The element of Water has always played a key role in curing illnesses and cleansing the body as well as the spirit. With time, the healing virtues of water, be it hot or cold, became obvious to physicians and “Hydrotherapy” became a widespread pain and stress treatment.
According to Archimedes’ principle, when a body is submerged in water, there is an upthrust that equals the immersed weight. To put it simply, you feel weightless when you are in water. Water thus relieves your sense of gravity and alleviates the everyday stress on your muscles and joints. The pressure exerted by water on your skin stimulates touch receptors, increases blood circulation and creates a soothing, massage-like sensation. Water Jets apply local pressure and massage your skin, releasing tight muscles and increasing blood flow to the desired areas of your body. Finally, Air Bubbles induce a tingling sensation that promotes chemical reactions creating in you a positive sense of well-being.
When immersed in hot water, your body makes necessary adjustments to lower its temperature in response to the heat stimuli. Blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow. White blood cells, your body’s immune system operator, circulate more efficiently in the blood vessels. Blood flow also diverts towards the extremities of the body, causing skin pores to open, activating sweat glands and enabling toxin elimination. The blood circulation process then helps heal injured tissues and rehabilitate damaged muscles or joints. This overall state of mellowness and wellbeing helps your body release endorphins, substances responsible for pain relief and the feeling of serenity. Furthermore, the inhalation of hot water vapor, known as steam, causes the lungs to expand, drawing air into them. This improves mucus clearing ability.
On the other hand, when immersed in cold water, your body makes efforts to preserve its temperature. In that case, blood flow is diverted from the extremities of the body to internal organs, to maintain a constant temperature allowing successful function of the organs. Your body’s internal activity increases, you become more energetic and more vigilant. Anxiety decreases which results in lower heart rate.