Spas are a popular and convenient way to relax and unwind. In fact, a 2006 survey found that one-quarter of American adults and 4 million teens visit a spa each year. But can they really deliver on their promises – and do some of them pose health risks? WebMD investigated.
Spa treatments like exfoliation are a great way to make your skin feel soft and smooth. The warm water in a hot tub also opens up pores to help detoxify the body by flushing out the various dirt and toxins that accumulate throughout the day.
A soak in a warm spa encourages blood vessels to dilate which can decrease pressure in the muscles of your head. This can help get rid of or prevent headaches caused by sinus, stress, or tight muscles.
The heat from a warm spa can improve circulation and relax the muscles which can provide pain relief for those with arthritis. This is especially true if you incorporate massage therapy into your spa visits.
A hot soak in a spa can improve sleep, reduce tension, and generally calm the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for raising your blood pressure. This can help lower your risk for heart disease.
A warm, bubbly hot tub can also relax the muscles in your back and legs which can decrease muscle stiffness and pain for people with chronic conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia. In addition, the gentle stretching in a non-weight bearing environment that spas offer can provide a great way to stretch out your joints without increasing your pain levels.