The word spa stems from a Latin term sanus per aquam, which roughly translates as health through water. Throughout the ages, many different cultures have been reaping the physical and emotional benefits of a soak in warm water. Today, this trend continues to grow as medical research continues to investigate the many ways that warm water therapy can contribute to improving health and wellness.
When immersed in warm water, there are several physiological changes that take place. Your body first reacts to regulate your body temperature by increasing your heart rate to adjust to the exposure of heat. The warmer temperature of the water increases your core temperature and aids in oxygenating your blood. Also, this process dilates your blood vessels, which can decrease blood pressure. The benefits from even a twenty-minute soak are as follows:
As the warmed blood reaches deeper into your core, your muscles relax releasing tension, lactic acid, and metabolic waste.
Another result of warm water is that the buoyancy of water helps your body experience less resistance, which can aid in reducing bodily aches and pains.
Oftentimes your body will sweat when exposed to the heat of a spa soak. This process helps to rid your body of toxins leaving you feeling refreshed and reenergized.
Hot water can help your body increase its flexibility and boost your range of motion. Stretching, when conducted in water, can loosen up stiff spots and reduce tension leaving you more limber.
A relaxing soak in a hot tub can help induce relaxation and thus promote better sleep. By signaling to your body that it can release tension and ease into comfort, many insomnia suffers are prescribed warm water soaks two hours before bedtime to help improve their quality of sleep.