Hydrotherapy: A Warm, Hot Bath
Hot baths can do more than keep you clean. It has been found that warm baths (water
temperature between 100 to 102 degree F) not only relax the muscles but help provide some
quiet time as well. So when you need to escape, fill the tub, lie back, and relax.
Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal
organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. If
you are experiencing tense muscles and anxiety from your stress, a hot shower or bath is
in order. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, you might want to try taking a warm
shower or bath followed by a short, invigorating cold shower to help stimulate your body
and mind. Experiment with different water temperatures and durations in the bath or shower
to determine what water method works best for you. Remember, the goal is to use
hydrotherapy to achieve a state of comfort, relaxation, and refreshment.
Water seems to have special powers in getting rid of stress and rejuvenating our body.
It affects the skin and muscles. It calms the lungs, heart, stomach, and endocrine system
by stimulating nerve reflexes on the spinal cord.
When you submerge yourself in a bath, a pool, or a whirlpool, you experience a kind of
weightlessness. Your body is relieved from the constant pull of gravity. Water also has a
hydrostatic effect. It has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body.
Water, in motion, stimulates touch receptors on the skin, boosting blood circulation and
releasing tight muscles.
The more the water is in motion, higher is its stress-relieving benefits. In a study of 40 persons
at University of Minnesota, 85% of the participants preferred a whirlpool bath to a still
bath. Only whirlpool was effective in reducing the participants' reactivity to stress
although both still and whirlpool baths were effective in reducing anxiety.
Herbal baths can be particularly soothing when you are
experiencing a period of stress. More details on
herbal baths can be found in our hydrotherapy section.
For more details, please refer to our section
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