Spa Baths Types, Benefits, and the Best Tips in Buying One for Your Home
The word “spa” calls to mind images of therapeutic baths and other treatments for health, beauty, and relaxation purposes. But did you know the origin of the word is an actual place in the map?
Spa is actually a town in Belgium, somewhere within the Liège province. It is home to a resort with famous medicinal mineral springs, and the name of the place has obviously evolved to be a noun denoting any such similar place. Nowadays, the word “spa” is commonly used to refer to resort areas with mineral springs, health spas providing therapeutic baths, fashionable hotels, or even simply a hot tub for relaxation.
When it comes to spa baths in tubs, there are generally two types: the hot tub bath and the jetted bath. Sometimes the two terms are used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between them.
The hot tub is a general term that connotes either wooden-staved barrel soaking tubs or fiberglass-covered plastic tubs filled with a warm body of water. In some cases it may also refer to a small pool located outdoors, designed for use by a larger number of people for pleasure or therapy.
Hot tubs do not necessarily currents of water streaming from the all around the tub, and the health benefits are derived more from the relaxing warm water temperature than the massaging pressures of water currents. In this sense, a hot tub bath is also sometimes referred to as a thermal bath, used for bathing, self-cleansing, muscle ache relief, immune system stimulation, or general body relaxation.Colloquially, it is also common to hear the term hot tub being used to denote the next type, the jetted baths.
Okay, so maybe you aren’t so familiar with the term “jetted baths.” But you’ve probably heard about a Jacuzzi, right? The fact is, a Jacuzzi is a jetted bath. Jacuzzi is actually a brand name, derived from the last name of the pioneers of jetted bath technology, the Jacuzzi brothers.
Jetted baths are also better known by the term whirlpool baths. But whether you prefer to call these baths jetted, Jacuzzi, or whirlpool, they all have one thing in common: they have special motorized jets built behind the tub walls. These jets spurt water (water-massage system), air (air-massage system), or a combination of the two elements to provide its bathers with a relaxing or even therapeutic massage.
Further below, you’ll find a guide discussing the important factors you’ll need to look at when it comes to selecting hot tubs and jetted baths. But first let’s take a quick look into the benefits that both hot tubs and jetted baths offer.
Benefits of Spa Baths
- Hot tubs and jetted baths are great for ways to relax, relieve stress, and reinvigorate your body.
Whether you have an active lifestyle because of your love for sports, or you’re constantly busy and on your feet because of a demanding job, you’ll certainly need something to restore your energy and recondition your body once in a while. And if you’re looking to indulge in something relaxing after a long and tiring day, a relaxing hot tub soak or an invigorating jetted bath massage will do just the trick! These baths, whether enjoyed in the privacy of your own home or availed as a resort spa service, will be sure to relieve your stress and recharge your body.
- Larger hot tub and Jacuzzi parties are popular ways of socializing.
With the relaxed ambience promoted by hot tubs and jetted baths, family and friends can gather and simply chill out, chat, and enjoy the baths in the company of each other. Larger tubs and jetted tubs that have enough space for the simultaneous use of several people are usually located outside the house and situated in a garden, where bathers can take pleasure in the outdoor atmosphere.
- Hydrotherapy through hot, cold, or contrast water temperatures promote better health and overall wellbeing.
Hydrotherapy through hot water soaks dates back even to the early times of Native American tribes. Hot springs were accorded special status and used as natural healing spas, with many of such waters believed to have special healing powers. The Romans built communal baths that incorporated thermal waters in their communities, and they took daily soaks to enjoy the revitalizing properties of such baths.
The use of hot water in therapeutic baths is proven to have many health benefits. Heat promotes better blood circulation, which means improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the bather’s body. It also opens up skin pores, helping the body cleanse impurities and rejuvenate the skin. It is also said to help stimulate the immune system to better fight off infections and disease.
Cold water baths were popularized during the height of the Victorian era. They are said to improve blood flow return, as well as promote more efficient clearing of cellular breakdown products by the body’s lymphatic system. Nowadays cold water immersion is part of the therapies conducted by rehabilitation clinics, sports medicine services, and physical therapists.
Contrast hydrotherapy combines the use of both heat and cold in bath sessions to encourage better lymphatic drainage and improve circulatory system functioning. In this type of therapy, water temperatures are altered in complementary tanks or showers. Studies have shown that use of this therapy as treatment to recent injuries can help reduce swelling and hasten healing by better stimulating blood flow to the injured area.
- Water therapy through controlled pressures and massages in jetted baths brings about great health benefits.
