Baths are making a comeback. They never went away completely but they were becoming increasingly niche. Over the last couple of years, however, people have been rediscovering the importance of health and wellness. That’s led to a new appreciation for baths in general and whirlpool baths in particular.
From home gyms to home spas
The home fitness industry was growing long before the pandemic. When gyms were forced to close, it went into overdrive. Equipment flew off the shelves and online classes reached massive new audiences trapped at home.
Working out, however, needs to be balanced with rest. That includes mental rest. During the height of the pandemic, it simply wasn’t possible to head off on a vacation to recharge your batteries. You simply had to make the best of what your home could offer. For many people, this meant giving their bathroom a major refresh.
According to Andrew Ellis of Steamshowerstore.co.uk, the spa-bathroom trend had already been growing for years. Since early 2020, however, it’s gone to a whole new level. He says “Before COVID19, having a spa-bathroom was often about decor and accessories. If people did buy new appliances, it tended to be hydrotherapy steam showers.
Now, people are seriously investing in creating genuine home-spas. They still want the hydrotherapy steam showers but now they want baths as well. In particular, they want whirlpool baths. Some people want them to help with physical health but for most people, it’s about relaxation and mental wellbeing.”.
Why whirlpool baths are special
Whirlpool baths are special because they have jets in them. Water jets create firm currents of water. These press into your body like a massage therapist’s fingers. Air jets create light bubbles. These make your body tingle slightly but totally relax your mind.
You can get some whirlpool baths with just water jets or just air jets. Most whirlpool baths, however, use a mixture of the two. This hits the sweet spot for the average home user. The massage effect is strong enough to be noticed without being strong enough to stop you from relaxing.
While the water jets do your body good, the air jets calm your mind. Often they’ll be all you need to slow down, calm down, and generally clear your head. If they’re not, however, you can combine a whirlpool bath with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
Why a whirlpool bath is so good for your body
The main reason why having a whirlpool bath is so good for your body is that it stimulates blood flow. Heat plays a role here. That’s why any bath can help get your blood moving to some extent. Realistically, however, you simply can lie comfortably in a very hot bath. That’s why there’s a limit to the benefit you can get from a regular bath.
With a whirlpool bath, on the other hand, the heat will only be doing part of the work. The water jets will do the rest. Together, they’ll stimulate your heart much better than a regular bath. They’ll also open up your blood vessels and relax your muscles so that your blood can flow more easily.
Blood is your body’s transport network. It delivers the good stuff (oxygen and nutrients) where it’s needed. It also helps to take away “toxic waste”. The body is going to produce some waste no matter how much you try to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t been all that healthy, then having a whirlpool bath can help to speed up your recovery. That goes for both random medical issues like seasonal coughs and colds and self-inflicted issues like excess eating and drinking.
A nice bonus of whirlpool baths is that their heat produces steam and the jets help to keep it moving. That increases the chances of you breathing it in. Getting steam into your body and, in particular, your lungs helps to give it a really deep clean. It can also do a lot to soothe winter’s coughs, colds, and sore throats.
Physical effects of whirlpool baths
The physical effects of whirlpool baths vary slightly depending on your starting point. It’s practically guaranteed that you’ll see an improvement in the condition of your skin, hair, and nails. This is often particularly noticeable in fall and winter as your blood flow often slows down in cold weather.
If you have muscle or joint issues then having a whirlpool bath can do a lot to soothe them. The reason for this depends on the source of the pain. With chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, it’s typically because whirlpool baths help to get blood right into the joints. This nourishes and cleanses them and hence reduces (or eliminates) the reason for the pain.
With sports injuries, it’s typically because a whirlpool bath just speeds up the overall recovery process. With post-exercise cramps, it’s because a whirlpool bath speeds up the dispersal and removal of the lactic acid which generally causes the cramps.
Mental effects of whirlpool baths
For all the physical benefits of whirlpool baths, many people are buying them mostly for their mental-health benefits. People are now recognizing that proper downtime is not just valid but valuable. In fact, it’s essential if you want to maintain your mental health over the long term.
All baths encourage you to relax. If nothing else, your movements are physically limited in a bath so you have to keep fairly still. In a whirlpool bath, you lie still and the air jets create lovely streams of bubbles all around you. These create a feeling of total relaxation way beyond anything you can experience in a normal bath.
What’s more, the technology of whirlpool baths has massively improved over the years. If you see old films with scenes in whirlpool baths, the jets were really loud. You could live with this if you really wanted their physical benefits. If, however, you were after relaxation, then whirlpool baths weren’t necessarily great value for money.
Fortunately, whirlpool bath manufacturers caught on to this and dealt with it. Modern jets are quiet enough that you can easily listen to your favorite audio while you enjoy them. Alternatively, you can just be at peace with your own thoughts.
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