People have been using hydrotherapy to improve their health for hundreds of years. Thanks to the invention of the home spa, it’s easier than ever to reap the health benefits of hydrotherapy! If you own a hot tub, you probably already know some of the ways hot-tubbing can boost your health. It reduces stress, eases pain, helps you sleep, and even improves your heart health! Now, studies have shown that hot tubs can be beneficial for those with sensory sensitivities and overload, including people with autism or fibromyalgia.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Hydrotherapy is used as a treatment for children with disabilities and motor delays, which led researchers to wonder if it could also be effective for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other sensory processing issues.
Researchers conducted four studies with participants aged 3-12 years. Specifically, the researchers were examining what type of effect hydrotherapy had on the social interactions and behaviors of children with ASD. In all four studies, the findings showed that the kids “showed some improvements in social interactions or behaviors”.
Why Hydrotherapy in a Hot Tub Can Help
While soaking in a hot tub, the water temperature and buoyancy provide multiple sensory stimuli. It increases circulation and promotes spastic muscle relaxation. The complete reason why hydrotherapy helps is not fully understood, but findings show that it offers sensory processing assistance. The warm water creates a calm, peaceful environment that soothes sensory overload.
Hot tub soaks also give those with sensory conditions a chance to work on their social skills. Those with autism often have a hard time socially. But in the peaceful environment of a hot tub, they are more easily able to interact with the small group of people sharing the hot tub.
In this exhaustive review, researchers compiled data from articles and studies spanning 16 years to see the effect that hydrotherapy had on fibromyalgia. The review found “strong evidence” that hydrotherapy helped in managing fibromyalgia syndrome. Participants reported improvements in pain, health status, tender point counts, quality of life, and function.
How does hydrotherapy help? Hot-tubbing helps on multiple levels.
While the circumstances are different for everyone, many people with fibromyalgia report that sensory stimuli directly affects their level of pain and fatigue. Stress is also a common factor in fibromyalgia flare-ups. And this is where your hot tub can help.
Hot tubs provide a quiet sanctuary and give you relief from over-stimulating noise, lights and crowds. Plus, spa soaks are well-known for providing stress-relief. For someone with fibromyalgia, this can spell pain relief and improved quality of life, too!
The warm water, jets, and buoyancy you find while soaking in a hot tub also helps. It can relieve muscle pain and tension. It lowers inflammation. And it improves blood flow and circulation. Not only can a hot tub soak provide immediate relief, but evidence shows that it can keep relieving pain long after your soak.
For those with sensory conditions, warm water spa therapy could be a wonderful addition to your treatment plan. If you think a hot tub could be beneficial for your family, visit any of our locations and we’ll help you find the best hot tub for your needs. We carry an array of the best brands and styles and we’re sure to have a spa that’s perfect for you!