The Ultimate Guide to Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

Water is one of the most powerful elements in the world. Its healing properties have inspired myths and legends for thousands of years. In modern times, mankind has harnessed technology to boost the benefits of water.

Hydrotherapy is the use of warm water to promote relaxation, health, and healing. While some medical centers will offer hydrotherapy pools and sessions, the more common method for enjoying hydrotherapy is via hot tub. Hot tubs allow you to reap the benefits of hydrotherapy from the comfort of your home and yard!

If you own or are considering purchasing a hot tub, knowing the potential health benefits is crucial. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how to safely enjoy hydrotherapy in a hot tub. Plus, we will cover key methods for maximizing the benefits!

What is Hydrotherapy?

The term “hydrotherapy” refers to the use of water for medicinal and health purposes. Hydrotherapy can be done in both cold and hot water, though heat is often preferred to help boost the effects of stretching or additional therapies. Heat is also thought to help increase the healing properties of the water.

Hydrotherapy is an overall well-researched practice and has been found to help many medical conditions. Here are just a few examples of the vast research done on the therapy:

  • A 2018 study found hydrotherapy to be “effective in minimizing the process of functional decline” in Parkinson’s patients.
  • In a 2017 study, researchers looked at the effect of hydrotherapy on elderly women with knee osteoarthritis. The study found that hydrotherapy not only alleviated pain but helped improve functionality and muscular strength.
  • A 2019 study on balneology (the study of therapeutic bathing) for patients with chronic low back pain found the practice to demonstrate many benefits. These included reduced pain and improved quality of life.

Though these studies examine moderate to severe health conditions, hydrotherapy can be used by all. Whether you are recovering from a muscular injury or simply looking for a way to relax and unwind, hydrotherapy can help.

Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

Hot tub hydrotherapy is exactly as the name suggests – hydrotherapy is practiced within a hot tub!

Depending on where you live, it may be hard to locate a facility that offers hydrotherapy services. Likewise, you may not have the time or desire to travel outside of your home to receive hydrotherapy. By practicing the therapy in a hot tub, you solve both of these issues at once.

Many components of a hot tub can contribute to and customize a hydrotherapy experience. These include:

  • Water Temperature: With a hot tub, you have total control over the water temperature. This allows you to adjust the temperature according to your needs and sensitivity to heat.
  • Jet Speed and Power: Jets play a key role in hot tub hydrotherapy. They help to massage your muscles and joints, boosting both your relaxation and muscular recovery.
  • Seat Position: Most hot tubs come with several seats, oftentimes in different positions or with different jet patterns. Finding the ideal seating position can help you achieve the greatest benefits.

Hot tubs are advantageous because they provide the option to practice hydrotherapy whenever you want. Rather than having to make an appointment for a hydrotherapy session that you can only get into once a month, a hot tub allows you to enjoy the treatment whenever you need it.

The Benefits of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

Enjoying hydrotherapy from the comfort of a hot tub in your outdoor space is a great way to reap the benefits of the treatment.

The benefits of hot tub hydrotherapy can include:

  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Eased muscle and joint pain
  • Reduced stress or anxiety
  • Overall improved quality of life

As we have covered, hydrotherapy can aid in treat a range of conditions. Even if you do not have a health condition, hydrotherapy can help you to maintain a healthy mindset and feel more energized. When practiced regularly, hydrotherapy can help to boost your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Conditions hot tub therapy can help to treat include:

  • Arthritis
  • Chronic back pain
  • Menstrual pain
  • Muscular strains or injuries
  • Joint conditions
  • Anxiety

Pro Tip: Hot tubs are good for more than just relaxation and recovery – they can even ease headache pain! If you suffer from constant headaches, soaking in a spa may help alleviate your pain and discomfort.

How to Safely Use a Hot Tub for Hydrotherapy

In general, a hot tub will be safe to use for hydrotherapy.

Other than cranking the heat up too high, there aren’t too many safety concerns when it comes to practicing hydrotherapy in your hot tub.

The true test of safety comes from how well you maintain the water in your hot tub! To safely use a hot tub for hydrotherapy, the water needs to be regularly tested and treated. This includes testing pH, alkaline, and sanitizer levels.

Without the proper chemistry, your hot tub water may end up irritating your skin and inhibiting the benefits of hydrotherapy.

To prevent this, you must either test and treat your water yourself, or you will need to get in touch with a professional hot tub services provider.

If you live in the Salisbury area, Pool Tech offers expert solutions for all your hot tub maintenance needs!

Maximizing the Benefits of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

There are many ways you can maximize the benefits of your hot tub hydrotherapy practice.

While you soak in a hot tub, doing any of the following can help boost your mental and emotional state:

  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Listening to music
  • Reading a book

However, these are not the only ways to get the most out of your hot tub. Below, we have listed 4 great ideas of additional therapies or exercises to pair with hydrotherapy. Utilizing any of these can help you to greatly maximize the benefits to your health and wellness your receive when

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the use of plant extracts to create oils and aromatics that promote health. These are most commonly used in massages and baths.

