Hot tubs not only sooth our muscles, they can help stimulate our brains

Hot tub health advice

As I age, and endure the repercussions of too many sports injuries when I was younger, I enjoy swimming during the cold and dark winter months at our local recreation centre.

Swimming is considered a low impact sport primarily because of the effects of water buoyancy on the human body. High impact sports like running, soccer and tennis endure the potential trauma of repetitive high-pressure activity on weight-bearing joints like the ankles, knees and hips.

This, of course, can lead to degeneration, injury and the development of osteoarthritis. However, I must confess I can’t jump in a cold pool like I used to and begin my lengths before warming up in the hot tub before starting. And this is where a vexation ensues.

Humans are generally gregarious creatures. People enjoy talking and communicating. Individuals like exchanging information, offering opinions and sharing ideas. Most people are courteous and respectful. Talk is generally light and frivolous but can also be entertaining and informative. Sometimes, when I exchange some information, I learn something. Discussions are often about sports, travel, weather and work, while other times, about newsworthy events. I have also observed that discussing politics and religion or mentioning politicians like (former U.S. president) Donald Trump are a social faux pas that create arguments and embarrassment.

Like the Canadian YouTube psychologist Jordan Peterson says, “In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”

Whatever the topic, you have the option to opine your view or keep your mouth shut.

Thinking involves using logic to find the truth. Logic is a systematic stepwise pathway using the information provided to evaluate something and make a conclusion based on the available facts. Our brains think and use logic to evaluate data to come to a “true” conclusion. Truth is an accurate depiction of fact or reality. Because we are individually a small part of a bigger whole, we can conclude that our thinking is subject to bias. Bias is an inherent prejudice towards something or somebody. Nobody knows everything but everybody knows something and some know more than others.

One early morning, at the ripe hour of 7:30 am, a couple of middle-aged blokes entered the hot tub and continued their passionate talk about health-related issues. One individual explained he followed his doctor’s advice for a problem, took the drugs prescribed and got sick. The other fellow countered he doesn’t take drugs for virtually anything, uses essential oils and is taking some multi-level marketing products that are supposed to cure his problems.

I couldn’t help but listen and concluded they both were pandering to some misinformation about their conditions and their respective treatments. I, as a partially knowledgeable health professional, could have interjected, offered my opinion and recommendations and directed them to the truth, as I see it. But I concluded it wasn’t in my place to do that. Besides, I had to swim my laps.

In medicine there is something called “evidence-based medicine.” Evidence-based medicine uses the best available data by medical professionals from around the world to make accurate and reasonable decisions for individual health care. Evidence is based on both practical clinical experience and scientific research into a therapy or treatment for a specific condition.

Surprisingly, a lot of drugs and therapies used in modern medicine have not been conclusively proven to help a specific condition for which they are currently used. Bleeding and bloodletting to cure infection, frontal lobotomies for clinical depression, mercury for bacterial infections, morphine for minor pains, physicians not washing hands between deliveries, are all common examples of bad medical practices not based on scientific evidence.

Of course, natural medicine practices are also rife with examples of lack of evidence-based medicine, including the use of herbal medicines, homeopathy and psychic healing. Best-evidence practices can also be prescribed to naturopathic medicine. It is paramount the practitioner is impartial and uses the best-evidence practices to treat a patient. It does not matter so much if it is natural or not, but it is in the best interests of the patient.

A middle-aged fellow came to our office with genetically high cholesterol that occurred in his family. He went to a local health food store and was sold more than a dozen different products that were supposed to lower his cholesterol, treat his liver and clean his arteries. He took the products as recommended and his cholesterol went up.

He threw them all away, regressed from his healthy diet and started eating more fast food. His cholesterol came down.

We re-evaluated his supplement regime, used an evidence-based approach and drastically simplified his nutritional program. We recommended some supplements that worked and his cholesterol came down.

Furthermore, some of health benefits of hot tubs include muscle relaxation, joint pain relief, improved circulation and better quality sleep.

The information provided in this article does not, and is not intended to, constitute medical advice. All information and content are for general information purposes only.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Doug Lobay is a practicing naturopathic physician in Kelowna, British Columbia.

He graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the University of British Columbia in 1987 and then attended Bastyr College of Natural Health Sciences in Seattle, Washington, where graduated with a doctorate in naturopathic medicine degree in 1991. While attending Bastyr College, he began to research the scientific basis of naturopathic medicine. 

He was surprised to find many of the current major medical journals abounded with scientific information on the use of diet, vitamins, nutritional supplements and herbal medicines.

Doug is a member of the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia and has practiced as naturopathic family physician for more than 30 years.  He maintains a busy practice in Kelowna where he sees a wide age range of patients with various ailments.

He focuses on dietary modification, allergy testing, nutritional assessments, supplement recommendation for optimal health, various physical therapy modalities, various intravenous therapies including chelation therapy.

An avid writer, he has written seven books on various aspects of naturopathic medicine that are available on Amazon and was also a long-time medical contributor to the Townsend Letter journal for doctors and patients, where many of his articles are available to view on-line. He has also given numerous lectures, talks and has taught various courses on natural medicine.

Doug enjoys research, writing and teaching others about the virtues of natural health and good nutrition. When not working, he enjoys cycling, hiking, hockey, skiing, swimming, tennis and playing guitar.

If you have any further questions or comments, you can contact Dr. Lobay at 250-860-7622 or [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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