Conquer the Winter Blues with Hydrotherapy At Home

Exercise and relaxation can lift your spirits during the long winter months. Hydrotherapy is a centuries-old method used to improve  mental and physical well-being — the CDC reports that water exercise is beneficial for people with chronic conditions such as arthritis as well as for mood and mental health.

But, getting out to the gym or to the spa can be a struggle to schedule. Recently, there have been many closures and changes due to the pandemic, or those icy cold mornings can make it hard to get out in the morning. This year, skip the gym membership and create your own at-home workout and spa space with a swim spa or hot tub. A hot tub or swim spa can upgrade your backyard or finished basement space, to make relaxing and exercising easy for the whole family. Here are tips for creating your own home gym and spa:

Select Your Vessel

Is a hot tub or swim spa better suited to your wellness needs? A hot tub is optimal for hydrotherapy, with high temperatures and jets that can help with stress relief and muscle relaxation. You can also do light workouts in the hot tub, but if exercise is your goal, a swim spa may be the right choice. Swim spas are larger, allowing for more movement like lunges, rowing, aerobics, crunches, and even swimming laps.

You’ll need to consider the location, maintenance plan, and budget before making your choice and building your space. Read here for more information about hot tubs and swim spas, and how to decide what’s right for you.

Build A Workout Plan

If you’re not already into water aerobics or swimming laps at your local pool, find which exercises are right for you to meet your goals. For your home gym or spa time, set a schedule for your workouts so you can prepare the hot tub or swim spa, like heating up the hot tub in the morning for exercise and again in the evening for a soak. Picking days and times will help keep you on track and on schedule, to get the most physical and mental benefit.

Create Ambiance

Create a calming space for your at-home spa days. Set up lighting around your hot tub or swim spa, you can add outdoor lights or maybe colored lighting inside the vessel. Add scented candles in the room – away from the hot tub – or an essential oil diffuser. Make sure to find a space to store the equipment you need, such as noodles or weights for swim spa workouts and towels and a hamper nearby.

Keep the It Clean and Ready for Anything

Hot tub water and sweat from swimming laps in a swim spa can make cleaning and maintenance a challenge. The chemicals need to be balanced regularly to prevent bacteria that can cause hot tub rash. Technology can make managing a home gym or spa easy: The pHin Smart Water Monitor helps you keep water in balance by taking measurements, sending alerts, and guiding you through custom chemical dosing instructions.

Learn more about pHin at

A Chiropractor’s Insight Into Sports and Hydrotherapy

Hot tub therapy attracts a lot of different people for many different reasons. Whether you’re a serious athlete looking to improve your game, an active senior struggling to manage joint pain, or even just a typical suburban wondering if the tub on your patio has any health benefits, you’ve come to the right place. We interviewed with Dr. Ryan DeBell of The Movement Fix Clinic to find some answers.

More Than Just a Chiropractor

Despite his relatively young age of 28, Ryan has a doctorate in chiropractic and a master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science. He has plenty of real-life experience to back up that education, with nearly nine years of high-intensity athletic training, founding and running his own physiotherapy clinic and regularly hosting workshops for athletes and trainers. His goal is not only to help people who incur aches and pains while exercising or moving but also to teach them how to exercise and move better to prevent future injuries. Given that, his clinic name now makes a lot of sense.  

The Heat Effect

We asked him for his physiotherapist’s opinion on hot tub therapy, and his response was quite thought-provoking. 

“There’s some interesting things that happen to the tissues of the body when you put them under heat. You can change the elasticity, so potentially going into the hot tub can give people a greater range of motion than they previously had. It’s kind of like hot yoga, the heat helps them to be more flexible. Like if you took a material and cooled it down, it’s harder to bend, but if you heat it up it’s easier to move it. So that’s kind of how I think about it when people want to use heat.” 

Not A Tool For Everything

An excellent analogy, we thought. But he was also quick to add that heat therapy isn’t necessarily suitable for all injuries.

“If something is acutely injured, and there’s inflammation, I don’t think that heating it would be the best choice. Because sometimes with an injury you don’t want it to move more, you want it to move less, at least temporarily. For example, if someone has a back injury, I don’t think loosening it up would be a good idea. But you have a very stiff joint, and the goal of treatment is to increase the range of motion, then I could see some the application of heat being used with stretching or mobilization afterwards.”

The Best Use Of Heat Therapy

Solid advice. Hot tub therapy can increase the range of motion though with some injuries this may not be a good thing. Ryan gave as an example that a lot of people who don’t have good mobility in their shoulders and their hips, which are the ball and socket joints, will try to compensate with other joints. If they don’t have good mobility in their shoulders and can’t lift their arms far above their heads, they’ll overcompensate with their elbows or wrist, causing pain there. Certain joints then, such as the hips, ankles, and shoulders, are important to have a good range of motion in.

It Just Feels Good

I asked Ryan if there were any other benefits to heat therapy that we hadn’t touched on yet.