The swirling action of water comforts the body and also stimulates better circulation to the skin and other body tissues. With the jets spurting water at targeted body parts, the varying water pressures are aimed at soothing the most common problem areas in the body, such as the neck, shoulders, lower back, thighs, and feet. The gentle massaging action of water relieves tired muscles, promotes optimum relaxation, and aids in improving blood circulation. As a result, after a jetted bath, you’ll be sure to feel relieved from bothersome muscle tensions, freshened up, and well-rested from a truly unwinding bathing experience.
Selecting Hot Tubs & Jetted Baths: What You Need to Consider Before Buying One
- Installation Location
One of the first questions you’ll need to answer in choosing a hot tub or jetted bath is: Where will it be installed? Answering this question alone will help you make important practical considerations when it comes to the maximum size and the most appropriate shape of the tub bath that would be best for your needs.
If you’re planning to install a larger tub inside your home, you need to be aware if the combined weight of the tub and the water it’ll hold can be supported by the floor of your intended installation location. Some areas may need additional reinforcement to adequately support the tub’s weight. Get professional advice from a structural engineer if you’re in doubt. Also check whether the tub will fit through the doorways it’ll need to pass to get to the installation location, as most baths come as a single complete piece that can’t be separated into smaller sections.
As for a tub you’re planning to install outdoors, visualize where it will be situated in your garden. Where will it be facing? How will the shape fit into the designated space? Will its placement complement the overall design of your garden? Some retailers of quality tub manufacturers would be willing to discuss the specific considerations needed for the most efficient tub installations.
- Size and Shape
Tubs and baths come in various shapes and sizes. As mentioned above, the installation location will play an important role in limiting your options when it comes to tub size and shape. Some hot tub retailers offer to conduct a site survey at your home to help you decide the best size and shape that’ll suit your needs.
Aside from the location, another factor that’ll affect your choice when it comes to size and shape will be the number of people you want to accommodate within the tub at one time. There are standard family sizes available, but if you’re planning to throw bigger hot tub parties, a larger tub which offers more seats would be the practical choice.
The design or shape of the tub will also affect the comfort of its users. Keep in mind that larger tubs don’t always equate to more seats, just more space for the bathers to move in, making them the best choices if you’re after optimum comfort. Some tub designs feature a lounge seat, and for these types don’t forget to see whether they’ll accommodate the height of the bathers comfortably. You can check for the comfort of hot tubs and jetted baths by sitting in them at a tub showroom.
- Material and Quality
Remember that one of the purposes of these tubs and baths is to help you relax and relieve stress. Therefore, it’s imperative that they provide you with great service without stressing you out with operational problems. Well-made tubs are long-lasting and don’t cost a fortune to run. They are usually made of several layers that provide significant insulation, making them capable of excellent heat retention. Without good insulation capabilities, a hot tub will eventually cost you more when it comes to heat expenditure, even though you got it at a cheaper price. So it’s ultimately better to invest in quality tubs and baths, although they may cost more upfront.
Also check for a strong, solid base that can retain heat well at the bottom of your tub. A solid base will also protect your tub from pesky outdoor pests that may invade it from underneath, especially for outdoor tubs situated at gardens. Furthermore, check the tub’s structural support frame. Steer clear of materials that are flimsy and prone to rust. For free-standing tubs, adjustable legs are great features that’ll help ensure your bath’s stability even when installed on uneven surfaces.
Finally, check the hot tub cover. Covers are used to retain heat in the tub and prevent airborne debris from contaminating the tub water when not in use. Look for solid, well-insulated tub covers which feature locks that can be fastened on the tub sides. This will secure your tub from being tampered with when not in use.
Selecting a jetted bath is a little more complicated than choosing a regular hot tub, because of the added feature of motorized jets. These jets are responsible for the swirling motion of water found in whirlpool baths, and it’s important to understand what to consider when choosing the best jetted bath.
The first thing you’ll notice is the number of jets featured in a tub. Most baths would include four jets: one for your back area, two along the sides, and one for the foot part. However, note that jet count is not the only thing you’ll need to consider when buying jetted baths.
Jets can be of two types: water jets and air jets. As their names imply, water jet systems push out water while air jet systems push out air.
Water jet tubs circulate water within the tub and promote the pulsating pressures that massage the bathers’ muscles in targeted body parts. Some tubs feature water jets that can be controlled by a special dial to vary the speed and direction of jetted water.
Air jet tubs usually involve a system of holes that stream out air bubbles through the water to provide an extra massage option for the bather. Most are also digitized to allow the user to control the intensity at which the air bubbles are blown up. Many baths combine the two systems so the user can personalize the bath according to his or her preferences.
- Placement and formation
This is a crucial factor you should consider. The strategic placement of jets along the tub walls could make or break the therapeutic effects a jetted bath offers. The jets should be positioned appropriately to target the main muscle groups that most need massaging, such as your neck, lower back, shoulders, and feet.