Today everybody is talking about hydromassage, many have it at home, but in the marketplace and in media discussion about these products (Turkish baths, saunas etc.) there is almost no information on the correct use of its applications, on its possible therapeutic indications, on the contraindications and on the reasons which tend to link these products to wellbeing.
Jacuzzi® wants to promote hydromassage products in general, together with saunas and Turkish baths through an “educational” campaign on Jacuzzi® products.
In this context, it has developed “The new shape of wellbeing”, a scientific communication project, giving information on hydrotherapy in general and on hydromassage products, saunas,Turkish baths and showers in particular, in collaboration with the European Association of Spa Medicine (A.E.Me.B), in the persons of Prof. Umberto Solimene, Chairman of the Association and Professor of Medical Therapy and Spa Medicine at the University of Milan and Prof.Arsenio Veicsteinas,Vice Chairman of the Association A.E.Me.B and Dean of the Faculty of Physical Education at the University of Milan.
Furthermore, Prof. Solimene and Prof.Veicsteinas, also belong to the Advisory Board of Jacuzzi Europe Spa, which will deal with the development of the communication activies regarding the wellbeing project.
Use the links below to read through the full information of download it here.
Hydromassage is defined as an “external crenotherapeutic” therapy (i.e. amongst those cures which put the body into contact with the substance utilized for the therapy, in this case water). It is carried out with special jets of water issued at defined pressures. The jets are orientated in a centripetal direction, i.e. from the sole of the foot to the chest, to promote the circulation of the return blood. The therapy lasts around fifteen minutes, after which the patient is left to rest for another fifteen minutes.
In therapeutic terms, this centrality of jets of water explains why their orientation is one of the basics of hydromassage according to Jacuzzi®. Hydromassage tubs, together with hot tubs, are indeed designed with particular attention as far as jet positioning is concerned, which must not be casual, but studied specifically together with the internal ergonomy of the shapes, so as to optimize the effects of the hydrotherapeutic action (feet jets, thigh jets, dorsal jets).
Fruit of careful research, the design of the tub is also a fundamental element for a good hydromassage. Deeper with respect to traditional bath tubs, with ergonomic bottom and sides in order better to accommodate any body type, Jacuzzi® hydromassage has been designed to permit more correct immersion of the body and better water circulation.
THE JACUZZI® JETS
The Jacuzzi® jets emit a perfect mixture or air and water that works in synergy with the hydromassage pump. This technology, invented by Jacuzzi®, exploits the Venturi principle: in a fluid current, pressure is inversely proportional to speed. Consequently, by restricting the water duct, the speed of the liquid will increase and the decrease in pressure will allow the water to mix with the air perfectly.The direction of the resulting jets of water as they come into contact with the body is the best possible for massaging the muscles in a deep, yet gentle, way. Lastly, to customise the treatment, the Jacuzzi® jets can be adjusted by 30°C in all directions.
PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ACTIONS OF BATHING THERAPY. THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES AND THE WELLBEING OF THE PERSON.
The bath with hydromassage can be total or partial. In the specialized therapeutic centres naturally mineralized waters are used (thermal) or those which are artificially medicated (with the addition of salts and oils) at variable temperatures and pressures. In Jacuzzi® whirlpool baths or hot tubs, the natural water supply is used.
The water pressure tends to empty the veins and increase the peripheral circulation. For that reason the correct design of the jets is essential. In order to guarantee the maximum benefit, the jet must have two important characteristics:
It must be inclined at 30°C at the level of the hips and thighs in order to allow for a correct massage touching the body in the right place, soft, deep, beneficial and, like all natural massages, active from the peripheral parts to the heart. Perpendicular jets could in fact be too forceful on the body;
It must be orientable i.e. assure maximum personalization of the hydromassage.
The capacity to relieve pain seems to be a specific property of heat. This is probably induced by the production of hyperemia, thereby allowing for an improvement of vascular stasis(reduction of blood flow speed). A few authors have even suggested that it can inhibit the sensory nerve pathway, acting through the thermal nervous terminations of the skin. Furthermore, hot water can increase blood flow and facilitate muscular relaxation.
Water temperature above the body temperature (37°C) is considered hot; over 40°C it is considered very hot, whilst over 46°C it cannot be supported for more than a few seconds. A hot bath with hydromassage is euphoriant at the first moment then can become particularly “stressing” for the body. As baths with hydromassage are mainly used as an instrument to eliminate stress, it is essential to control the water temperature with respect to the duration of the bath.
