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Spas and Stuff

  • Using Hot Tubs to Manage Depression

    Using a Hot Tub to Manage Depression photo by Andrei Niemimäki

    As many as 10% of Americans suffers from depression at some point, with many experiencing chronic depression or depression as part of other mental illnesses such as Bipolar Disorder. Depression can lead to a host of other health issues and, while treatable, therapy and medication costs can add up. Hot tubs can be a great way to alleviate depression symptoms, and may even help stave off the blues altogether with regular use.

    How Hot Tubs Can Help with Depression

    Soaking in the hot water of a hot tub releases endorphins. Endorphins are a feel-good chemical--they cause you to feel contentment and pleasure, and reduce the effects of stress. They also contribute to deep, restful sleep. Sleep is the body's natural way of reducing stress and balances moods. Those who regularly use a hot tub can experience calmer, more even temperaments and fewer episodes of anxiety and depression.

    Relaxing in a hot tub releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. This chemical helps reduce the effects of stress on the body and leads to long, deep sleep. Relaxing in a hot tub for 10 minutes approximately 90 minutes before bedtime will turn the temperature down on your internal thermostat and help you drift to sleep. With better sleep, reduced stress, and the presence of endorphins, hot tub soakers may experience calmer temperaments and fewer bouts with anxiety and depression.

    The process of using a hot tub to stave off or manage depression has three components:

    • Heat: Immersing yourself in heated water causes the body's core temperature to shift. This shift leads to a feeling of relaxation and can alleviate insomnia.
    • Massage: Massage has long been touted for its healing benefits. The jets in a hot tub have a similar effect on the body, but instead of focusing on one part of the body at a time, the entire body is massaged at once. The massage forces the muscles to relax, and where the body leads, the mind follows: your mind will relax and stress alleviated, which elevates mood.
    • Buoyancy: The buoyancy of the hot tub water relieves stress on the body, particularly the joints. The relaxation of the body, the alleviation of stress-related aches/pain, and the hydrostatic pressure increases improves circulation and respiration. Increased oxygen and blood to the brain is known to alleviate depression symptoms and regulate mood.

    Hot Tubs are not a Substitute for a Doctor's Care

    Hot tubs can be a great way to manage and even stave off depression, especially in cold seasons when your bones really need to be warmed up. However, chronic depression is a serious condition and requires a doctor's care. If you suffer from depression or suspect you do, consult your doctor about your symptoms.

    Above all: Be well. And happy soaking!

     

  • Win an Elegance Hot Tub!

    We are giving away an Elegance Inflatable Portable Hot Tub to one lucky winner!

    There are 4 ways to enter, 4 ways to win:

    1. Click on the Contest button on the top of our Facebook page
    2. “Like” the Promotion post pinned to the top of the Timeline
    3. Leave a comment on the post or on the Facebook page telling us why you want to win
    4. Send us a private message (through Facebook or email) with your name and email address

    Contest runs through May 20! Some restrictions apply. Please read Contest page for Official Rules.

  • Shop Now on Facebook!

    Spasandstuff.com now has a Shop Now feature on our Facebook page! Click on it to view great hot tubs and hot tub products. You can Like products, create a Wishlist, and Share your favorites on your timeline, a friend's timeline, on a page you manage, or in a private message. Use this new Facebook feature to coordinate purchases with friends and family, or to show everyone where they can go to get you the perfect gift.

    View the new Facebook Shop Now feature by visiting our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/SpasAndStuff

  • Hot Tub vs Spa vs Jacuzzi

    You might hear the words "hot tub", "spa", and "Jacuzzi" used interchangeably, but are there actual differences between the words?

    While researching this article, we found that there is some disagreement--even among industry professionals--about what these different words mean and when they should be used. However, you can use the information below as a rough guide.

    Hot Tubs

    hot tub vs spa vs jacuzzi photo by Wood and Wellness Ermelo via Flickr

    "Hot tub" is probably the word you will hear used most often, as it is the most generic of the three terms. At its most basic definition, it could be used to mean any hot bath or basic of water. More specifically, however, it is used to describe tubs made of wood, sometimes with a liner set inside, often with wood-burning stoves or some other form of heating. They can sometimes offer jets, but often don't, and they typically don't have contoured seating. This is the original style of tub, and they traditionally resembled large wooden barrels full of hot water. Hot tubs have a long history, but most recently became very popular in private homes in the 1960s.

    Spas

    hot tub vs spa vs jacuzzi

     

    The word "spa" basically describes a hot tub that is equipped with jets. Most are made out of fiberglass or acrylic. The term "spa" was first used in 1596 to describe the Harrogate, an enclosed well that contained medicinal water built by William Slingsby. Slingsby had visited a Belgium town called Spa, which was--and still is--renowned for its healing cold springs. When the hot tub industry began building tubs out of fiberglass and acrylic, they co-opted the word "spa" as a nod to the Belgian town and lend an air of elegance and luxury to this new product.

