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Archive for June, 2013

Spas and Hot Tubs for Back & Joint Relief

June 27th, 2013 by

hot-tub-spa-therapyI suppose we’re stating the obvious here, I mean, everyone knows that back pain can be relieved by a soak in hot water, right? And, it makes sense that the same hot water therapy can relieve the pain and swelling of arthritic joints.

According to The National Institutes of Health, Spa therapy, or hot-water balneology, appears to be indicated for chronic low back pain, stabilized rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Clinical trial findings suggest that patients with knee and hand osteoarthritis may benefit.

OK, point proven. Hot tubs and spas are great for what ails ya. The combination of the heat and the body’s buoyancy in the water relax the central nervous system and allow blood to flow. Increased blood flow helps to relieve inflammation and swelling, and brings more white blood cells to your painful areas.

And if you have massage jets in your spa, you get the bonus benefit of hydro-massage to specific areas.

Back Pain

Chronic back pain is an extremely disabling condition, affecting millions of Americans. Persistent pain can be managed with pills, but for many, it’s the hot tub that brings steady relief.

back-painBack pain can be caused by vertebrae misalignment, or from compression on the nerves that pass through the spine. Warm water therapy has been shown to be useful (American Journal of Medicine) for those recovering from back or spine trauma. Range of motion exercises in the hot water can increase one’s flexibility in the affected region.

Although hot water soaks are great for backs, experts generally agree that for first aid treatment to back injuries, one should start with ice or cold compresses. After some stabilization of the area, alternating treatments of hot water soaking and cold compresses can be used. Weeks or months after an injury, hot tub therapy can continue to bring back pain relief and speed healing of the area.

 

Arthritis Pain

As early as 1938, the New England Journal of Medicine stated “No therapy has been shown to be more consistently effective at treating chronic arthritis, as is physical medicine, including hydrotherapy”.

arthritis-painArthritis can be of two types, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is when the body’s defenses are weak, affecting joints and bones. Osteo-Arthritis is a more common type of arthritis, affecting joints and bones that had suffered previous injury. Another very painful type of arthritis is Gout, when crystals develop between and around the joints. The swelling and pain can be excruciating.

Fortunately, there is relief in hot water. The temperature of the water helps to increase blood flow, and reduce swelling, while numbing pain receptors. Constricted muscles slowly expand as the skin absorbs the moisture deep into the body. Toxins are drawn off, and one can finally relax.

Hot tubs aren’t a panacea for pain management, but they do provide real relief, and are an accepted treatment for back pain, arthritis, and many other ailments.

Does your spa bring therapeutic relief to you or your family? What benefits do you see? Which conditions is your spa or hot tub treating effectively?

We’d love to see your comments below!

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Top Spa Repair Forum Discussions

June 24th, 2013 by

spa-repair-forum

When we started our Spa Repair Forum in early 2009, we did so to add value to our website, to bring to our visitors another layer of information, to go along with our Hot Tub Blog and our Hot Tub Toolbox.

Today, our Hot Tub Forum has over 1100 posts, on over 440 topics related to spa and hot tub care and repair. Currently, as I write this, there are 23 people browsing the system, from all over the country, and the world.

Our Forum is built on the popular vbulletin platform, which has a lot of great features. If you’ve never used a Bulletin Board or an online Discussion Forum, users can view and reply to posts, called threads. You can also attach images, rate posts and search the database for keywords related to your specific spa problem.

Spa owners post their problems, and other spa owners, spa techs or our own moderator MaryH will respond to the posts. The person who starts a thread (by making a new post) gets an email when a reply has been made to the thread.

In today’s blog post, I’ve curated the best threads from the last 4 years. These forum posts were the most popular, in terms of views, replies, and ratings. Click the posts below to view the entire thread.

 

TOP 9 SPA REPAIR FORUM POSTS

 

 #1 – Spa Motor Cycling On & OffAfter a drain and refill, this problem resolved itself. Air lock?

spa-repair-forum-thread-1

#2 – Panel flashes OH, and then Everything Stops. Most likely a circuit board (pcb) problem here…

spa-repair-forum-thread-2

#3 – OH reading, after Spa Cools Down – In this case, the High Limit may be causing the OverHeat (OH) code

spa-repair-forum-thread-#3

#4 – Coast Spa: Blows Filter Off when I start Pump Turns out the filter lid was installed backwards

Filter lid blows off of spa filter

 #5 – My Spa Heater Has Power, but No Heat – Tested the heater element for volts/amps, then Replaced.

Spa Heater has 240V, but No Heat Output

#6 – Water Level Mysteriously Going Down in Spa – A bad spa cover allows heat loss and water loss.

Water Leak in Hot Tub

#7 – Spa Water Odor – Could be the water, the spa cover, the spa filter, or poor water sanitation.

Spa water smells

#8 – New Spa, Heater Not Always Coming On – Faulty Chip used on PCB caused erratic heating.

Heater Not Always Coming On

#9 – Vita Spa Trips Circuit Breaker – Ozonator or Spa Blower causing main breaker to trip

spa-repair-forum-thread-9

Our Hot Tub Repair Forum is a resource for you! The next time that you are having spa difficulties, be sure to search our forum for problems similar to your own, or start your own thread, and post your problems!

– Jack

 

Spa & Hot Tub Aromatherapy Guide

June 21st, 2013 by

spa-aromatherapy for hot tubs
By the end of a day, my olfactory senses are dulled by offices and highways, but a dip in the hot tub always restores.

Did you know that you can distinguish over 10,000 scents? Certain aromas or scents have a very real physiological effect on humans. They can soothe, energize and produce a sense of well being. Certain scents are also known to give a sensual or euphoric feeling, especially to those already relaxing in a hot tub.

I’ve been using spa scents for as long as I remember, but recently I was given a box full of spa scent samples – to test out for you, my dear reader! I have to admit that I haven’t had time to try them all – after all we have over 60 different spa crystals, beads and elixirs. I grouped them into ‘scent categories’, to simplify the testing of the different spa scents.

What resulted was a list of my favorite hot tub scents – used to create different moods in your spa or hot tub, sometimes serene, sometimes sensual.

blog-aromatherapy-lavender

Lavender has been used for thousands of years, since Romans added it to their bath houses. It’s a known antiseptic, useful in treating mild infections, especially candida, but is mainly used to bring calming to the mind. Inhaling the aroma of lavender can help with sleep problems, depression and worry. As a circulatory stimulant, it brings relief for muscle pain, cramping, migraines and other head and body pain. Lavender is also good for your skin. It helps skin cells to regenerate, and is used to treat scarring or stretch marks, and can also be used with rashes, sunburns or skin infections.lavender-spa-crystals

We have lots of Lavender spa scents at Hottubworks. I’m told it’s one of our best selling scents. It’s one that people know, commonly used in soaps, pillows or sachets. I like the Lavender Spa Crystals. They come in a large, 2 lb. box with a scoop, and is so fragrant I began to relax before even opening the box. I sprinkled in the spa scent crystals, watching them sink slowly, while they immediately release the soothing scent, along with natural plant moisturizers, into the water.

lavender-palmarosaAnother Lavender spa scent that tested well with me was the Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir. As opposed to the spa crystals, Elixirs are a thick and shiny liquid, in beautiful colors, that is poured into the water. Lavender is mixed with botanical oils, and in this case, Palmarosa, which is a type of Lemon Grass. Lemon is another scent that rejuvenates, and I really liked the experience more than just the lavender alone.  The Lavender Palmarosa Escape Elixir is a thick liquid, but if you prefer spa crystals to liquid – the same scent by SpaZazz is also made in crystal form, as the Escape Crystals – Lavender Palmarosa.

 

blog-jasmine-aromatherapy-2

Jasmine is a rich and warm floral fragrance, seductive and sensual. It has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac, and I can see why! Jasmine is sweetly exotic, and is also called ‘Mistress of the Night’ or ‘Moonlight of the Grove’, because the seductive scent is at it’s strongest in the middle of the night. When you add Jasmine to a hot tub, you may be calling for your lover to join you! Jasmine is sweet, soft and very sexy.

Jasmine is considered a mild sedative, and it certainly also helped me to relax, and really enjoy the spa session. It helps with anxiety, depression or a general blah feeling. It relaxes the central nervous system. Jasmine is also used in some countries as an aid to skin healing, by adding a few drops of Jasmine essence to a mineral or vegetable oil.