Benefits of aromatherapy can include:

  • Management of pain
  • Soothing of sore joints
  • Boosted immune system

To practice aromatherapy in a hot tub, you must be mindful of your hot tub water chemistry. Unlike a traditional bath, you will not be able to drop the oils directly into the water. This is because the thickness of the oil can disrupt the water balance as well as damage the filtration system.

Luckily, there are aromatherapy liquids designed for use in hot tubs. These can be found and purchased online and are the best way to enjoy aromatherapy while also protecting your spa.

Stretching

Stretching is a core component of physical health. Not only can stretching alleviate soreness from day-to-day activities, but it can also help to prevent future injuries and strains.

Benefits of stretching can include:

  • Improved posture
  • Enhanced mobility
  • Strengthened muscles and joints
  • Reduced back pain

Because you have limited space in a hot tub, you must choose stretches that work from seated positions. Torso twists and hamstring stretches are two great movements that can be modified for use in a hot tub!

Chromotherapy

Chromotherapy is the use of colored lights to help enhance a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. Exposure to certain colors can stimulate reactions in your brain that improve your state of being.

Benefits of chromotherapy can include:

  • Greater sensory awareness
  • Accelerated healing
  • Reduced tension throughout the body

Many hot tubs come with different light settings already built-in. This makes achieving chromotherapy in a hot tub a breeze. If you have a hot tub without colored lights, there are many water-safe options available for purchase online or at your local hot tub and spa dealer.

Chromotherapy is such an easy practice that it can be paired with more than just hydrotherapy. Stretching and aromatherapy practices can also benefit from adding chromotherapy’s colored lights to the mix!

Reflexology

Reflexology is a branch of the massage practice. The practice comes from traditional Chinese medicine and focuses on applying pressure to the hands, feet, and ears.

Benefits of reflexology can include:

  • Boosted relaxation
  • Improved circulation
  • Elimination of bodily toxins
  • Lifted mood and emotional state

When in a hot tub, you enjoy the use of powered jets designed for massaging parts of your body. These jets can provide the opportunity for practicing reflexology on your feet and hands.

The jets stimulate your skin, muscles, and nerves. This, in turn, stimulates and engages your limbs and boosts your blood flow. People with chronic back and leg pain can benefit enormously from hot tub reflexology.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

While hot tub hydrotherapy is generally considered safe, there are still optimal times and temperatures to consider. We will answer the following three questions relating to hot tub hydrotherapy in this section:

  • How long should you soak in the hot tub?
  • How often should you soak in the hot tub?
  • What is the right temperature for the hot tub?

As we strive to answer these questions, it is important to remember that every human body is different. If you need to make minor adjustments to fit your own needs, by all means, do so!

1. How Long to Soak in the Hot Tub?

The ideal hot tub soak session will be between 15 to 45 minutes in length, with 30 minutes generally being the sweet spot.

If you are not used to soaking in hot water or have highly sensitive skin, opting for a shorter amount of time may be preferable. Likewise, if you have chosen to keep your water at a cooler temperature, you may be able to extend the time spent in the hot tub.

Staying in the heated water for a prolonged period may result in dizziness or overheating!

2. How Often to Soak in the Hot Tub?

The reality of soaking in the hot tub is that you can do it every day! The more consecutive days your practice hydrotherapy, the more likely you are to see the benefits.

The key to choosing a soaking frequency is to create a routine. By doing so, you will establish a healthy habit that provides you with relaxation and health benefits.

If you want to soak multiple times in one day, just be sure to give your body time to cool down in between sessions. Your body should be given ample opportunity to rest and recover its natural temperature following a hot tub session.

3. What is the Ideal Hot Tub Temperature?

A standard hot tub will be able to reach a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. However, most users will prefer a temperature somewhere between the range of 100 to 102 degrees.

Hotter temperatures will help to reduce pain and loosen your muscles. Meanwhile, temperatures in a lower range – between 95 to 100 degrees – will help to ease tension and relax your body.

The ideal heat will ultimately depend on your own sensitivity to and heat preference. When you opt for hotter temperatures in the 102 to 104-degree range, we recommend limiting your soak time to 15 minutes. Overexposure to this high heat can result in skin irritation and temporary fever.

Get Hooked on Hot Tub Hydrotherapy with Pool Tech

Here at Pool Tech, our team has serviced the Salisbury, MD area for over 40 years. We offer top-quality Sundance® Spas that can help you achieve your health and hydrotherapy goals. Additionally, we offer maintenance services to hot tub owners. Our hot tub experts work diligently to ensure your spa stays at peak performance.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about how to optimize your hot tub experience, check out our blog! We cover everything you need to know and even offer a complete guide for buying your first hot tub.

Pool Tech is committed to helping you achieve the outdoor space of your dreams. We can help you on every step of your backyard journey including planning, design, delivery, installation, and maintenance. If you are ready to take your yard to the next level, contact us today or visit our showroom!

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