Let’s face it: it feels good. No one likes sitting in an ice bath. Heat also helps your blood vessels vasodilate, which means you get more blood flow and explains why your skin turns red. And for a lot of people if they have tight muscles, heat can get those muscles to seemingly relax. I’m sure many people have experienced that, they have a muscle tightness, they heat it up and it feels much better.“

Seemingly relax? I asked Ryan to clarify what he meant.

“Well, there’s a lot going on with your perception of an area. Imagine you got punched in the arm. What you would naturally do to make it feel better is rub it, right? You’re getting different stimulus then. So if your elbow hurts and you put it in heat, then you’re also getting heat sensing signals from the skin and not just pain ones, so that can change the intensity of what you feel.“

Plenty of Benefits

So there you have it from an athlete, chiropractor, and physiotherapist in one. Heat therapy, and hot tubs can increase mobility in those joints, improve blood flow, and even help change your perception of pain. Make sure you are applying the right therapy to the correct problem.  

Thank you Ryan, for sharing and all the best with your ventures. 

If you want to see more of Ryan’s work, please visit him at The Movement Fix or see his most popular articles:

To ensure your hot tub is ready to heal that aching body, have a look at how easy pHin is.  

The Sleep Benefits of Hydrotherapy

If you’ve ever owned a hot tub, you’ve most likely experienced the soothing effect warm water can have on aching joints and muscles. You even may know some of the science behind hydrotherapy: how the heat of the water can improve circulation and lower blood pressure while the extra buoyancy takes the weight off strained joints. But most people haven’t even heard about one of the most amazing benefits that using a hot tub can give: improved sleep.

Lack of sleep has been linked to innumerable negative effects. People who suffer from sleep deprivation are: more likely to cause accidents while driving, struggle with weight gain, have difficulty concentrating, and be more irritable. Given that 50 to 70 million American adults suffer from some kind of sleep disorder according to the CDC, improving your nightly rest should be an important concern.

A Ready Solution

Luckily enough, the answer might be waiting in your own back yard. The National Sleep Foundation states that, “Soaking in hot water, such as a hot tub or bath, before retiring to bed can ease the transition into a deeper sleep.” Here’s the science behind it: soaking in hot water approximately 90 minutes before going to bed triggers your body’s internal thermostat to lower your temperature. The gradual drop in body temperature can induce drowsiness, leaving you more prepared for sleep. You can further encourage that feeling of sleepiness by turning down the thermostat (but not too much!). The NSF recommends keeping your bedroom between 60 and 67 degrees F, while also ensuring your room is free from noise and other disturbances.

The increased blood flow in the rest of your body caused by the warm water will also divert some blood from the head, which reduces brain activity and settles your busy mind.

Most people who have difficulty sleeping turn to their doctor or pharmacist for sleep-assisting medication. But these drugs come with their own side-effects and costs, and can leave you feeling groggy and disoriented in the morning. A quick soak in your hot tub before bedtime can be a good alternative to achieving a restful sleep without the use of medication.

Hot tub temperature should be set to no higher than 104 degrees F, as going to bed while still hot or sweaty may contribute to overheating. Consume plenty of water before soaking, as hot water can accelerate dehydration. But be careful, as too much right before bed will encourage more middle-of-the-night bathroom visits. As with regular hot tub use, users who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions such as diabetes should consult with a medical professional before using a hot tub.

Additional Benefits

Besides providing that helpful drop in body temperature, soaking in your hot tub before bed can also bring other benefits. Your hot tub’s jets can relieve muscle stiffness and pain. Try targeting your jets to specific painful areas, such as your neck or lower back. The sudden temperature shift can also stimulate your body’s production of endorphins, which are natural pain-killing hormones. The combined relaxing effects of hydrotherapy continue after you exit the tub, resulting in a deeper and longer-lasting sleep.

Adding essential oils to the hot tub water can also encourage further relaxation. Lavender is an especially good choice, as some studies suggest it has sleep-inducing effects, but jasmine and chamomile are also relaxing. Five to 10 drops of these soothing scents should suffice for smaller hot tubs designed for one to two people. If you don’t feel comfortable adding oils directly into the hot tub’s water, adding a few drops of essential oils to a nearby soy or beeswax candle can be a great alternative.

The National Sleep Foundation states recommends that you should establish a routine:

“A regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.”

Summing it Up

Mankind has known for centuries about water’s relaxing properties (think of the ancient Romans and their baths). The benefits of using your hot tub for hydrotherapy are numerous, so here’s a list summing them up. Hot tubs have been shown to:

  • Improve circulation by causing your blood vessels to expand, which lowers your blood pressure. A mere five minutes in a hot tub can cause your blood pressure and heart rate to drop.
  • Relax stiff muscles and increase flexibility.
  • Ease aching pain in overworked joints.
  • Stimulate the body’s production of endorphins (natural pain killing hormones).
  • Lower your internal temperature, encouraging relaxation and drowsiness.