Jasmine Spa CrystalsThe samples of Jasmine that I had included the Jasmine Spa Crystals, and the White Musk Vanilla Jasmine Escape Crystals, with the word “Soothe” on the label. The Jasmine Spa Crystals were more fruity and floral, and the Escape Crystals were also sweet, but less so – toned down by the Vanilla and Musk aromas. musk-vanilla-jasmine-aromatherapy-for-the-spa

I used these scents on consecutive nights, so I could best compare. Both Jasmine crystals were soothing and sensual, and when I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine that I was in the south pacific, on a floating island. The Musk Vanilla Jasmine blend was definitely the sexier of the two, as you may have guessed.

 

blog-peppermint-aromatherapy

Mint is one of the most widely used aromatic herbs, used in everything from food and drinks to lip balm. In 1879, the British Journal of Medicine noted that the vapors of menthol gave relief to headaches and nerve pain. It improves alertness and helps one to concentrate, and could be perfect after a long day, to prepare for a long evening. Peppermint increases blood flow, reduces itching and is helpful with arthritic cramps or muscle pain. And, it’s good for your skin, stimulating natural skin oil production.

Mint grows wild throughout North America, Europe and Australia. It’s an abundant perennial in some areas, like my backyard! For this test, I picked a small basket of leaves and laid them in the spa water, to give peppermint aromatherapy a more authentic feel.

eucalyptus-mintAdded to the leaves on my peppermint trial, I used the SpaZazz Eucalyptus Mint Elixir, also available in crystal form. The packet was labeled “stimulate”, so I was prepared and ready for stimulation. It was a calm stimulation – I felt my breathing open up, like when Mom would rub Vicks on my chest. After 15 minutes, I noticed that my skin did feel stimulated, almost to the point of goosebumps. This fresh feeling lasted for hours, as did the energy boost – which may have come from deeper breathing in the hot tub.

 

EUCALYPTUS-SPA-AROMATHERAPY

Eucalyptus leaves have long been used in early cultures, for relief from aches and pains, and for treatment of altitude sickness. Early Incas, in the highlands of Peru would bathe in natural hot springs, filled with eucalyptus leaves. Similar to peppermint, Eucalyptus has an element of camphor, and can be used to treat sore throats, sinus problems, flu and fever.

The Eucalyptus tree is fast growing, to heights of 80 foot or more. Popular in sub-tropical regions (like California), you can often find wild eucalyptus trees that you can harvest for your spa aromatherapy sessions. In fact, I did just that – a neighbor down the street has large Eucalyptus trees lining their driveway. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind, so I trimmed a few stems.eucalyptus-spa-crystals

Added the Eucalyptus directly to the hot tub and then sprinkled in a scoop of my 2 pound “sample” of Eucalyptus Spa Crystals. Energizing and pungent, my soak in eucalyptus oils, with the mist surrounding me, was the most stimulating of all the spa scents that I tried. It also completely removed a headache that I had brought home with me. Like the peppermint aromatherapy, my soak in eucalyptus also made my skin dance a bit, and allowed my sinuses to open up for some deep breathing in the spa.

In summary, if you are looking to increase your spa relaxation, try a Lavender spa scent. For a romantic evening, go with a Jasmine fragrance. For a rejuvenating and energizing aromatherapy spa session, use Mint or Eucalyptus.

This has been a fun experiment, and I have enough left over spa scents to host some fun hot tub aromatherapy parties!

 

XOXO;

Gina Galvin
Hot Tub Works

 

Installing a Cover Valet Spa Cover Lifter

June 17th, 2013 by

spa-cover-lifts

How to Install a Cover Valet

The Cover Valet cover lifter is our best selling hot tub cover lift, with these unique benefits.

  • Requires only 6″ of clearance to hold spa cover
  • Gas shocks assist with lifting your spa cover
  • When lifted, your spa cover makes a privacy shield

The Cover Valet is also one of the more difficult spa cover lifts to install, because the brackets are held in place by bolts screwed into the spa cabinet. Other spa lifts either slide under the spa or install without measurements or drilling into the spa cabinet.


STEP ONE:
TAKE INVENTORY OF ALL PARTS

A Cover Valet ships in a fairly small box (for FREE, I might add!). When you receive your Cover Valet, check the box contents before beginning the installation. Count all of the brackets, arms, pistons and each bit of hardware, to be sure that it’s all there. Although it very rarely happens, if anything is missing, call us right away, and we’ll have a replacement Cover Valet shipped out to you.