THE REACTIONS OF THE BODY
There is always a result to each treatment. In this case, to be precise, we are speaking of “reactions” of the body, or a part of it, to the various therapies carried out with hydromassage.The reactions to bathing in water - and in particular to hydromassage - are classified as primary and secondary.The primary action is strictly tied to the characteristics of the treatment (hot or cold water; hydromassage) and the nature of the water itself (spa water with particular dissolved ions). However, the secondary reaction is strictly tied to the condition of whoever is undergoing a treatment for particular pathologies, mainly inflammatory.
Hydromassage produces significant effects in treating pathologies linked to problems of blood circulation in the legs (varices, saphenectomy outcomes, post-phlebitic syndromes); but also in the case of osteoarthritis, chronic extra-articular infl ammatory rheumatism, outcomes of trauma or surgery, oedemas. Balneotherapy, in particular through hydromassage, is useful in the cure of venous diseases. Baths with hydromassage are also a valued remedy for chronic rheumatism and fi bromyalgia in general. It is also indicated for chronic bronchitis, nephritis, menstrual pains, gastric and intestinal disorders and as a palliative measure for gallstones and kidney stones.
The therapeutic properties of hot water in a hot tub are valid for any type of body frame, size and level of stress. Hot tubs can accommodate more people and therefore answer different needs. Some people need a vigorous jet in order to loosen the knots in the muscle mass. Others simply need to be lulled by hot and soothing water, thereby refreshing their ideas and relaxing the body.
Therefore a hot tub hydromassage must offer jets of the right size for each muscular group and of the most suitable intensity. All the Jacuzzi PowerPro® jets installed on Jacuzzi® hot tubs (for domestic use, both indoor and outdoor) have been designed to direct the water flow with great precision.The water flow pressure can be transferred from one seat to another and the hydromassage jets can be turned on or off independently in every seat.
The jets of Jacuzzi® hot tubs have been designed with an external/internal movement. On the other hand, the rotating water jet, reproduces the circular movement or the action of rubbing the hand over certain points of the back.
OTHER THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS
The stimulation of the skin with hot baths and hydromassage produces hyperthermia and and vasodilation. This is associated with an increase in the lymphatic circulation with the activation of particular cells and antibodies which sweep away exudates from the articulations of fibrous tissue, performing as antigens or stimulators of enzyme activity.
Substantially, as generally in the hydromassage tubs, skin absorption of mineral salts is negligible, the therapeutic effects of the bath and immersion-type hydromassage are entirely linked to the mechanical and thermal action of the water on the skin.
According to the temperature used, the effects may be summarized as follows:
Skin: moderate increase of skin temperature with vasodilation and increase in activities of sweat and sebaceous glands.
Circulation: a moderate increase of water temperature relaxes the entire superficial vascular system.
Breathing: in general the increase in temperature facilitates breathing.
Muscles: a hot bath with hydromassage at 37°C decreases muscular excitability and their working capacity. Very short applications of hot baths have a revitalizing effect after an intense muscular stress.
Nervous system: baths at a temperature of 37°C have an exhilarating effect at first and subsequently a depressive effect.
Blood: reduces the number of red globules, maybe due to their detention in the internal organs and a proportional reduction of haemoglobin is recorded.
When the bath is of the “deep” immersion type, the water, owing to its physical characteristics, supports the limbs and permits movements which could otherwise not be carried out.This result is particularly valuable in arthro-muscle stiffening and in a few forms of arthritis.
Exercises in the hydromassage tub with hot water carry out an important role in balneotherapy. Indeed it proves to be an important treatment for many patients with neurological or skeletal muscle pain. The heat, together with the hydrostatic pressure of the water, can block nociceptive pain, by acting on thermal and mechanoreceptors, thereby influencing the mechanisms of spinal signalling.
Hydrostatic pressure can relieve pain, reducing peripheral oedema, dampening the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. Bathing in water, without exercise, has often been used in alternative medicine as a cure for chronic disease. As already said, it is a very common form for the treatment of all types of arthritis in many European countries, as also in Israel and Japan.