All of this combines to give you a deeper and more restful sleep. Given that sleep is one of the most basic needs next to eating and breathing, it’s important to take it seriously. Studies show that people who get more sleep are often healthier and happier individuals.

So tonight, do your body a favour. Stay away from electronic screens, eat a smaller meal, skip the alcohol, and take a good long soak in your tub before hitting the sack. Your body will thank you, and so will your future self when you wake up refreshed the next morning. 

Be sure to check out the pHin device, a new way to care for your hot tub. pHin monitors water quality, notifies you by smartphone when you need to add chemicals and ships you just the right amounts.

12 Remarkable Secrets of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

The post 12 Remarkable Secrets of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy first appeared on Swim University.

While you probably bought your hot tub because you wanted to enjoy a nice soak under the stars while also improving the value of your property, did you know that it can actually be good for your health as well?

Hot tub hydrotherapy is a great way to improve your overall health and it perfect to use alongside other exercise routines. It is also great for treating various injuries, as well. But what is it really and what can it actually do for you? Today, let’s focus on what hot tub hydrotherapy actually is and a few secrets about what it can do for you and your health.

Hot Tub Hydrotherapy Defined

Before we go into some of the best kept secrets of hot tub hydrotherapy, it is important that you all know exactly what it is. Hydrotherapy is basically the external use of water for the treatment of certain conditions and diseases. It’s a natural therapy that has been used for thousands of years and continues to be an important treatment in hospitals today.

Hot tub hydrotherapy is essentially the exact same thing only it uses your hot tub as the external water source instead of a location at some overly sterile doctor’s office in a cold, stark hospital. By using your hot tub for this therapy, you get all the health benefits that come with the hydrotherapy along with the added comfort of being in your very own hot tub. Just remember, you need to make sure your hot tub is at least 95 degrees Fahrenheit in order to see the best benefits from the therapy.

12 Secrets of Hot Tub Hydrotherapy

Now that we know what exactly hot tub hydrotherapy is, the time has now come for us to take a look at a few secrets and benefits of hot tub hydrotherapy.

  1. It’s Easier Than You Think

While there are many therapy options out there that require the assistance of a licensed therapist, there are many that you can perform at home on your own with help from anyone.

  1. It’s Good For Your Muscles

The warm, swirling waters of the hot tub will help your muscles relax and even stimulate your body to relieve the pain you are dealing with due to injury.

  1. It Increases Your Circulation

The warm waters in a typical hot tub hydrotherapy session will raise your body temperature, resulting in your blood vessels dilating thus improving your circulation.

  1. It Aids in Digestion

The jets in the water can actually help get your digestive system moving the way it should be so you, well, stay regular and take in all the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

  1. You Can Target Trigger Points

If your hot tub has the ability for you to target the jets to a certain area, you can easily target certain pressure points like those found in your hands and feet.

  1. Water Buoyancy Decreases Pressure

While you are in the water, the natural buoyance will lower your body weight by 85 to 90%. This lightened load will ease the pressure on your joints and spine.

  1. It’s Endorphin Releasing

The warm, swirling waters helps stimulate your body to produce endorphins. These are the body’s natural pain relievers meaning that even one hot tub session can help reduce the pain you are experiencing naturally.

  1. Helps Your Cells Eliminate Waste

At the same time that your circulation is improved, your cells also begin working harder and more efficiently eliminating waste from your body. The end result is you feel better overall.

  1. Can Help You Increase Strength

One of the hardest parts about an injury is rebuilding the muscle afterwards. The resistance of the water is a safe and effective way to rebuild those muscles no matter how bad the injury.

  1. Boosts Your Immune System

During a typical hydrotherapy session, your body will be encouraged to increase the movement of lymph. This results in a boost to your immune system so you can more easily fight off infections.

  1. It Can Help You Sleep

The warm waters in a hot tub can help stimulate your body’s systems to lower temperature, thus mimicking what happens when you sleep. This will help you sleep better later that night.

  1. It’s Just Plain Fun

At the end of the day, hot tub hydrotherapy is just fun to do. Not only will it help you feel better but there is nothing quite like enjoying a nice soak while engaging in a good hydrotherapy session.

Final Thoughts

You may never have imagined that your hot tub could be used as a way to heal your injuries and improve your overall health. More often than not people buy hot tubs as something they can purely enjoy, but hot tubs can be used for much more than just enjoyment. Hot tub hydrotherapy is one of the easiest forms of therapy you can do when you own a hot tub and can go a long way toward improving your overall health.

If you own a hot tub or have been thinking of buying one, keep in mind that you can use it for more than just a nice relaxing soak. Using your hot tub can actually strengthen your muscles, release tension in your body, improve your blood flow, and much more. So why not start your hot tub hydrotherapy sessions today so you can start living a healthier life while also enjoying everything great about your spa.

Be sure to check out the pHin device, a new way to care for your hot tub. pHin monitors water quality, notifies you by smartphone when you need to add chemicals and ships you just the right amounts.