Health Benefits

Hydrotherapy - The Benefits of Soaking Tubs

Work is busy, schedules are full, stress levels continue to rise. While we all know showers are faster and more hygienic, very few of us take the time for a good long soak in a tub. But perhaps we should. The numerous benefits of soaking in a tub make make everything just a little better, easier, and relaxing.

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Water has an amazing effecot on the body. It is very good for our skin and muscles. Heat has a tendency to quiet and sooth the body, while cold will stimulate and invigorate. The calming effect of soaking can relax and work to reduce the effects of stress on the body. If you have a hectic and stressful lifestyle, soaking may be the perfect solution to a better life.

A recent study at the Mayo Clinic found that soaking in a hot bath gives many of the health benefits of exercise with less strain on the heart! Soaking in a hot bath increases the heart rate while it lowers blood pressure rather than raising it as does other forms of exercise. Immersion in hot water first speeds up the heart to send blood to the surface and disperse extra body heat into the air. But after a few minutes, the warm blood causes the blood vessels to dilate, which lessens resistance to blood flow and lowers the blood pressure.

Some medical experts recommend soaking in water of approximately 103 degrees Fahrenheit about two hours before bedtime (no longer than 15 minutes at a time) to help reduce insomnia. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) believes that many cases of insomnia can be traced to hectic, stressful lifestyles. Studies suggest this can ease the transition into a deeper, more restful sleep. The temperature change may be a signal to the body that it's time to sleep, or the sensation of weightlessness may just be relaxing the muscles.

The combination of warmth and buoyancy is extremely beneficial to arthritis sufferers. The buoyancy of the water relaxes the muscles, and supports and reduces stress on the joints which encourages freer movement. Relaxing the muscles helps to increase their range of motion. Many researchers now think rheumatoid arthritis patients can exercise safely if they follow tailor-made water exercises. Water therapeutically massages the joints with every movement. Water training can help increase aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and overall activity levels for RA patients. for more information visit

A hot bath is used for relaxation, lowering the body's energy. It stimulates sweating and increases the elimination of toxins. One may use fresh herbs or the essential oils to enhance the process. Adding Epsom salt to the bath helps arthritis and rheumatism; and sea salt promotes healing, reduces inflammation and prevents infection.

A cold bath is highly invigorating! Cold water applied to any part of the body causes an initial chilling effect, followed by dilation of the small blood vessels in the skin. The increased blood flow suffuses the whole area with a reddish, warming, and healthy glow.

Herbal baths can be particularly soothing during periods of stress. There are several ways to prepare an herbal bath. While soaking in an herbal bath, one can read, meditate, and listen to peaceful music or just sit quietly and relax.

Hot/Cold Plunge is another form of hydrotherapy. This method calls for the immersion in a hot tub for a few minutes, then immediately transferring it into a cold plunge tub for 30 seconds, repeating the process for 5-10 transfers.

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any form of hydrotherapy.