This is the second post in the series “The Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa.” In this series we discuss the most important considerations when choosing the hot tub that is perfect for you. Each day we will cover one of the five tips with a new post and we encourage you to leave your comments, thoughts or opinions below.
Tip #2: Hot Tub Therapy
Heat & Buoyancy
One of the greatest benefits of owning or using a hot tub is therapy, commonly referred to as “hydrotherapy.” Hydrotherapy consists of three main aspects: heat, buoyancy, and massage. As the name “hot” tub suggests, heat is obviously a large component of the spa experience, but what makes the heat so pleasurable? Soaking in hot water relieves muscle soreness and helps to loosen stiff joints, it also stimulates blood circulation, which brings an increase of oxygen and nutrients to aching muscles. For back pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia, soaking in a hot tub can be a good way to provide heat to all parts of the body at once. Buoyancy, or the ability to float in water, allows great stress relief by taking nearly 90% of your body’s weight off of your aching muscles and ligaments, allowing them time to heal and protecting them from further damage.
The third aspect of hydrotherapy is massage. When you are looking to purchase a hot tub, you will find that each spa manufacturer may put a different spin on the healing effects of hydrotherapy and massage, which is why it is always a good idea to wet-test the spa and see if it targets the areas of your body that you are the most concerned with. Jet placement and the types of jets are what is going to make the most difference in relieving aches and pains. Each seat in the spa may have various types of jets in specific anatomical configurations, so that you can easily move from one seat to the next to enjoy relief in different areas of your body. Seating configurations may have jets that target the muscles in your neck, shoulders, upper back, middle back, lower back, hands, knees, calves, thighs, and feet. You should also be able to increase and decrease the amount of jet pressure through the use of built-in air valves, diverter valves, and different jet pump speeds. If customization of jet pressure is an important factor to you, make sure that you are able to wet-test a few spas before purchase, in order to make sure that you are able to get the “right” amount of pressure for your massage.
At the end of a stressful day, there are many factors that play an important role in healing. Your hot tub is not limited only to physical therapy, it can also promote mental health, self-esteem, coordination, and endurance, enhancing your lifestyle and increasing well-being. Many people find that owning a hot tub also provides them with a relaxing meeting place for family, friends, and loved-ones and allows more time for reconnection and conversation.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Use a Hot Tub?
For some, pain and joint stiffness is at its worst in the morning, so try a quick soak before you get ready for the day or after a workout. For many others, muscles tire and soreness increases throughout the day, which makes enjoying the healing effects of a warm soak right before bed the best way to unwind at the end of a stressful day.
Promoting a Good Night’s Sleep
Who doesn’t want to sleep better at night? There has been a lot of research done on this topic and we would like to point out a great post that has already been written on the subject by Olympic Hot Tub Company:
“Did you know that relaxing in a hot tub can help ease your body into a deeper sleep? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a non-profit organization promoting sleep education, advocacy, and research, has declared March 30th National Sleep Awareness Day. According to a recent poll by the NSF, approximately 132 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders more than one a night a week. This number is on the rise as evidenced by the growing number of sleep disorder centers across the nation (approximately 3,000 in the U.S. today).
Sleep researchers believe that many cases of insomnia can be traced to hectic, stressful lifestyles lived by basically healthy people. The results of sleep deprivation are varied and can include battered nerves, grogginess, lapses in memory, depression, and even erratic mood swings. Rather than reaching for over-the-counter sleeping aids, a simple solution to this dilemma may be relaxing in a hot tub before bedtime.
Studies suggest that immersion in hot water (such as a hot tub which has a constant temperature) before bedtime can ease the transition into a deeper, more restful sleep. This may be due to a temperature shift, since the body’s core internal thermostat drops after leaving the water, which signals the body that it’s time to sleep. Or, the sleep improvement may be related to hot water’s relaxing properties – the buoyancy of water reduces body weight by approximately 90%, relieving pressure on joints and muscles, creating the sensation of weightlessness. The hot, swirling water leaves you feeling both mentally and emotionally relaxed.
In addition, hot tub-induced sleep is a natural remedy, unlike alternative sleeping aids such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies and alcohol – all of which can make you feel groggy and have other adverse side effects.”
Please check back tomorrow for Part Three of the “Top 5 Tips for Buying a Hot Tub or Spa” series. If you missed the first part of this series you can find it here:
As always, we would love to learn from your thoughts and questions in the comments below…