SPA BENEFITS & SAFETY
To quickly benefit from the soothing and healthy effects of balneotherapy, simply go for a 20-minute soak in your spa, 3 times a week. Just sit there, relax and do nothing! Combined with a healthy diet and some physical exercise, this healthy routine could rapidly yield many positive effects on your overall wellness. For Centuries, the benefits of water and hot water springs have been recognized around the world. From Greek and Roman thermal baths to Japanese Onsens and Scandinavian Banniks, people have always sought the health benefits associated with water:
RELAXATION & STRESS MANAGEMENT
Did you know that to manage stress, medical students from the University of Montreal are required to take meditation classes? Moments of relaxation in the comfort of a spa produce physiological effects comparable to these meditative sessions: the mere fact of bathing in hot water can help manage stress, and even improve cognitive performance.
Spending time in a spa influences brain functions, generating physiological effects comparable to those brought on by meditation. This is what a study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (1) suggests. It reports that a 20-minute immersion in hot water causes the autonomic nervous system to adjust, just like meditation does. This reaction promotes short-term memory, increases attention span and improves brain functions that allow the proper processing of information.
The mere fact of being immersed in a spa could influence the sympathovagale balance of the body. In short, this activity leads to a decrease in anxiety and stress and generates positive ideas while lowering blood pressure and cardiac stress.
BACK ACHES & LUMBAR PAIN
The lower back and pelvis perform a colossal task: they alone support two thirds of our body weight. When your back hurts, the whole body is affected. According to data collected by Statistics Canada (2,3), 75% to 80% of people will experience at least one serious back pain episode or other back aches during their lifetime. As part of a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology (4), patients with chronic back pain combined sessions in hot water basins with their medication. After 3 weeks, their pain had decreased significantly, and their backs had become more flexible.
After 6 months, these patients were able to reduce their medication intake. Therefore, with its heat and massage jets, a spa could be a very effective everyday back pain management method.
American doctors from the Spine-Health.com (5) organization claim that spending time in a spa is recommended for back pain control. It promotes blood circulation to the muscles and increases overall body flexibility.
JOINT & MUSCLE PAIN
Many sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts will tell you: after great efforts, a spa is a great reward. Beyond relaxation, the soothing effects of a spa can make a major difference when pain remains persistent. There is evidence that, in addition to soothing aching muscles, hot water and massage jets also have the potential to soothe some chronic pain, such asthe one caused by osteoarthritis.
According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science (6), patients experienced a significant easing of their osteoarthritic knee pain after spending time in a spa. The combination of immersion in hot water and hydro massage helps trigger calming mechanisms for joint pain.
Immersion in a spa may also soothe the pain caused by physical exertion. According to the Rochester University Medical Center, immersion in hot water dilates blood vessels, increases the supply of oxygen and nutrients, and thus relaxes muscles, ligaments and tendons. Moreover, according to a study by the European Journal of Applied Physiology (7), massage jets located in the spa could facilitate recovery after an intense physical effort, by releasing toxins from the muscles into the blood stream.
POSITIVE EFFECTS ON SLEEP PATTERNS
Sleeping well is not a luxury: sleep disorders have a major impact on everyday health. According to an article in the Canadian Sleep Society ‘s journal Insomnia Round, sleeping less than 6 hours a night can affect the brain’s ability to plan, organize, be attentive, and develop strategies. About 40% of Canadians suffer from insomnia symptoms at different times of their lives. Spending time in a spa can be just what is needed.
In a study published in the scientific journal Sleep (11), researchers have found that immersion in hot water for 30 minutes, a few hours before going to bed, contributes to better quality sleep. Body temperature increases in the spa, then slowly decreases in the evening. This regulation helps to fall asleep faster, but also increases the quality of slow/ deep sleep during the night, which are critical periods when the body regenerates. Therefore, in-order to sleep well, a good soak in a spa is recommended. In addition to promoting relaxation, it can also improve the length and quality of sleep.
An adult needs to sleep on average 8 hours per night. Besides fatigue and sleepiness, extended lack of sleep is associated with serious health problems such as depression and weight gain.
Nothing can replace a healthy and active lifestyle, but sometimes health issues or overly busy days can put considerable strain on the body, and moments spent relaxing in a spa can be beneficial. They may even have positive effects on your cardiovascular health (with prior approval from your doctor) if you have heart problems or suffer from high blood pressure.
According to Dr. Thomas G. Allison, taking a relaxing break in the warm water of a spa may, indeed, be good for your heart, as the spa may simulate some aspects of exercise without the associated heart stress (12). A 10-minute hot bath may even be beneficial for people suffering from congestive heart failure (13).
In terms of heart health, sitting in hot water may also offer some of the same benefits as meditation. As part of a recently published study in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, this phenomenon has been documented in participants who received 24-minute hot water sessions. The findings of this study show direct effects on the sympathovagal balance when the body is immersed in hot water. Specifically, in addition to the benefits to brain activity, this phenomenon may bring a decrease in blood pressure, cardiac irritability, and anxiety.
(1) – Biophysiologic Effects of Warm Water Immersion
GENERAL SPA SAFETY
A better understanding of chemicals and their intended usage will ensure that your spa water is safe and clear. It will also avoid you the expense of correcting its chemical balance and cleaning your spa. In certain cases, it may even be necessary to empty your spa. All these safety instructions, and many more, are now well-documented in the link below.
COMMITTED TO SAFETY
RULES TO ENSURE SAFETY
To avoid risks to the bathers’ health, never heat the water in the spa above 104°F (40°C).
Limit the use of the spa to 15-minute periods to avoid causing nausea.
Do not use the spa if you are inebriated or under the effect of medication which could cause somnolence.
If you take medication, consult a physician before using the spa.
Due to the high temperatures, young children should only use the spa with prudence.
Pregnant women should not use the spa without their physician’s approval.
Do not use electric appliances near the water, for example a radio or hair dryer.
Hot water is an ideal medium for the propagation of infections. Do not use the spa if you have an open wound.
Always be careful when entering or leaving the spa.
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY
Always keep a well stocked first aid kit nearby (but out of reach of children). It should be stored in a location that is clearly identified and easy to reach.
Keep an instruction sheet describing mouth to mouth resuscitation close to the pool. Make sure these instructions are waterproof.
Encourage all the members of your family to learn the mouth to mouth technique.
Ensure emergency phone numbers are recorded in your telephone’s memory.