As for all the other types of external cures, hydromassage is contraindicated in the case of malignant tumours, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but also in the case of other pathologies in their acute stage. It is not recommended in the presence of tuberculosis during the exudative stage, acute respiratory failure and severe chronic respiratory failure. As far as dermatological illnesses are concerned, it is better not to practise in the presence of blisters and pustular lesions. Finally, from a cardiocirculatory point of view, it is not possible in the case of thrombophlebitis, severe hypertension or ischemic heart disease. Besides it is also necessary to keep in mind that collateral reactions may arise like, for example thermal stress induced by the high bath temperature, together with variations in the cardiocirculatory and respiratory systems. In any case, in the presence of pathologies or deficiencies it is always good practice to consult your doctor.
In medical environments the term “sauna”, generally refers to the Finnish sauna: a room covered in wood, with wooden benches and a radiating heater which maintains the ambient temperature between 70 and 100°C (the average temperature is generally 80-90°C). The steam is produced by pouring water onto the heated stones. Generally, steam is produced to to create humidity equivalent to 50-60 g H2O steam/M3.The duration of a standard Finnish sauna treatment is 5-20 minutes, followed by a cold bath (or shower) and a recovery period at room temperature before returning into the sauna itself. In a single session, this scheme is repeated two or three times.
A variant could be the dry-heat sauna: the procedure is essentially the same as for the Finnish steam sauna, despite the fact that the steam is not present. Saunas with infrared rays utilize a different heating system to obtain the same temperatures as those saunas with radiant heat.
PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIONS OF THE SAUNA
Saunas produce so-called thermal stress.The cardiovascular system responds to thermal stress by increasing the heart rate, which, when resting, may double, with an increase even up to 70% of cardiac output. In addition, there is an approximate 40% reduction of resistance, which permits an increase of peripheral circulation. An increase in the peripheral blood flow leads then to a greater general blood flow, which permits a further heat exchange through the skin (diaphoresis) and consequently a reduction in the blood flow at muscle, kidney and viscera levels. With the reduction of peripheral resistance, the diostolic blood pressure decreases, whilst the systolic blood pressure remains the same for the entire period of the sauna session.The metabolic consumption of oxygen increases, with an effect equivalent to that of a moderate physical execise.To help compensate thermal stress, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, together with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system.The increase of beta-endorphins (natural opiates from the brain), is the supposed cause of the analgesic effect (painkilling ) of the sauna and partially also of the pleasure for whoever practises this particular treatment. Muscular relaxation also occurs together with an increase of the elastic properties of the connective, ligament and joint tissues, leading to a reduction in pain.
USE OF SAUNA AS PHYSICAL AND PREVENTATIVE THERAPY
A few studies have documented the effectiveness of sauna therapy with people suffering from high blood pressure and congestive heart failure and in post myocardial infarction treatment. Also people with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (BPCO), chronic pain, may also draw benefits. The existing evidence supports the use of saunas as a detoxifying therapy and there are numerous protocols for diseases provoked by environmental causes. In general, sauna therapy seems to be safe and offers many benefits also for normally healthy people.
PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SAUNA
||Up to 40°C in a few minutes
||About 0.2°C to 72°C after 15 minutes
About 0.4°C to 92°C after 20 minutes
About 1.0°C to 80°C after 30 minutes
||On an average between 0.3 and 0.5 litres
|Cutaneous blood flow
|| Increased by 0.5 to 5 litres/minute
|Renal and abdominal organ blood flow
|| Reduced by 0.2 to 0.4 litres/minute and 0.6 litres/min respectively
|Blood flow to muscles
|| Substantially unchanged
|| From a normal rest vale (60-75 beats/min) up to 100 b/min in individuals well acclimatized to saunas; up to 150 b/min in others, according to the time remaining in sauna and the temperature (proportional effect).
|Cardiac output (quantity of blood ejected from the heart per minute)
||From a normal rest value of 5-6 litres/minute to 9-10 litres/min
|Sistolic blood pressure (max)
|| Unchanged, or increased, or decreased up to 25 mmHg (variable response from individual to individual). Possible strong pressure drop after sauna in individuals with instability in pressure control (fainting).
|Diastolic blood pressure (min.)
|| Unchanged, or increased , or decreased up to 35 mmHg (variable response from individual to individual).
Due to the high temperature, the sauna is contraindicated in the presence of varicose veins, capillary fragility, venous thrombosis, and is not recommended in the case of rosacea.
The Turkish bath consists of a dry steam bath, differing from the sauna as it requires an environment full of hot air at 40-50°C with a humidity at 100%.The steam can also be combined with chromotherapy or music and enriched with aromatic substances like essential oils, according to the principles of aromatherapy.