    Jacuzzis

    Strictly speaking, "Jacuzzi" is the brand name of a company that manufactures spas, and the word should always be capitalized. In 1968, Candido Jacuzzi invented a self-contained whirlpool bath for his young son, who was born with rheumatoid arthritis. It was an instant success and within a few decades the company name became nearly synonymous with the invention itself.

    So Which One Should You Use?

    Colloquially, the three terms are interchangeable. Alternatively, you could use the phrase "hot tub spas" as a good catch-all for any unit that holds and/or heats water and may or may not be equipped with jets.

  • Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs

    Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs photo by Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

    The inspiration for the hot tub is undoubtedly the natural hot spring. From time immemorial mankind has been soaking in hot springs for pleasure, for good health, and for religious reasons. It's no wonder that so many people want one located just outside their back door.

    What, Exactly, is a Hot Spring?

    Hot springs are created when geothermally heated groundwater seeps up from the Earth's crust. Geothermal heat is heat from the Earth's mantle: in general, the temperature of rocks in the earth increases the deeper you go. In non-volcanic areas, if water is deep enough in the crust it becomes heated by the rocks. Any that seeps up to the surface creates a hot spring. In volcanic areas, water may be heated when it comes into contact with molten rock. If it boils and builds up steam pressure, it erupts at the surface and we called it a geyser.

    What's So Hot About Hot Springs?

    Besides the obvious benefits for relaxation and cleanliness, people around the world and throughout history have believed that bathing in hot springs has therapeutic benefits. Here are just a few:

    • Blood circulation and cell oxygenation is increased, which helps dissolve and eliminate toxins from the body.
    • The body's temperature is increased, killing germs and viruses on and in the body.
    • Bathing repeatedly over a period of 3-4 weeks can normalize endocrine gland functions and autonomic nervous system function.
    • It increases metabolism and stimulates secretions in the intestinal tract and liver, which aids digestion.
    • It increases oxygen-rich blood flow throughout the body, which improves nourishment to vital organs and tissues.
    • Mineral springs have high amounts of negative ions, which encourage feelings of well-being physically and psychologically.
    • The body absorbs trace amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, lithium, sulfure, magnesium, and calcium. This provides healing to various organs, stimulates and enhances the immune system, encourages physical and mental relaxation, produces endorphins, and normalizes gland functions.
    • It improves joint mobility.
    • It can improve quality of sleep and can reduce incidents of insomnia.
    • It can lower blood pressure.
    • If the water is mineralized (especially if with sulfur), it can improve the effects of skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and fungal infections.
    Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs
    photo by cgcolman / Pixabay

    Where Can I Find a Hot Spring?

    Hot springs can be found all over the world, but tend to be clustered around fault lines and areas of volcanic activity. For example, in the United States the majority of hot springs are located in the West. Check tourist websites for hot springs in your country. In the US, hot spring guides for every state are readily available on the Internet. Many springs are developed, while others are quite raw and natural. Some are on well-traveled tourist paths; others are only accessible to hikers.

    Some countries are famous for their hot springs, and some hot springs are more famous than others. Japan, the United States, Taiwan, and China (Pacific Rim countries) are particularly noted for their hot springs. However, some remarkable springs are located in Costa Rica, Iceland, and Iran.

    Here are a few remarkable springs:

    • Budapest, Hungary--The area under the city is rich with springs, feeding more than 50 public baths and pools, private spas, and even drinking fountains.
    • The Nine Hells of Beppu, Japan--These remarkable springs are very distinct from each other, and each has a unique name. For example, the White Pond Hell has water colored white by excess calcium. The most famous and photogenic is Blood Pond Hell, with waters colored red by ferrous minerals seeping up from the bottom of the pond.
    • Bath, England--Springs in this area of England have been in use as far back as 8000 BC. The Romans first constructed baths there in the first century.
    • Lake Hévíz, Hévíz, Hungary--This is the second largest thermal lake in the world, and it is believed that the waters of the lake are completely replenished each day.
    • Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy--This sulfurous spring features natural pools cut into the rock and a waterfall of hot water.

    Hot Spring Bathing Etiquette

    There are no firm rules on how to bathe in hot springs--they will vary greatly from area to area and by type of hot spring. Developed springs and private springs will generally have posted rules. Springs located in out-of-the way places accessible only by hikers will have no official rules, but there are still some basic manners you should practice to ensure the springs can be enjoyed by everyone.

