What’s in It for You Whether it’s a quiet soak or a vigorous massage you seek, the soothing effects of hot tub therapy can’t be duplicated. The massaging action of warm water reduces muscle
soreness and stiffness and eases the pain of arthritis. In fact, the Arthritis Foundation recommends hot-water therapy for relief of arthritis pain. In addition, the heat causes blood vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure. And the buoyancy of the water greatly reduces the workload on your heart and muscles. Some people credit spas with reducing stress, promoting more restful sleep, mimicking the benefits of exercise for people with type 2 diabetes, and ridding the body of toxins by encouraging sweating.
As research into hot-water therapy continues, the list of benefits continues to grow. But not as quickly as the styles and options available to today’s consumers. Indeed, spas can be as basic as white boxers or as luxurious as silk pajamas. While shopping for the perfect spa, don’t be surprised when you encounter a litany of hot tub amenities that
have little to do with hydrotherapy and everything to do with making the spa experience more enticing. Be on the lookout for:
LED underwater lights that change colors
Fiber-optic accent lights around the spa
CD/stereo systems with waterproof speakers
Waterfalls and misters
Built-in cup holders and ice buckets
Integrated aromatherapy systems
Built-in TV screens
Computer terminals networked to the Internet
With so many options, it’s easy to see why choosing the right hot tub can be a daunting, and often frustrating, task. You can spend countless hours surfing the Internet and visiting spa dealers, but the information overload can leave you more confused than before you started. My advice: Take a deep breath, consider how you’re going to use your spa so that you don’t pay for superfluous amenities, and stay focused on comfort and hydrotherapy.
To that end, it helps to know a bit about the construction and operation of a hot tub, which can be easily understood if you look at it piece by piece.