The spa bath and its health benefits
I tell most of my clients to soak in Epsom salt baths at least once a week for 20 to 40 minutes for either injury recovery or maintenance of their body.
However, what about the spa bath?
With school holidays many people head away for a much-needed break and may have the opportunity to use a spa bath or maybe you have been thinking of getting one for the family home.
You can’t put Epson salts through a spa bath as it can cause corrosion to the pipes - so is it worth using a spa instead?
You bet it is and here are 10 great health reasons to take a spa bath!
1. It may improve your cardiovascular health
According to Bruce Becker, M.D., (who uses aquatics for pain relief and rehabilitation) immersing yourself in water in general up to your neck gives you a cardiac workout. This is because water puts more pressure on your body which increases your cardiac volume. In other words, when you’re soaking in water, your heart works harder and that helps it stay healthy.
2. It may help you sleep
Hot water promotes relaxation which helps you sleep. When you put your tense body is a tub of hot water, the heat raises your body temperature and relaxes your muscles. This makes you tired and relaxed which can help you sleep better. Word of warning – don’t fall asleep in the spa bath…. Not a good idea…..
3. It may help alleviate aches and pains
As above, hot water in general helps relax your body. This can also alleviate aches and pains associated with athletic injuries like muscle pulls or even arthritis. If you’re in pain and it’s not a broken bone, a good soak will probably help you feel better.
4. It may help lower blood pressure
Mayo Clinic researcher Thomas Allison, M.P.H., PhD did a study that shows that sitting in a spa bath can lower your blood pressure. This is great for those who are at risk for heart disease or suffer from hypertension. Of course, if you suffer from those problems you should consult your doctor but the research of Dr. Allison have showed that hot water like in spa baths increase your heart rate while lowering your blood pressure which helps reinforce our earlier fact that it can help your cardiovascular health.
5. It may help diabetes and weight loss
A small study conducted has shown that people with diabetes who take regular spa baths can reduce their blood sugar and blood glucose levels. It also showed that taking a spa bath for 30 minutes, six days a week lost four pounds (that’s 1.5 kilos!!!) in a month without making a single change to their diet or exercise.
6. It may reduce stress
Sitting in warm water and feeling the benefits can greatly reduce your stress. Reducing stress can have positive improvements on your mental and physical health and can promote a feeling of general well being.
7. It can help clean your body
Heat opens up your pores and this can be a good thing when you’re in a clean environment like a spa bath. By opening the pores, you give the water a chance to work its way in there and clean out the various dirt and toxins from your skin. The result is a refreshed feeling with potentially clearer skin. The detoxification process can make you feel better too – hmmm…. Maybe it even helps the Lymph system!
8. It may help with headaches
Between the dilated blood vessels, relaxation, and warmth, spa baths may also help reduce headaches. By dilating the blood vessels, it can decrease pressure in your head which helps get rid of headaches while general relaxation and warmth continue the process. If you suffer from headaches, then some good spa baths can help you fix it.
9. It can improve your self esteem and confidence
When you feel good, you have good thoughts. When you get into a spa bath feeling bad and the bath makes you feel better, it’ll make you feel better about yourself and when you feel good, you feel more confident. A good soak before a big event can help you relax, have more confidence in yourself, and help you be more prepared mentally.
10. It may improve anxiety
Thanks to the relaxation, stress relief, and the heat, spa baths can help you feel less anxiety. Of course, it’ll take more than a spa bath to get rid of all of it but every little bit helps!
However there may be some risks to consider…….
Despite the benefits, spa baths aren’t for everyone. Those with heart disease should be especially cautious because the cardiovascular effects can actually cause complications. Also, hot tubs, hot baths, etc can make you sweat and that can lead to dehydration if you’re not careful. Since they are so hot, you also run the risk of heat stroke if you’re sensitive to the heat or if you’re in there for too long. Pregnant women should be careful as well as the hot water can negatively affect the baby if they’re not careful.
If you have any doubts at all about starting a spa bath regimen, you should consult your doctor.
While the benefits of spa baths sound amazing, they aren’t miracle workers. They do better to augment a healthy lifestyle rather than be the focal point of one. Everyone should enjoy a good soak every now and then (if their health allows it) because in most cases, it can help you feel better!
And if you can't get to a spa bath?
Then just use Epsom salts in your bath at home.
You will still feel much better for the chance to soak and relax and let the magnesium do what it needs to do!
Capri Clark is the founder of Bayside Remedial Massage and Healing in Brisbane. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Nursing and a Diploma in Remedial Massage. Capri's gentle techniques bring a huge amount of care and skill to her treatments. If you would like to book in for a session with Capri, you can click here.