COVER-VALET-BOX-CONTENTS-3


STEP TWO:
PRE-ASSEMBLY OF COVER VALET PARTS

To get ready to install the Cover Valet, there are a few parts that need to be connected together. All of the parts are clearly labeled, with a very descriptive installation guide.

  • Attach the Ball Studs (cvB) to the Channel Brackets (cvBB), with Lock Nuts (cvF). The round side of the Ball Stud should be on the inside of the Channel Bracket.
  • Attach Ball Studs (cvB) to both Pivot Arms (cvCC) with Lock Nuts.
  • Thread the Fingers (cvB) into the Extension Arms (cvDD). The other set of Fingers should be threaded in the opposite direction, to create a right and left side.
  • Slide the Rubber Sleeves (cvG and cvH) over the Fingers and Stabilizer Bar (cvFF), respectively.

Now that the hardware is partially assembled, you can lay the spa cover on the spa, if you had it removed. We’re ready to start installation!

STEP THREE: MOUNT THE CHANNEL BRACKETS

cover-valet-instructions

The first step is to find the proper location for mounting the Channel Brackets. The end of the brackets should be 2 inches from the outer edge of the spa shell. Use a carpenter’s square or use two yard sticks to measure and find this location. Mark the spa cabinet with a pencil, and make sure the brackets, one on each side, are both flush against the spa shell, and running parallel to each other.

Pre-drilling pilot holes into the spa cabinet is recommended, to help prevent the wood from cracking or splitting when you drive in the lag bolts. Screw in the lag bolts flush to the cabinet, until they are completely tight.

STEP FOUR: ATTACH THE GAS SHOCKS

Having a locking gas shock is a great feature of the Cover Valet. Install the locking gas shock on the side of the cover you will most often be standing on when you close the spa cover. The other non-locking shock is installed on the opposite side.

Press the bottom of each shock into place by pushing it into the Ball Stud on the Channel Bracket. The other end will be attached at the very end of the Cover Valet installation.

STEP FIVE: ATTACH THE PIVOT ARMS

Connect the Pivot Arms (cvCC) to the Channel Brackets, using the Long Hex Bolts (cvC) and Lock Nuts. Insert the Hex Bolts pointing down, so that the Lock Nuts are on the outside of the Channel Brackets, and the Pivot Arms move up and down easily. Don’t overtighten the Lock Nuts, to allow for easy movement.

STEP SIX: ATTACH THE EXTENSION ARMS

Slide the seam of the spa cover between the Fingers, with the Extension Arms (cvDD) pointing towards the Pivot Arms (cvCC). The “end” Fingers should slide inside of the spa cover, while the “high” Fingers should be on top of the spa cover. Be sure that the “knuckle” of the Extension Arms should be facing up, as shown in the images below.

CORRECT-INSTALLATION-OF-EXTENSION-ARMS

Align the Extension Arms, so they slide easily over the Pivot Arms. Slowly slide the Pivot Arms into the Extension Arms until the spa cover is centered over the spa.

STEP SEVEN: ATTACH THE STABILIZER BARS

Secure the Stabilizer Bars (cvFF) and the Extension Arms to the Pivot Arms, using the Medium Hex Bolts (cvE). Tighten only enough so that the Extension Arms will no longer slide in and out of the Pivot Arms and the Stabilizer Bar is – stable, and doesn’t move. Be careful not to overtighten the bolts.

STEP EIGHT: FINAL CONNECTIONS

Fold the spa cover onto itself (in half), and lift the cover into an upright position by pushing the Extension Arm until it reaches an upright position. While holding the cover upright, attach the top of the gas shocks to the Ball Studs on the Pivot Arm. Tie the elastic Ball Strap (cvJ) to the End Finger, on the same side that the Locking Gas Shock (cvLS) is used. The Elastic Ball Strap is useful to help lower the spa cover, instead of pulling on the cover straps. Cover Valet, America's Favorite Spa cover lifter!

Eight steps to installing the Cover Valet. It seems complicated, but no more difficult to assemble than other household helpers. It’s the best selling spa cover lifter that we offer, even though the installation is more involved than other cover lifts. In the end, a Cover Valet should take you only 30 minutes or so to install, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to operate, even for water logged spa covers!

