The therapeutic value of hot water is not a newly discovered, it has been used by the Chinese, Indians and people from the other parts of the Southeast Asian countries.
Water is the most receptive element and hence acts as a great receiver for energy. It also has a number of distinctive thermodynamic properties. Hot Water stores a tremendous amount of caloric energy, which it powerfully transfers to the bodies it comes in contact with. Water’s powerful influence on the heat distribution patterns of the body can profoundly affect circulation patterns as well. So, water’s impact on the body and its functions are powerful and direct. Water’s impact is all the more powerful when one considers the fact that it can also be delivered to the whole body simultaneously through total immersion.
Why Is Hot Water Beneficial?
Hot water is stimulating, raises the body temperature slightly, but at the same time also very relaxing and dispersing, especially to the muscles, joints and blood vessels. It also opens the pores, induces sweating, and can penetrate the skin and muscles quite deeply. Hot water can also ripen latent boils, abscesses or skin eruptions and bring them to the surface for release. Hot water also draws the body’s circulation outwards, opening up the pores and capillaries. However, prolonged immersion in extremely hot water is not recommended.
Hot Water Hydrotherapy
Hot water hydrotherapy is beneficial because in a reflexive response to external heat, your body creates changes that help keep the body cool, including dilating blood vessels to increase the blood flow, moving blood flow to the extremities and the surface of the skin, opening the pores, stimulating sweat glands and relaxing muscles.
Hot Water Bath/Soak
For a short period of time, a hot bath will cause organs of the endocrine system to become less active, particularly the adrenal gland, and can decrease blood pressure. This produces a relaxed, less stressful state and helps soothe the nervous system. Hot baths are often used to relax, promote blood flow, aid in the healing process, tone the body, stimulate the immune system, and alleviate muscle, joint or connective tissue disorders and injuries. Generally a hot soak can prevent headaches, improve sleep and relieve stress.
By increasing the blood flow in the body, a hot bath helps the circulation of white blood cells, enabling the immune system to work faster and more efficiently. A hot soak increases the production of endorphin or body’s pain killers which are associated with euphoria and happiness. Endorphin’s also stimulate the immune system, reduce pain, and help tissues heal faster.
The National Sleep Foundation reports that soaking in a hot tub before bed can ease the transition into deeper, more comfortable sleep. The deep, relaxing sensation you get from time spent soaking in a hot tub helps release tension and starts you on the path to a restful slumber. Once you’re immersed in warm water, your body’s temperature is raised, which increases blood circulation. When you leave the hot tub, your core temperature lowers slowly, signaling to the body that it’s time to sleep.
If you have been in an accident, or had recent surgery, recovery time can be improved in a hot tub.Soaking, floating and using buoyancy to practice mobility exercises, along with stretching affected area(s) will allow skin and muscles to loosen and relax. Medical professionals suggest warmth to increase circulation and assist healing. Time in a warm hot tub, especially those equipped with soothing jets, helps increase circulation so the blood can supply nutrients to help cells and tissues regenerate.
An Arthritis Foundation publication related to spas, pools and arthritis states, “Regular sessions in your hot tub keep joints moving. It restores and preserves strength and flexibility, and also protects your joints from further damage.”
For the millions of Americans with Arthritis and other joint problems, hot tubs provide relief by loosening muscles and reducing stiffness. Areas of the body which have suffered stress or trauma also respond well to hot water and massage jets.
Hot Tubs reduce pain for sore athletes or those injured in accidents. Those with chronic pain from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome are also finding hot tubs to reduce their symptoms. Migraines, tendonitis, back and neck pain – all can be helped with regular use of your hot tub.
Hot Water Vapor
Inhaling hot water vapor (steam) has a positive effect on the lungs and can help clear respiratory infections. The moist, hot air causes the small airways and air sacs in the lungs to dilate and increases the lung’s ability to discharge phlegm and mucus. Generally inhaling vapor can also help people breathe in more easily.
