If you’re feeling muscle tension and an increased amount of stress, hydrotherapy might be the answer to your health issues. Hydrotherapy is not a new concept, but many people are seeking more holistic, alternative treatments to medication, and hydrotherapy falls into this category. While many will use hydrotherapy as a form of spa treatment or for relaxation, there are actually many health benefits to hydrotherapy.
What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is essentially a large tub with water jets and adjustable temperatures, similar to that of a whirlpool bath or hot tub. The tub jets focus on different areas of the body at different temperatures and pressures and can be customized for your ailments. Occasionally, salt or essential oils are added to the bath to aid in relaxation and relieving muscle soreness. Steam baths, saunas, and sitz baths are all forms of hydrotherapy. According to research, hydrotherapy has a lot of physical (and mental) health benefits.
Recovery after Physical Activity
Not all hydrotherapy experiences are centered on warm whirling water pulses. Some are focused on colder water therapies. Research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that neuromuscular recovery and muscle fatigue was improved through the use of hydrotherapy. Those that participate in team sports were able to benefit and get back to intense activities as a result of a few cold water hydrotherapy sessions. Those afflicted with osteoarthritis have shown improved overall health from a few dips in the pool.
Boosts Immune Response
Many people who have circulation issues, which may cause swelling of the hands, legs, and feet find relief by sitting in a hot, steamy bath with jets pulsating on these sore parts to relieve the pressure and reduce swelling. The increased blood flow also helps to get white blood cells to areas prone to sickness and allows them to better fight off things like the flu or even a cold. By allowing these cells to invade these areas faster, you are less likely to get sick because your immune response is boosted from the increased blood circulation. Therefore, a few minutes in a hydrotherapy tub can surely work wonders.
Stress Relief & Relaxation
The warmth and pulsating jets of a hydrotherapy tub can help to alleviate stress and tension by relaxing tightened muscles and releasing toxins. The increased temperature and circulation helps to reduce stress hormone cortisol and aid in relaxation. This period of reduced cortisol allows for increased endorphins to fight off pain and rejuvenate your muscles and joints. Being more relaxed decreases headaches and improves sleep quality.
By reducing stress and pain in our daily lives, hydrotherapy has also been used to alleviate depression. Improving overall mental health is something we should all be striving for. If you break your leg, you wouldn’t put off getting it taken care of, so why not treat your mental health as important as your physical wellbeing? Hydrotherapy improves your overall mood and can provide mental clarity, and focus as the result of a few minutes of sitting in a warm, bubbly water massage.
Whether you are afflicted with circulation issues, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, or insomnia, hydrotherapy has been found to help alleviate some of these chronic conditions, allowing folks to get back to daily living. Hydrotherapy has less side effects than most medications and can be done in the privacy of your own home. There are spa facilities that have hydrotherapy pools and tubs for use, as well. Or you can simply book a night at your local hotel and use their hot tub for hydrotherapy. It may not give you the exact same results as a private tub in your own home, but it can ease the daily stresses for pain relief in a hurry. As with any medical treatment, always check with your healthcare provider first before starting any new treatment.