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

 

Foamy & Cloudy Spa Water

June 13th, 2013 by

cloudy-spa-water

The water in a spa may appear cloudy, when the jets are on high. Small whitecaps of larger bubbles on the surface is normal, as shown in the picture on the left. But, if you have larger volumes of foam, especially in an off-color, or the spa water is cloudy or hazy when the jet pumps are off – there is a deficiency (of sanitation or filtration) or a contamination.

No one likes foamy or cloudy spa water – this post will give you the action steps to take to restore water clarity in a spa or hot tub.

Check the Filter

Your spa cartridge filter could be due for a cleaning, so at first sign of hazy spa water, pull out the filter and give it a good cleaning with the garden hose. If you haven’t done so in 6 months or so, use a spa filter cleaner to remove oils and minerals that can clog the pores of your cartridge filter. For best results, allow the cartridge to dry fully before using, or keep a spare on hand for a quick spa filter change. When you reinsert the spa filter, make sure that it is fully seated into the cartridge housing. Water can bypass a spa filter cartridge that is not inserted fully, or sealed up on both ends. Finally, if your cartridge is over a year old, it may be time to buy a new spa filter.

Check the Water Balance

Having the pH and Alkalinity in the correct range is important – it allows your sanitizer (bromine or chlorine) to be most effective at breaking down organics and inorganics in the water. As you test your water balance, also check your level of sanitizer in the water. You need a constant level of sanitizer in the water, to keep it from becoming hazy. After your chemical checks and balances are made, you may decide to shock the spa. In many cases, a clean filter and a good shocking of the spa will clear up cloudy or foamy water issues.

Check the Pump

Your filter pump, is it circulating water, or could it have an air leak or an air lock? An air leak into the pump will reduce the volume of water being filtered and circulated and an air lock will prevent any water flow at all. Air locks are common after draining the spa, and can be released by loosening the union nut on top of the pump, just until water begins to leak out, then tighten again quickly. If the pump is not operating at all – check the circuit breaker and any GFI outlets that may be tripped. Also check that the time clock is set-up properly to run the pump long enough each day for all of the water to be filtered once or twice.

Clean the Pipes

Spas and hot tubs can develop a slimy bio-film inside of the pipes, manifolds and hoses – behind the spa shell. This can build-up to levels where it breaks off from it’s colony and becomes free floating. In cases where draining the spa does not solve a problem with cloudy or foamy spa water, with the other checks above completed, you likely could benefit from using a spa pipe cleaning product like Spa Rinse. Just add it to the spa a few hours before draining – you’ll be amazed at the gunk this stuff removes. You can see it, as it is removed and floats to the surface. Yuck!

Drain the Spa

If you’ve not drained your spa in several months, the cloudy and foaming spa water could be sending you a message. Solids build-up fast in a spa, especially for one that sees frequent use. Depending on how much your spa is used, and by how many people will regulate how often it needs to be drained. For many hotel/motel spas, a weekly draining may be appropriate, and for home  hot tubs, every 3 months is usually adequate. Here’s a handy formula to use to compute how often to drain the hot tub.

when-to-drain-the-spa-formula

(Those are division signs, not plus signs!) For my hot tub, it works out to about every 111 days, or about every 3 months. Replacing the water regularly will help to prevent cloudy and foamy water, bio-film build-up, and reduce the workload for your spa filter and spa chemicals.

HotTub-animated

If it’s been awhile since you drained the spa, you may save some steps and just drain and refill. You may still need to check the pump and filter, water balance and sanitizer level, but sometimes, draining the spa is the best cure for cloudy and foamy spa water.

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

Spa & Hot Tub Parts: Blowers for Spas and Hot Tubs

June 10th, 2013 by

bubbles

What’s a Spa without bubbles? A Hot Tub!

Bubbles can enhance the massage effects of your spa jets, increasing the amount of force you feel on your aching muscles. Spa air blowers, also called bubblers or air pumps in some parts of the country, are included as standard equipment on most new spas, and spa equipment paks.

Hot tubs, in their classic wooden form and design, are often installed without air blowers, although a spa or hot tub can be fitted with a blower at anytime in the future.

