There are lots of fun ways to take care of yourself, and did you know that one of the coolest resources we can use is water? I’m talking about Hydrotherapy, and it’s anything that takes advantage of the physical properties of water, such as temperature and pressure, to stimulate blood circulation and treat the symptoms of certain diseases. This can mean anything from using water jets, underwater massage, underwater exercise, mineral baths, whirlpool baths, hot Roman baths, hot tubs or Jacuzzis, and cold plunges or cryotherapy.
For our purposes, we’re talking about water outside of your body. For water inside your body, see my recent post about hydration.
You already know about the awesome benefits of taking a whole body soak in a warm epsom salt bath from my post about Massage Preparation for First Timers, but just as a reminder, all you have to do is stir 2 cups of epsom salt (can be found in most grocery stores) into a hot bath. Sit and relax for at least 20 minutes to feel the benefits of reduced inflammation.
Ice is also technically water, which makes using ice on your sore muscles a part of hydrotherapy as well. Just make sure not to sustain ice usage for more than 10 minutes at a time, as this can actually start to cause some localized inflammation of its own.
And here’s the really cool part. We live in Austin, which means that we are blessed with relatively easy access to Barton Springs pool (there is of course a certain amount of skill involved in first finding a parking space!). Once you’ve tackled parking, you’re in for a real treat of natural spring hydrotherapy.
For those who don’t know (or just haven’t gotten around to it yet) Barton Springs Pool is a natural pool that is part of Barton Creek in South Central Austin. The pool is fed from underground springs that keep the water the same temperature year round, averaging about 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This is no cryotherapy cold plunge, the water is nowhere near freezing, though you’re still likely to hear several shrieks of shock as folks drop in for their first dip. Rather, the water is just cold enough to help rid your body of inflammation without being so cold that you get completely numb and want to kill whomever dragged you there. This is also a great way to experience the cold of the water and its benefits while simultaneously experiencing the warmth of the sun and its benefits. It’s a win win for you, and for the Barton Springs Salamander that calls the creek home.