Soaking in a hot spring can be wonderful therapy, for a number of reasons. The heat and subsequent sweating have a deeply cleansing effect on our skin and entire body-mind system. The specific mineral content of the spring will offer its unique benefits. If the spring is in a relatively natural environment, chances are we’re receiving the qi (life-force energy) of all five elements: earth (the ground in which the spring is held); metal (the various minerals in the spring-water); water (the water itself); wood (the surrounding trees, and/or the wooden benches etc. surrounding the spring); and fire (the heat of the water, and the sun overhead). As such, hot springs have the capacity to balance and harmonize our body, mind, quite naturally.
6 Ways Hot Water Can Help Common Ailments
1. Cleanses Digestion
A very warm cup of water in the morning can help cleanse your body by flushing out toxins. Water and other liquids help break down the food in your stomach and keep the digestive system on track. Warm water will help break down these foods even faster, making them easier for you to digest.
Drinking cold water during or after a meal can actually harden the oil in consumed foods and therefore create a fat deposit in the intestine. Adding ice to processed cold water will strip it of natural-containing minerals, as these minerals are essential to keeping the digestive tract healthy. Luckily, you can replace a glass of cold water with a warm one to aid digestion, especially after eating a meal.
Hot water flowing through the digestive tract helps to dissolve impurities and cleanse the digestive and eliminative systems. The result is an improvement in digestion and assimilation of food, improved elimination, and prevention of the formation of ama.
2. Aids Constipation
The strain felt during elimination, accompanied by bloating, is brought on by a lack of water in the body. Drinking very warm water in the morning on an empty stomach can help improve bowel movements and aid constipation while breaking down foods as they smoothly pass through the intestines. Stimulating the bowels will help return your body back to normal functioning.
3. Alleviates Pain
Warm water, considered to be nature’s most powerful home remedy, can help alleviate pain from menstruation to headaches. The heat from warm water is known to have a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles, which can help provide instant relief for cramps and muscle spasms. Warm or hot water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to the skin and help relax the cramped muscles.
4. Weight Loss
If you’re on a diet, chances are you’ve heard drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning can help with weight loss. Warm water increases body temperature, which therefore increases the metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate allows the body to burn more calories throughout the rate. It can also help the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys to function even better. Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon will help break down the adipose tissue, or body fat, in your body, and also control food craving due to lemon’s pectin fiber.
5. Improves Blood Circulation
The fat deposits in the body are eliminated along with accumulating deposits in the nervous system when you drink a glass of warm water. This flushes out the toxins that are circulating throughout the body and then enhances blood circulation. Making sure the muscles are relaxed will eliminate poor circulation and blood flow. hot water is absorbed into the circulatory system and travels throughout the entire body. The extra warmth and fluid aids in opening all the various channels of circulation, dissolving accumulated impurities and washing them from the body.
6. Halts Premature Aging
The presence of toxins in the body can lead to aging faster, but warm water can help cleanse the body from those toxins, while repairing skin cells to increase elasticity. Women will always benefit because they [have] more hormones to contend with, making constipation more of an issue.
To reap the health benefits of warm water, drink it every morning plain or with a lemon for taste. Drinking straight hot water can potentially be damaging to the tissue in the mouth and esophagus. After boiling water, be sure to let it cool for a few minutes before you start consuming. Also, always check with your prescribing physician before drinking warm water if you’re on any medications that could impact the efficacy of your medications.
Drinking hot water (water which just cool enough to be sipped comfortably) is especially helpful during vata and kapha season. During the hot summer months, warm or room-temperature water may be preferred, especially for those with pitta body types or with pitta-related disorders.
Ideally, Ayurveda recommends that water be boiled for ten minutes. Boiling the water allows excessive minerals deposits and impurities to precipitate out and increases the water’s lightness and its cleansing influence. A slice of fresh ginger root, a pinch of turmeric or a few fennel seeds may be added to the boiling water if desired. These herbs can help increase the cleansing influence of the water in your system.