This post is focused on how to replace a spa blower, and how to install a new spa blower, when you’ve never had one before on your spa or hot tub.

Hot Tub blower problems

Spa Blower is not turning on:

  • Tripped circuit breaker or GFCI outlet Test button is popped.
  • Air switch is faulty or air hose is disconnected.
  • Loose wiring or connections from spa pak to blower.
  • Spa blower motor is shorted across the windings.SpaBlower

Spa Blower is Noisy:

  • Vibration noises onto floor or spa cabinet wall.
  • Motor bearings and brushes are worn.
  • Broken air fan, or debris in blower

Spa Blower is On, but No Air is Blowin’:

  • Debris caught in air blower intake.
  • Blower disconnected from air manifold(s).
  • Broken, stuck or incorrect check valve.
  • Broken or stuck air fan.

Spa Blower Works for a few Minutes, then Shuts Off:

  • Over sized spa blower.
  • Excess voltage into motor.
  • Excess heat from motor.
  • Broken, stuck or incorrect check valve.

Spa Blower Sizing

spa air blower label

Replacement Spa Blowers: Buying the exact replacement spa blower is important. Fortunately, all you have to do is look on the existing blower to locate some pieces of information. The most important pieces of information are the horsepower (hp) and the voltage (volt) of the blower. Other info that can be useful is the FLA, or full load amps that the motor draws.

spa-hot-tub-blower-plug-types

The power cord connection type is also important. All of our Air Supply blowers ship with a AMP type plug. If you need a J&J type plug, or need a regular type outlet cord, we have adapter cords available to convert the plug type. Shown below are the common type of connectors or plugs used on spa blowers.

Measurements of the air flow, in cubic feet per minute (cfm on the nameplate), and on air pressure, expressed as 115″ h2O on this nameplate. Both flow and pressure, or cfm and inches of water column, are used to measure the output of the blower.

New Spa Blowers: If your spa (or Hot Tub) has never had a blower before, and you wish to install one – sizing the spa blower becomes a more complicated exercise. To size a spa blower correctly, some calculations should be done, to ensure the blower is large enough, but not too large. Too large, and your blower may could overheat and become damaged, and if too small, it may not have enough air flow and pressure (oomph) to overcome the resistance of the air system.

The best way to determine proper blower size is to calculate the resistance of the entire system. This is done by adding the water depth (above the lowest air hole) to the plumbing and piping resistance that the air has to push through. But for most applications, you can use an easier method. CONVERSION-CHART-FOR-SPAS

If you have air holes in the floor or seats, measure the size of the air holes. They are usually either 1/8″, 3/16″ or 1/4″.  Use the chart on the right to convert hole size to it’s decimal equivalent. Add up the total area of the holes and refer to the chart below to help you select the right spa blower size.

For spas that have the air coming out of the jets, size a new spa blower according to the number of jets in the spa, as shown in the chart below. Just count up the number of wall and seat jets, for a quick way to size a new blower to a spa or hot tub.

spa-blower-sizing-charts

Spa Blower Installation

Replacement Spa Blowers: Replacing a spa blower is easiest when you replace with an exact match. If you do this, simply unplug the power cord from your spa control or spa pak, unbolt the blower if mounted, and if a clamp is used to secure the blower, loosen the clamp and you should be able to pull the blower off. Reinstall the new blower in opposite fashion and you should be ready to test.

check-valve

New Spa Blowers: Installing a spa blower where one never existed? You’ll also need to install a Hartford loop in the plumbing, and a one way check valve, shown right – both designed to keep water from entering the blower. Blowers should be permanently mounted where possible, and if possible mounted vertically, to further help to keep water out of the blower.

Be sure that any ground wires are properly connected, and if your spa blower has a bonding lug, that the pump is bonded, in accordance with the National Electric code.

Questions?

If you have any questions about spa blowers, new or old – give us a call, we’d be happy to help. You can reach us, 7 days a week, at 800-770-0292.

 

Happy Hot Tubbin’

Daniel Lara
Hot Tub Works

 

Spas and Hot Tubs as Management Tools

June 6th, 2013 by

hot-tub-spa-therapy

Therapy is such a broad term, from aroma therapy to physical therapy. Hot water therapy boils it down a bit more, if you’ll excuse the pun.

