Thursday, January 17, 2008

Recovery: Contrast Baths

Everyone needs some form of recovery; whether it be rolling on your foam roller, getting a massage or taking a weekly yoga class, your body needs balancing. One of the most physically and mentally beneficial ways that I have found to recharge is contrast bathing, aka Hydrotherapy. Long employed by physical therapists to aid in recovery and embraced by every culture since the time of the Ancient Greeks, water is not just for drinking.

The theory is this: manipulate the contraction and dilation of the blood vessels of the body by alternating steam baths with cold water baths. Some of the benefits include:

Relaxation of Muscles - Hydrotherapy creates a cleaning effect in the tissue, drawing out contaminates like lactic acids, allowing more blood to flow into the muscle. This reduces pain.

Improves Circulation - Hydrotherapy reduces swelling in the tissue and joints allowing more blood to flow. The blood vessels expand, bringing in more blood and reducing pain.

Anti-Aging - As the body ages, the natural cleansing ability of muscles deteriorates, causing pain and stiffness. Hydrotherapy helps to reverse this effect.

Natural Pain Reliever - Reducing swellling, relaxing and cleansing muscles, improving circulation, stimulating the body, reducing tension and fatigue; all these factors combine to reduce pain.

Body Maintenance - We maintain our houses and cars better than our bodies. Hydrotherapy will help.

Relieve Tension and Stress - Stress is related to every disease known.

Medically Therapeutic - Doctors, therapists and clinics prescribe hydrotherapy to thousands of their patients nationally every day.

Relieve Joint Stiffness - Hydrotherapy causes an osmosis effect that draws contaminants out of the joints and tissue leaving it cleansed the way it was meant to be, relieving the pain of arthritis.

Induces Sound, Restful Sleep - Reducing pain, improving circulation, reducing stress and tension, relaxing muscles, reducing swelling, and cleansing tissue will all lead to a far more restful sleep.

Improve Immune System - Hydrotherapy improves blood flow and the lymphatic system. The blood and lymph contains white blood cells, "T" cells and the whole immune system. Increasing this circulation improves the immune system.

While there are many options in the Bay Area, Kabuki Springs is a favorite of mine. For the $20 price of using their communal baths, there is simply no more economical way to pamper yourself and recharge for the week.

Coach Kevin

No comments: