Spa Business issue 3 2020

Page 102

by Megan Whitby, writer

The paper assessed 13 pieces of research focused on hot and cold bathing

Finishing touch


Meta-analysis highlights how hydrotherapy is proven to be both a preventative and therapeutic health treatment


pa and wellness businesses have a long history improve tissue oxygenation and strengthen muscles. of using hydrotherapy to deliver curative benefits Meanwhile, it revealed that cold water immersion to customers and there are more than 34,000 can provide an anaesthetic effect, and reduce stress thermal/mineral spring establishments worldwide, and force placed on the body to help the ability to according to the Global Wellness Economy Monitor. Now exercise. In addition, it can support musculoskeletal a research review has shown why being immersed in water function in healthy people or act as a rehabilitation has so many unexpected health benefits. treatment for patients with The industry is The paper, by South Korean existing pain-related diseases. academics, assessed 13 pieces anticipating a surge of research, and findings were European Parliament in hydrotherapy published in the International The global pandemic has treatments Journal of Environmental Research kickstarted a renewed interest in and Public Health last year. health, leading the spa industry Called The thermal effects of water immersion on to anticipate a surge in demand for treatments like health outcomes: an integrative review, the paper explored hydrotherapy which also help with prevention. the health effects of immersion hydrotherapy in the Interestingly, the European Parliament is also in the studies. Nine studies used warm water, one used both process of assessing a tourism and transport initiative, warm and cold water and the other three used cold water. which includes a sub-section highlighting the need to Immersion is just one form of hydrotherapy which uses support European resorts in attracting spa and wellness water for pain relief and treatment of existing conditions. tourists. The initiative calls on the European Commission to fund more science-based research to enable the sector to develop medical tourism business with the Findings of the study aim of reducing healthcare costs through preventative The study found that warm water immersion can measures, such as hydrotherapy and balneotherapy. improve cardiovascular function, suggesting it has This reinforces a view held widely in the industry clinical significance as an alternative to exercise, and – that treatments such as hydrotherapy have the more importantly, as a preventative health treatment. potential to improve health globally and should be It’s also been shown to increase blood flow to major taken seriously as preventative health modalities. ● organs, including the brain, heart and lungs; to help with improved short-term brain function; and to ● Read more:

102 issue 3 2020