April 29, 2009

More news from the experts who have been studying hot water immersion: Dr. Bruce Becker at Washington State University and Dr. Jack Raglin of Indiana University.  Here’s a short summary of their latest findings presented at the World Aquatic Conference in Colorado Springs last October.

According to Dr. Raglin, taking time to relax in warm water may also separate us from the sources of stress which can lead to a decrease in anxiety.  And, in his latest research reported at the fifth World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC), October 2008, Dr. Becker stated “We found that, with 25 minutes of soaking in a 102F degree hot tub, the autonomic nervous system alters during warm water immersion, producing changes that are parallel to those seen during relaxation and accompanying a reduction in anxiety.” Dr. Becker suggests that with the relaxation, warm water immersion may well have a positive effect on working memory and performance of cognitive tasks, including problem solving.

There’s even more good news. The National Swimming Pool Foundation recently announced the awarding of a $200,000 grant to Dr. Becker of the Washington State University, National Aquatic and Sports Medicine Institute (NASMI), based on a 5-year commitment to help establish a world-renowned health benefit research center. This grant supports efforts to continue to understand hot water immersion, and also study the aquatic exercise effects on subjects with asthma.

Stay tuned for more scientific results on the benefit of hot tub soaking. We won’t be relying on common sense, but science to tell us that hot tub soaking not only feels good, it IS good for you!

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.