home, you will want to talk to a local home improvement expert or plumbing contractor who can help guide you along the way and take care of all of the plumbing installation requirements.
Related blog: Hot Tubs: The Pros and Cons of Indoors and Outdoors
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