Do you know the benefits of Hydrotherapy?
As you travel through the mountains, or simply after a long day, the lure of nature spas also known as Nordic or Scandinavian spas call your name. Other than pure bliss and full-body relaxation of the outdoor hot tubs, what do they offer? The Scandinavians knew a thing or two about the age-old health benefits of saunas, steam baths, cold plunges and what we refer to as hydrotherapy.
By raising the body’s core temperature with heat and alternating with cold water, we activate the sweat glands to eliminate toxins, while the cold water helps to close our pores and lightly raises the heart rate. Followed by a period of rest, this 3-step process can reduce inflammation and stimulate blood flow to speed up healing and recovery. It can increase metabolism and strengthen the immune system when used regularly as well. If you’re feeling blue, cold water dips are also believed to positively affect your outlook. Of course the best way to truly unplug at one of these spas is to add a massage at the end of your experience for the best night’s sleep of your life afterwards!
Years ago, Europeans did not always go to a spa to indulge in hydrotherapy, the use of hot and cold showers, a roll in the snow (and a sauna or steam bath when available) was sufficient. Of course, the New Year’s Day famous “polar dip” is a tradition for many all over the globe, but for true body and mind-boosting benefits, it’s best to not drastically jump into to contrast water therapy before consulting your health practitioner first due to possible risks.
General list of health benefits of hydrotherapy:
Increased alertness, a stronger immune system, endorphins/better mood, reduced inflammation, stress reduction, improved physical recovery… to name a few!
Copyrights to author Marie-Piere Belisle-Kennedy
This article was first published in Mountain Life Magazine/La Vie en Montagne. All rights reserved.