What is Hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy is the treatment of illness and injury through the use of water, both hot and cold. Hydrotherapy treatments help your body get rid of toxins that may be causing joint pain and inflammation, help relax muscles, and help relieve pressure on joints and bones. It also relaxes you, both mentally and physically.
Hydrotherapy has been around for thousands of years. Ancient bath houses were the center of social interaction in ancient Rome, and hydrotherapy spas are still especially popular in Europe, where many were built in large mansions and estates during the 18th and 19th centuries. Used to treat common ailments like muscle cramps, muscle weakness, diabetes, circulatory diseases, arthritis, osteoarthritis, back pain, muscle, bone and connective tissue injuries, balance disorders, stress and stress-related disorders, hydrotherapy is fast becoming a popular and beneficial home health treatment, especially among seniors.
How Does Hydrotherapy Make Me Healthier?
There are two ways that hydrotherapy helps keep your body healthier: thermally and mechanically.
Beneficial Thermal Effects of Hydrotherapy
Warm and cold baths alike create certain reactions in your body tissues that help lessen pain and discomfort and improve the healing process. Warm baths open up your capillaries (the small blood vessels in your body that are closest to tissues) which leads to increased blood flow and circulation, helping your body oxygenate and heal tissue better and get rid of toxins faster. Heat also slows down your internal organs, and is good at lessening certain types of aches and pains. Heat increases the production of beneficial body hormones, and stimulates the immune system. Warm, moist air from a hot bath can help open up congested or constricted airways in your lungs, throat and sinuses. Cold baths lessen inflammation in areas of injury, and help decrease the sensitivity and pain of injured areas.
Beneficial Mechanical Effects of Hydrotherapy
The gentle tingling sensation of air bubbles and the massage-like motion of water jets create beneficial chemical reactions in your skin and tissues. This leads to increased circulation, which helps oxygenate tissues and evacuate toxins. In water, your body weighs only 10% of its normal weight, so there is a large amount of physical stress removed from your joints and bones, helping to relieve pain and discomfort. This partial weightlessness also helps relax the body, because muscles don’t have to work as hard to keep the body in position and are given a chance to relax.
Hydrotherapy Options with Walk-In Baths
American Standard and Safety Tubs Walk-In Baths are available in multiple hydrotherapy configurations:
Soaker: This system is what would be considered a standard bathtub but with a door. No jets are included in these models. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a deep, warm bath while allowing the pressure of gravity to be alleviated from joints and muscles.
Whirlpool/Jet System: This system features back and leg therapy. The water jets send a focused jet of water onto these areas to increase circulation and massaging the muscles. The innovative legs-only massage available with select models operates with the tub half-full for quick, energizing leg massages that help relax tired muscles.
Air Spa System: The Air Spa system creates thousands of air bubbles in the bath for a soothing massage of water, heat and air, resulting in a relaxing champagne-like massage.
Combination/Dual System: The Combo system includes both the Whirlpool and Air Spa system that can be operated independently or at the same time. These systems are designed to offer the most comprehensive water therapy available.