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The science behind the soak, A coping tool for today's changing world

For centuries civilizations have flocked to warm bubbly waters to soothe their aching muscles. The steamy soak has evolved into the high-tech home spas of today that can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000.

But in this time of economic uncertainty, is a backyard water oasis simply a luxury, or could it be a coping necessity? Is there any science behind the soak?

The Mayo Clinic Proceedings and Comprehensive Aquatic Therapy studies claim that being immersed in warm water causes the arteries and veins to dilate and carry more blood, allowing the heart to work more efficiently.

Blood circulation “increases by nearly 121 percent” while blood pressure decreases – the results of an intense workout while doing nothing but relaxing.

So if simply sitting in water is good for one’s body, how much can an underwater workout accomplish?

Scientific research has shown that water workouts promote cardiovascular health, weight management, prenatal health and, according to the National Sleep Foundation, “are a natural, safe way to enhance deep sleep and remedy sleep-related problems.”

In addition, water exercise is seen as an effective way to relieve arthritis pain and stiffness without harming the joints. And a study in the Clinical Journal of Pain advises that aquatic exercise prevents and reduces back pain.

Is it any wonder that the word “spa” derives from the Latin “solus per aqua,” or “health by water?”


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