Hydrotherapy: Relaxation, Pain Relief, and Healing

Caldera-Paradise-2012-Kauai-Lifestyle-06Hydrotherapy is water therapy. Warm water plus swirling action = help for many health problems. Here are some tips for getting the most benefit from your personal hydrotherapy machine: Your Hot Tub.

To reduce tension, set your hot tub temperature between 94º to 96º F, which is close to your skin’s temperature. Many people have reported that raising the water temperature between 102º to 104º F is great for loosening tight, tense muscles and reducing the pain of stress-related conditions such as backache. Using temperature settings above 104ºF is not recommended as it can raise your core temperature very fast, inducing an artificial fever. Most hot tub manufacturers set a limit on the temperature to 104ºF.

If you take a cold shower after you step out of the hot tub (like ancient Romans did as part of their bath ritual) you will feel an immediate rush of blood through your system, as well as an exhilarating rush of natural energy. Just as hot water opens and cleanses the pores, cool water closes them back up again afterward.

What Typically Happens During Hydrotherapy?

  • After 5 minutes – your blood pressure and pulse rates may begin to drop.
  • After 8 minutes – your circulation improves in your hands and feet making them feel warmer.
  • After 12 minutes – your muscles relax, becoming more receptive to passive exercise. Tissues become more pliable and responsive to stretching, encouraging the release of lactic acid and other toxins from your system.
  • At 15 minutes – your minor aches and pains will often experience a temporary decrease in severity.

Evening is one of the best times to soak in hot water.  You will probably find that a good soaking before going to bed will make falling asleep easier, and you’ll likely experience deeper sleep throughout the night.   If you have a medical condition or are pregnant, consult with your physician before starting any hydrotherapy regimen.

Caution: If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or any other medical condition, you must consult with your physician before beginning any hot water therapy program. Your doctor can help determine if it’s right for you.  Infants and children are more sensitive to the effects of heat, and experts recommend shorter soaking times. Consult your pediatrician.  See Hot Tub Safety for other important information.

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