Hydrotherapy is a natural and organic form of pain relief that works its magic in two primary ways. First, the experience provides the bather with the sensation of weightlessness and significantly relieves the body of the effects of gravity. The buoyancy of water reduces body weight by 90%, easing pressure on aching joints, muscles and bones. According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Hydrotherapy is one method of using water to help treat arthritis. The soothing warmth and buoyancy of the water makes it a safe, ideal environment for relieving arthritis pain.”
Secondly, the water serves as a medium for heat therapy. Soaking in warm water quiets the body and slows internal organs. Heat dilates blood vessels and increases circulation in the body, thus allowing enzymes and endorphins (the body’s natural pain relievers) to work more quickly and effectively. It also stimulates sweating and increases the elimination of toxins. In fact, a recent study by the Mayo Clinic found that a hot bath provides many of the health benefits of exercise with less strain on the heart. Soaking in a hot bath increases the heart rate while lowering one’s blood pressure rather than raising it as does exercise.