Did you know that a relaxing soak in a hot tub or spa has a lengthy historical tradition? As far back as 2000 BC, wealthy Egyptians used the therapeutic qualities of hot water in baths, adding flowers and essential oils for aromatherapy. One of the reasons we at Waters Choice have created amazing aromatherapy spa salts. They go hand in hand with hot water and hydrotherapy.
A Little Bit of History
According to our research, the Japanese have used personal wooden soaking tubs for centuries.
However, according to research, these square sided tubs were not used for cleansing. They were used for meditation and the water’s restorative properties.
It was also believed that the elder members infused their wisdom into the water for younger bathers to absorb.
Furthermore, Native Americans used hot springs as sacred meeting places as well. (As a side note, does it make you wonder how often these wooden tubs were emptied and how they might have sanitized the water?)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Years down the road, resort spas rose with popularity all over the United States.
In fact, President Franklin D. Roosevelt owned a resort in Warm Springs, Georgia he called the “Little White House”.
Partially paralyzed at an early age, he regained some of the use of his legs swimming at the springs and returned there for hydrotherapy annually for over 20 years.
Wooden Ofuro Tubs Make a Comeback
After WWII, American troops brought back the Japanese bathing culture of onsen and the wooden ofuro tubs inspiring the first wooden tubs in the United States. Using discarded winery equipment like barrels and wine vats, vineyard workers began creating hot tubs in the 1960’s, making home-made hot tubs with wood-fired heating systems.
Without a doubt, these early hot tubs were leaky, without filtration, harbored bacteria, algae and mold. In other words, "spa soup".
Testing Your Water
When we talk about testing your spa water, we often talk about the water's chemical balance, it's pH, alkalinity or even sanitizer levels. However, today's blog post is about something different. We're talking about something regular test strips don't test for and that would be bacteria.
Consequently, BACTERIA and GERMS are a very real thing that can reside in your hot tub water. If you suspect bacteria in your hot tub water, STOP sitting in it and immediately purchase a bacteria test kit. These are simple to use, can be found at your local pool and spa store, and will give you very important information.
Be Vigilant About Testing for Bacteria
Because the water in your hot tub is so much hotter than a pool, it increases the risk of infection and rashes if you are not vigilant about testing for contaminants. Without going into too much detail, here are a few things you should be aware of:
Hot Tub Rash . . . this is an infection caused from germs that result in an itchy, bumpy red rash and pus-filled blisters. This rash generally pops up after a few days of soaking in contaminated hot tub water.
Irritation from bodily fluids (ewww … gross!) Better known as fecal matter contamination in hot tubs. According to Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of microbiology and environmental studies at the University of Arizona, “the average bather has about a tenth of a gram of feces in his gluteal fold. With 5 people bathing, you have a tablespoon of poo in the hot tub.”
Along with that, add urine and sweat … it can create an irritant called Chloramine. Rinsing off post hot tub use and even more importantly, showering before getting in to avoid spreading THIS bacteria is important.
Other things can also be spread by poorly maintained water and dirty bodies getting in and out of a hot tub. Illness from parasites like Giardia can also be found in contaminated water.
These contaminates are avoidable if you are vigilant about testing your hot tub water. Remember, the higher the bather load, the faster disinfectant levels dissipate.
Waters Choice Frequently Asked Page is Helpful
Check out Waters Choice Spa FAQ page to learn more about enzymes and what our recommendations are for enzyme use with sanitizer.
Cultures have been aware of the healing properties of water for many years. In our opinion, soaking in a hot tub and using it's hydrotherapy will always be an effective way not only to soothe away the pressures of the day, but also treat joint and muscle pain, circulatory issues, and many other ailments.
Waters Choice Clean & Drain
The above mentioned information is also why we've created a product called Waters Choice Clean & Drain. It's a spa or hot tub purge product that can be very helpful, especially when it comes to cleaning out the plumbing lines in your hot tub or spa.
Waters Choice recommends using our purge product EVERY TIME you dump your water and start new.
We also recommend using our PRE-FILTER when refilling your tub with water.
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