Water and health are undeniably intertwined. We drink it to survive, we freeze it to stop swelling and we wash with it to stop disease.
But there is more than this: the benefits of water could fill an ocean, and many of those benefits revolve around warm water therapy.
People soak in warm water to help deal with arthritis, colds, depression, nerve problems and headaches, along with pain in joints and muscles. Warm water relaxes the body and mind in a way that few other things can.
Hot tubs and Jacuzzis capture much of water’s power and give it to the people who enter in. But most people have hot tubs because “it feels good,” without knowing why. Here’s some hydro-explanation.
Water reduces the force of gravity that is working against muscles and joints, and the pressure of the water around the body provides complete support, allowing the body to rest.
Stiff, tense and sore muscles can be relaxed with a soak in warm water. The heat also stimulates blood flow, meaning that your circulation improves, which is an import part of the healing process.
WebMD says that sometimes it is a good idea to soak in hot water before exercising, to loosen muscles, which helps keep injury at bay.
A 15-minute dip in a hot tub can ease the pain of joints sore from overuse. The high-temperature water can also help increase range of motion in any limb.
The pain of arthritis is a bother that can be helped by the clear fluid of life. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, fibromyalgia, neck pain are just a few of the other problems remedied by hot water, according to WebMD.
Bruce E. Becker, MD, director of Washington State University’s National Aquatics & Sports Medicine Institute, told Arthritis Today that warm water therapy is an old form of medicine that still works.
“It seems to have a somewhat prolonged effect that goes beyond the period of immersion,” he said.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Athletic trainers will often prescribe hot and cold therapy for athletes dealing with injury. The heat helps muscles relax, while the cold reduces inflammation and pain. Combining these two approaches helps speed up the process of healing.
One approach to hot and cold therapy is a contrast bath. This is when you have two baths, one with cooler water, and the other with warm water. Soak in the warm water for five minutes, till it doesn’t feel warm anymore, and then go into the cool tub for one minute. Repeat the process.
Warm water therapy is an amazingly safe and comfortable way to feel healthier. Just make sure your soaks don’t usually go beyond twenty minutes, and make sure you are well hydrated when starting.
+Ethel writes about all things backyard with a focus on replacement hot tub spa covers. You can also chat with Ethel on Twitter! Follow this author on Twitter