Hot Tubbing Improves Autism Symptoms Reports New Study
In a new study, immune system regulation was linked to hot water bathing. Researchers have discovered that soaking in a 102-degree hot tub can improve the social behavior of children with autism, another in a long line of scientific confirmation of health benefits from hot tubbing.
The study, led by Dr. Eric Hollander, compared the behavior of 15 children after soaking in 98-degree water and the behavior of the same children after soaking in 102-degree water. The behaviors were significantly improved after the hotter sessions. Hollander is director of the Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
In another study by the same researchers, adults who swallowed whipworm eggs experienced improved symptoms – apparently because the presence of the harmless worms improves immune system regulation and reduces inflammation.
The two novel projects will be presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
For the bath study, 15 children with autism spent alternate days soaking in a 102-degree hot tub versus a 98-degree hot tub. The findings showed that social behaviors improved on the 102-degree hot tub days.
The results validate earlier reports that about one-third of people with autism show an improvement in symptoms when they are running a fever.
“Parents have said when their child got fevers, they see a marked improvement in autism,” said Rob Ring, Ph.D., chief science officer of Autism Speaks. “This has been reported for years. This study is just one angle you can take experimentally to get at whether this is a true response.”
“We found these individuals had less discomfort associated with a deviation in their expectations,” Hollander told PsychCentral, an online mental health and psychology network. “They were less likely to have a temper tantrum or act out.”
The study was small, but the results were deemed valid enough to warrant further study. And, that’s really good news for all those who suffer from autism.