Hydrotherapy is water therapy. Warm water plus swirling action = help for many health problems. For years, water therapy has been widely accepted for many medical conditions as well as physical therapy, soft exercise, and faster sports recovery. Here are some tips for getting the most benefit from your personal hydrotherapy machine: your hot tub.

To reduce tension, set your hot tub temperature between 94º to 96º F, which is close to your skin’s temperature. This is perfect for a summer soak when you want to relax but cooling off is more on your mind than a hot water treatment.

On the other hand, many people have reported that raising the water temperature between 102º to 104º F is great for loosening tight, tense muscles and reducing the pain of stress-related conditions such as backache and neck pain. The tensions of the day have a way of cramping our muscles and this only gets worse with time. Sleep problems and achy shoulders can be a long term result of this kind of tension.

Using temperature settings above 104ºF is not recommended as it can raise your core temperature very fast, inducing an artificial fever. Most hot tub manufacturers set a limit on the temperature to 104ºF.

If you take a cold shower after you step out of the hot tub (like ancient Romans did as part of their bath ritual) you will feel an immediate rush of blood through your system, as well as an exhilarating rush of natural energy. Just as hot water opens and cleanses the pores, cool water closes them back up again afterward. If you leave the hot tub and begin sweating, it’s a good idea to follow up with a cooling shower.

What Typically Happens During Hydrotherapy?

• After 5 minutes - your blood pressure and pulse rates may begin to drop as your muscles start to relax as tension leaves your body

• After 8 minutes - your circulation improves in your hands and feet making them feel warmer. This is especially good for people with circulation impairment.

• After 12 minutes - your muscles become deeply relaxed, becoming more receptive to passive exercise. Tissues become more pliable and responsive to stretching, encouraging the release of lactic acid and other toxins from your system. If you feel itching in your muscles, you’ll know that lactic acid is being released.

• At 15 minutes - your minor aches and pains will often experience a temporary decrease in severity.
Evening is one of the best times to soak in hot water. You will probably find that a good soaking before going to bed will help you relax, make it easier to fall asleep, and you'll likely experience deeper sleep throughout the night. Not only does hydrotherapy help you fall asleep, it helps you stay asleep.

Caution: If you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or any other medical condition, you must consult with your physician before beginning any hot water therapy program. Your doctor can help determine if it's right for you. Infants and children are more sensitive to the effects of heat, and experts recommend shorter soaking times. Consult your doctor first.

Author's Bio: 

Lana McAra is a health awareness advocate. Award-winning, best-selling author of more than 20 titles, writing under the name Rosey Dow, Lana is an expert on hydrotherapy and related topics. Check out her web site at http://ClearwaterSpasInc.com