PHYSICAL-CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ACTIONS OF TURKISH BATH
The concurrent actions of steam and controlled heat improve the blood and lymphatic circulation, favouring the expulsion of toxins through sweating. The basic characteristic of the Turkish bath is the relaxation of the body tissues, which accelerates the blood circulation, thereby improving the oxygenation. This inevitably leads to a revitalization of each body extremity. Every sense is revitalized, the secretion of the mucous membranes increases and, in short, every bodily function, including the respiratory system, liver, kidneys and intestine, is brought to its maximum performance. The skin is the most active organ for breathing: during the Turkish bath, it therefore assumes a natural rose colour, indicating improved general conditions. Indeed, this type of bath opens all the skin pores, thereby permitting a perfect purification of the body.
PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTIONS ON THE VARIOUS ORGANS AND SYSTEMS OF THE ORGANISM
Numerous authors have studied the effects of a Turkish bath on the individual systems. In particular it has been discovered that:
owing to a better circulation induced by the heat, the elimination of harmful substances for the body is increased
the increase in body temperature has positive effects on the central and peripheral nerv ous systems, guaranteeing muscular and general relaxation
an influence on heart and breathing frequencies is recorded
a variation in the urine composition can be found
the composition of the perspiration varies
blood pressure variations are recorded.
It is the combination of high temperature and high humidity rate, which reaches 90100% that produces the beneficial effect.The temperatures vary from the top to the floor: at head level it touches 40-50°C, subsequently reducing, at foot level, to 20°C.We are not faced, therefore, with what could be called a simple aesthetic treatment, but a real curative therapy that can be used not only to improve aesthetics, but also and especially to help a few very common pathologies.The Romans had perfected this type of therapy, with numerous stages: starting with the tepidarium which was the room with tepid air with a temperature between 30°C and 35°C; subsequently one passed on to the calidarium, the room with very hot air with a temperature between 40°C and 50°C; then one reached the laconicum, where the circulating air was dry and at a very high temperature between 55°C and 75°C; finally, one reached the frigidarium, the cold room.
AROMATHERAPY ENHANCES THE BENEFITS OF THE TURKISH BATH
Aromatherapy originates from the scientific study of herbs and centuries-old techniques of treating the body with aromatic oils, fragrances whose scent has a positive influence on the body and on the mind.The first to extol the benefits was Teofrasio, student of Plato and Pliny the Elder in the treaty “Naturalis Historiae”. Official science, however, begins to speak about aromatherapy only at the beginning of the last century. The term was coined in 1928 by Renè Maurice Gattefosser, a research chemist of the perfume industry.
It is difficult to distinguish between the physical and psychological effects of essential oils because the beneficial effect is all-encompassing. Their action is never limited to a single organ, but tends to expand to the entire psychosomatic system. Each aromatherapeutic treatment gives an energy supply to the organism. This is due to reactive molecules, that can act not only on pathogenic microorganisms and cellular functions, but represent an information vehicle and often act at the level of hormone receptors and neurotransmitters. They act through the sense of smell, significantly influencing positively the psycho-emotional sphere: the perfume of the essential oils creates a sensation of wellbeing, improving the quality of life and harmonizing our emotional states.
Pharmacological research shows the anti-bacterial and therapeutic effectiveness of many of these compounds, whilst in the areas of wellbeing and beauty they turn up increasingly in the formulations of natural cosmetics and treatments, which are becoming more and more effective for hygiene and body care: aromatic massages, baths, saunas, perfumes, aromatic cosmetics, are only a few of the possibilities . Amongst the various properties of essential oils, there are those which are relaxing or toning for the nervous system, others which are antispasmodic, anti-phlegm, digestive, analgesic and antirheumatic, toning for the venous system, eudermic and anti-ageing, stimulator of sexual desire. In addition, essential oils also represent a natural and handy help for self-treatment of minor disorders. Substantially, aromatherapy may be used in the treatment of psychosomatic and aesthetic problems, to strengthen mental and emotional resources, to stimulate creativity, for application in the field of holistic cures and pyscho-corporeal therapies.
It is obvious that the sudden change from hot to cold may prove harmful in some people. Therefore the same rules are valid as described previously for hydromassage and chrenotherapy in general. Normally, this treatment is not recommended for those who suffer from cardiovascular disorders or are subject to blood pressure control, those suffering from asthma or kidney diseases (glomerulonephritis, chronic kidney failure).
