Is a Hot Tub As Beneficial As A Massage?

September 23, 2010

Here’s exciting news published by the New York Times Tuesday about the health benefits of massage. What if you had your own personal masseuse at home in a Hot Spring Spa? Especially if you have a spa with Moto-Massage-the jet that sweeps up and down your back for a full back massage!

Imagine a warm stream of water sweeping up and down the entire length of your back, soothing overworked muscles and loosening all the little knots of tension. With just a slight shift of your body, the warm stream glides easily over the muscles on either side of your spine. It’s so comfortable that you’ll enjoy resting against it for an extended, invigorating rubdown.

I’ll bet the results would be as startling!

Times writer Roni Caryn Rabin asked the question:  “Does a good massage do more than just relax your muscles? To find out, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles recruited 53 healthy adults and randomly assigned 29 of them to a 45-minute session of deep-tissue Swedish massage and the other 24 to a session of light massage.

All of the subjects were fitted with intravenous catheters so blood samples could be taken immediately before the massage and up to an hour afterward.

To their surprise, the researchers, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health, found that a single session of massage caused biological changes.

Volunteers who received Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that are part of the immune system.

Volunteers who had the light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a hormone associated with contentment, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.

The study was published online in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

The lead author, Dr. Mark Hyman Rapaport, chairman of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai, said the findings were “very, very intriguing and very, very exciting — and I’m a skeptic.””

If a single massage session does this much for one’s body, imagine the health benefits of soaking in a hot tub with the jets on! Here’s are the best non-prescription pain relievers ever invented: the jets in a Hot Spring Spa! Note to researchers: why not study the health benefits of hot tub soaking?

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for Health through Water.

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