Healing with hydrotherapy
Health resolutions help us “feel” better. Those looking for better sleep, lower blood pressure or reduced stress should try a new approach to personal health and wellness this year. Hydrotherapy has a variety of mental and physical benefits, and allows different body systems to work together to achieve results. In addition to mitigating daily stress, hot tub hydrotherapy can aid recovery from injuries and make the healing process easier to endure. It may also reduce the likelihood of “deconditioning,” a process of physical or mental decline due to inactivity.
Immediately after an injury, appropriate rest is vital. Respect the body’s instincts and avoid damaging the injured tissue. Remember that the healing process involves three phases: • Inflammatory phase (0-7 days): Blood vessels dilate to allow the flow of essential cells, nutrients and healing factors into the wounded area. •Proliferation phase (7-21 days): The initial structural framework of the wounded area is rebuilt to support blood vessels. Immobilization, or limited movement, allows for the tissue to heal without extensive scarring. • Maturation phase (21+ days): Cells in the wounded area begin remodeling themselves into a more organized structure. Depending on the injury, this phase may take up to a year or longer.
Since hydrotherapy takes place in water, it benefits from effects of water: Buoyancy and hydrostatic pressure. The human body is buoyant, meaning that it floats in water. As a result, the force of gravity feels lighter and less painful to weight-bearing injuries. Hydrotherapy helps people transition from partial weight bearing to full weight bearing, and supports the ability to engage in optimal loading. This maximizes the ability of injured tissue to adapt to movement. According to a paper published in the Indian Journal of Orthopedics, early mobilization and tissue loading has a positive effect. The paper goes on to say that “introductory loading should involve a return to full weight bearing, which can also be achieved through hydrotherapy.” What about hydrostatic pressure? When your body is submerged, the weight of the surrounding water presses against it. This pressure is called “hydrostatic,” because the water is static, or not in motion. The benefits of hydrostatic pressure can be helpful to increase range of motion and decrease pain. According to a 2012 article entitled “The Science Behind the Soak,” hydrostatic pressure on the body is the driving force to decrease joint swelling, which can aid in pain reduction and increase joint movement. With benefits of hydrotherapy, every individual can make the most of their recovery or resolution. Seth and Elizabeth Smith own Durango Spas. With over 20 years experience, they specialize in finding the right chemicals and accessories for all hot tub and spa needs. January 2019 | Four Corners Healthy Living |
A collection of ways to follow through with new year's resolutions for health and wellness.