Your hot tub or spa can be used to manage all sorts of therapies. I’m not talking about the “stress-reduction therapy” of a relaxing soak, but bonafide physiological benefits to using your hot tub.

Spas and hot tubs can provide specific relief to certain conditions, ailments and discomforts of life. Here’s a break down of 5 ways your spa can become a management tool.

 PAIN MANAGEMENT

For those that live with daily pain, hot water immersion can reduce pressure on joints and nerves by reducing inflammation and lowering blood pressure. 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. Spas 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.

SLEEP MANAGEMENT

Studies have shown that those who have a hot water soak before bedtime fall asleep faster and sleep more restfully. Using a spa raises the body temperature, while massage jets relax the sore spots. Physical tension (stress) is reduced, as one floats buoyant and weightless in the spa. At first exit of the spa, an energy boost is common, followed by a feeling of relaxed tiredness. I’m usually careful not to use my spa before 9 o’clock or so, or I’m out early!

BLOOD PRESSURE MANAGEMENT

Spas will cause your blood pressure to drop, as your veins and arteries open up and allow the heart to pump with less restriction. Studies on spa users show lower blood pressure levels during and after using a hot tub. However, spas are not recommended for individuals advised to avoid vasodilation, due to high blood pressure. Also, avoid alcohol and cigarette use in the hot tub, which cause vasoconstriction, removing the benefit, and possibly being dangerous.

BLOOD SUGAR MANAGEMENT

People with high blood sugar, did you know that regular use of your hot tub can lower your levels, restoring balance to the blood? It’s true, subjects with Type 2 Diabetes showed reduced levels of blood sugar when they used their spa daily. For this reason, some people unable to exercise are using their spa as a way to control weight gain. The decrease in blood sugar is linked to reduced hunger and faster digestion. There’s even been a book written about it, the Hot Tub Diet.

RECUPERATION & RECOVERY

If you have been in an accident, or had a recent surgery, recovery time can be improved in a spa. Soaking and floating, using the buoyancy to practice mobility exercises and stretching of the affected areas, will increase blood flow and oxygen, and speed healing. A lower water temperature may be used for recuperative therapy, around 88 degrees, or whatever is most comfortable. Professional athletes know the benefit of a hot tub after a game or match, and so do many recreational athletes. I have one friend who comes over to use my spa after every marathon or half-marathon, or 10K that she runs.

So, what therapy is your spa bringing you? Spa owners also report general well being after using a spa – so at the very least, you can enjoy the Mood Therapy benefits of your spa or hot tub!

 

Carolyn Mosby
Hot Tub Works

 

12 Spectacular Spas & Hot Tubs

June 3rd, 2013 by

luxurious-spas-hot-tubs

 

I have always admired unique designs in spas and hot tubs. There are so many creative ways to enjoy hot water – indoors or out! With much respect to these hot tub designers, who unfortunately will have to remain nameless, as I don’t  know who they are!

Maybe these spa designs will spark some ideas about your own backyard hot springs. For most of us, (myself included), we have these boxy, aboveground spas. Functional, practical, every bit as soothing – but these spas below, they have something special.

 

Here’s a few images of some of the world’s top hot tubs – the most luxurious, alluring and peaceful places of hot water heaven. These are some of my favorite hot tub designs, and I’m glad to share them. You can share these, too!

Round cedar hot tub flanked by large outdoor wood deck.

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Another traditional wood hot tub with steps and lighted surround wall.

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Natural rock spa quarried from behind the house? Built from concrete and stone!

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Vinyl swim spa with auto cover, surrounded by wood deck & bamboo.

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This stone spa is fantastic! Love the unique fence, too.

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Another great use of wood decking to surround a hot tub. This one floats over the lake!

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And this spa floats over the ocean, with hues of blue to match!

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Tranquil, serene oasis overlooking the woods. Very zen.

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For a touch of elegance, the winner of the tile category, with classic roman ends.

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This combination swim spa and hot tub has built in music, tv and bar! Party spa!

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California design? Would love this in my Californian backyard!

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I don’t see this in my backyard, but this resort sure has it going on!

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Thanks for checking out my gallery of spectacular spas and jaw dropping hot tubs! If you know where these tubs are, or were involved in the design of these fantastic hot tubs, we’d love to give you credit – leave a comment below!

 

– Jack