The shower is an external chrenotherapeutic technique, relatively unknown, despite the fact that the physiological advantages and the various types of application have been acknowledged. It may be practised with both water from the mains or with spa water, combining, in the last case the advantages of the technique utilized with the particular qualities of the medium. As for the other types of treatment, they can be carried out at different temperatures (hot or cold), or with alternating temperatures and with different water pressures: they may be total body ensuring a general stimulating action for the organism or local, giving a direct effect on the area treated. Another variant is the duration of the shower, type of jet, water temperature and jet pressure.
The main impact is on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. In many countries, showers have become useful in complementary therapies in the treatment of mental and mood disorders (treatment of anxiety and depression ) and for aesthetic medicine, especially with regard to cellulite and other types of imperfection.
The jet of water guarantees a nervous stimulation which influences not only the superficial tissues but also the deeper tissues and organs.
TYPES OF SHOWERS
We can categorise showers into hot and cold, Scottish and alternating temperature.
Depending on the type of jet, a wide range of shower types exists (column-type, rain-type, horizontal jet-type), amongst which a particular mention should be given to the filiform showers, characterized by the ejection of a perpendicular jet of water, with a diameter of approximately half a millimetre.This type of shower, particularly useful for the treatment of skin diseases, is also used for their “abrasive” capacity, particularly useful in the case of acne.
Finally, the type of method used, allows us to classify the showers according to the organ to be treated, therefore they can be distinguished into skin, liver and epigastric, perineal, foot showers.
Filiform shower - the type of shower most commonly used in Italy is the so-called filiform. It consists in the application of a perpendicular water jet on the skin with a temperature over 35°C, with the thickness of a few millimetres and with a pressure between 3 and 10 atmospheres.
The Scottish shower - (either jet or alternating) is a type of treatment which, for therapeutic reasons, exploits the rapid variation of water temperature; generally it goes alternately from 26°C up to 40°C. The duration of each application is approximately three minutes, but this may vary according to the physical parameters of the person and the temperature utilized.The degree of hot and cold used depends on the personal level of resistance.
In order to obtain the maximum benefit from a Scottish shower, the ideal is to have it first thing in the morning, upon waking up, as it is not recommended during digestion or for people who suffer from heart problems.
At the same time, the Scottish shower has a relaxing and calming effect, with a stimulating action on tissues, which stimulates circulation, maintains the skin elastic and helps fight cellulite.
JET TYPES AND THEIR USE
Jets exist which can be pointed at different regions of the body, for the treatment of specific pathologies:
Beauty or face jet: Firms the skin, refreshes and contributes to improve the healthy skin circulation of the face. Recommended in the cases of tired eyes, tendency to congestion, mental strain, headache, acne.
Arm jet: Carries out a revitalizing and refreshing action of the circulation and nervous system. It is recommended in the cases of physical and mental tiredness, headaches, dizziness, tenosynovitis, heart failure.
Chest jet: The jet on the arms may even be extended to the chest, thereby intensifying the action. Recommended in the case of low blood pressure. The cold jet on the chest firms the connective tissues together with the skin of the cleavage, thanks to its stimulating action on the circulation.
Knee jet: The knee jet acts actively on the circulation of the calf and stimulates the organs in the lower abdomen area. It tones and strengthens the veins, facilitates sleep and lowers the blood pressure; it reinforces the pelvic organs and is therefore particularly recommended in the case of varicose veins and veinous insufficiency, insomnia, headache and hypertension.
Jet on thighs: The jet on thighs is the continuation and extension of the jet on the knees, reaching the hips and it is recommended in the case of cellulite and haemorrhoids.
Integral alternated jet: The entire body is reached by alternating hot and cold water jets.This treatment has a stimulating action and favours the circulation, strengthening the entire organism and stimulating the cardiovascular system, metabolism and breathing.
Hot nape jet: Relaxes muscles, stimulates circulation, dilates blood vessels and is particularly indicated in the case of tension, stiff neck, headache and tinnitus (hissing sound in the ear). Afterwards, an early night is recommended.
Hot lumbar jet: Particularly indicated in the case of tension and pain at the level of the lumbar vertebra, lumbago and rheumatism. However it is not recommended in the case of acute inflammation processes.
Those indicated for the hydromassage apply. It is not recommended in the case of acute infl ammatory conditions and, in the case of the Scottish shower especially, during digestion and for cardiopathy sufferers.