Pagosa Springs, CO: The Spa Healing Waters

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Hydrotherapy Benefits of the Pagosa Hot Springs

Hydrotherapy is the use of water (particularly warm or hot) for recuperative and healing purposes. This treatment is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment known to man. Hydrotherapy tubs and other items of hydrotherapy equipment are still used in modern times for a vast range of therapeutic measures.

This page will cover the long known benefits of hydrotherapy. Coupled with healing minerals, the Pagosa Hot Springs can have extraordinary power!

Hydrotherapy has been used since the dawn of civilization. Evidence of its use can be found in ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman societies. Archaeological evidence shows that members of the Egyptian ruling class would bathe in waters infused with oils and flowers for rejuvenating effects. Hippocrates, the Greek physician who lived from 460-370 B.C., prescribed bathing in spring water to cure illness.

The Romans are perhaps the most famous for their bathhouses, which became centers of social life and a common daily activity for the elite classes. Their bathhouses promoted the general health and hygiene of their citizenry. Other cultures made use of spa-like hot baths as well, including the ancient peoples of China and Japan.

It wasn’t until the 18th and 19th centuries that hydrotherapy attained its most widespread recognition. Sir John Floyer, an English physician who lived from 1649 to 1734, promoted its benefits. Vincenz Priessnits, an Austrian peasant who lived from 1799-1851, invented sponge baths, douches, and established health spas and hydrotherapy centers in Germany and other European countries. A Dominican monk by the name of Sebastian Kneipp wrote My Water Cure, which was published in 1889. This book was translated into many languages and the benefits of hydrotherapy treatment became widely known throughout Europe and established for the rest of time.

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Recent Findings

As medical science has advanced, there has been an increased awareness of the benefits of hydrotherapy. Many medical conditions, injuries and other health problems can be eased or improved with regular treatments.

For example, people with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and other conditions that involve deteriorating range of motion benefit from time spent in a hot tub. The warm water helps ease aches and pains, while loosening joints and making them easier to move and keep mobile.

Joint problems, chronic back pain and other painful conditions resulting from injuries are also helped with regular hot tub hydrotherapy.

In asthma patients, researchers discovered that decreased function of the adrenocortical glands, evidenced by low serum cortisol levels, improved after therapy. This was accompanied by the reduction in the dosage of glucocorticoids needed to control asthma attacks.

By stimulating the blood and carrying waste products away from the cells, hydrotherapy also helps nourish cells and promotes regeneration of tissues helping the body to heal from sicknesses or physical injuries. Applying warm or hot water causes arteries and veins to expand, which allows additional blood and lymph to a specific area. It also allows blood and lymph to flow more easily in the veins and arteries.

Leon Skeie, Director of Sports Medicine for Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California, says moist heat is most advantageous in the treatment of tendonitis (inflammation of connective tissue).   Dry Wayne Spence, M.S., Houston, Texas, explains, "Heat makes collagen tissue more stretchable.  The increased blood flow and elasticity of tissue makes hydrotherapy a major treatment of choice for many chronic diseases."

Along with treating diseases and improving wound healing, circulation, relaxation, digestion, and the immune system, hydrotherapy has been proven to be beneficial for people with:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back Pain
  • Burns
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Hemiplegia
  • Hemophilia
  • Hyperthermia
  • Knee Pain
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle Pain
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Neck Pain
  • Obesity
  • Orthopedic problems
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Spina Bifida
  • Sports Injuries
  • Work-Related Injuries
  • Varicose Veins

Information sources:
Hydrotherapy- A Treatment for all Times by Gary Gordon

The History And Health Benefits of Hot Tubs by J.Amost (same)


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The Spa at Pagosa Springs | Motel and Healing Water Hot Springs Pool
317 Hot Springs Blvd., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

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