    Some "rules" for bathing in hot springs:

    • Follow any posted rules.
    • Shower prior to entering the spring. This helps maintain the cleanliness of the water.
    • Do not use springs during your menstrual cycle.
    • Do not soak for too long--about 30 minutes is a good limit. This ensures you do not become faint and risk injury or death. At smaller springs, it also ensures that everyone gets time in the spring. It's also advisable not to soak more than 3 times a day.
    • Avoid bathing 30 minutes prior to eating and for 1 hour after eating.
    • Before entering the water, test the temperature with a finger or toe to ensure it is not too hot. People have died from accidentally or purposefully entering boiling springs.
    • Hydrate before and after bathing. Sports drinks or water are best.
    • Do not drink alcohol while bathing! This can lead to injury or death.
    • Do not allow pets to enter the hot springs. This is for the safety of the animal, as well as to keep the spring clean.
    • If sharing a spring with others, refrain from too much conversation so everyone can relax.
    • Be aware of clothing rules for the particular spring--some springs require nudity, others require bathing suits. For secluded springs in the wilderness, use your own discretion based on likely traffic in the area and your own comfort.
    • Speaking of clothing, if wearing a suit be aware that any detergents used to clean the suit will transfer to the spring water. It's a good idea to have a suit specifically for the spring that has only been rinsed in water and not washed with soap. Simply wring out and air dry when finished.
    • Pregnant women and individuals should not use hot springs.
    • Avoid getting spring water in your eyes, nose, or mouth (unless it is a spring specifically designated for drinking). Many types of organisms survive in the hot waters and can cause diseases such as meningitis and Legionnaires' if they enter the body.
    • If at a spring in a remote location, set up your camp at least 200 feet away to avoid contaminating the water.
    • Avoid engaging in adult situations in the hot spring. This is for the comfort of other bathers, to maintain spring cleanliness, and to avoid becoming infected with any viruses or bacteria living in the water.

    The Original Hot Tubbers photo by Yosemite / Wikimedia

    Share Your Hot Spring Experiences!

    Do you visit hot springs? Tell us your favorite bathing spots! Did using natural hot springs inspire you to purchase a hot tub? Share your hot spring stories with us in the comments below!

     

  • Moving Your Hot Tub

    Maybe you're moving into a new home and you want to relocate your hot tub with the rest of your belongings. Maybe you need to move the hot tub so you can build a deck, or move it to a better spot. Maybe you want to remove it from your property completely. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself wanting/needing to move your hot tub, but how the heck do you do it? Moving your hot tub can be a daunting task!

    Short Answer: Don't.

    In a nutshell: hire a professional.

    Seriously. A hot tub is big, heavy, and expensive. It's possible to move it on your own, but the best idea really is to have a professional do the moving for you. They will have the equipment and the experience to relocate the tub quickly and safely. To find a professional, contact a professional moving company and make sure they have experience specifically with hot tubs. Or, contact a local hot tub retailer. Chances are they will either offer tub moving services or will be able to recommend a mover to you.

    But I Really Want to Do it Myself

    All right, you have your heart set on doing the move yourself. The first thing you are going to need is a bunch of friends, and they should be big, strong friends. You will also need several furniture dollies or splurge and rent a hot tub dolly. You'll also need a trailer or truck for transporting the tub. Once you have all the necessary equipment (including the friends!), you are ready to begin:

    1. Drain the tub completely and clean it out.
    2. Pack all the hot tub accessories securely and separately from the hot tub. Accessories include all the various cords and tubes, the heater, pumps, etc.
    3. Disconnect any sources of water, electricity or gas.
    4. With your helpers, very carefully stand the hot tub on its side.
    5. Slide 2x4s under one half of hot tub so you can slide the furniture dollies under each corner. The flat side of the dollies should be under the tub, not the wheel side.
    6. Firmly strap the tub to the dollies.
    7. Move the tub. If you are loading it into a truck and transporting it, be sure to firmly tie down the tub to the truck. Also make sure your helpers don't disappear--you'll need them to unload the tub!

    It wouldn't hurt to watch this video before moving the tub, to see how the pros do it:

     Or Just Buy a Portable Tub to Start With

    Even easier than moving a hot tub? Moving a portable hot tub. There are lots of models of portable hot tubs available, and they are a breeze to set up and break down. Here are a few we carry:

    Alpine Inflatable

     

  • January Hot Tub News Roundup

    This time of year, soaking in a hot tub is more popular than ever. That means there is no shortage of hot tub news for us to gather up for your enjoyment.

    Hot Tub Illnesses in Winter

    The Huffington Post wants to remind everyone that with increased use of hot tubs in the winter comes increased chance of picking up an illness. This is also true of waking up, breathing air, and eating food, but it's still good to be aware. The high temperature of a hot tub can make it difficult to keep disinfectant levels as high as they need to be. The most common illness linked to improperly chlorinated hot tubs is the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or "hot tub rash". It presents as an ear infection or a skin rash that takes the shape of the swimsuit the person was wearing, because the fabric held the contaminated water close to the skin. As always, keep a clean hot tub, rinse off before and after using the hot tub, and be sure to contact us at info@spasandstuff.com if you have questions about cleaning products.

    Man Found Dead in Hotel Hot Tub

    A man was found dead in a hot tub at the Ramada Inn in Lexington, Kentucky. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. It has been deemed an accident, although authorities have not yet determined what caused the 52-year-old man to drown. It is always advisable to hot tub with a buddy, especially if you are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or fainting.

    On the topic of hot tubbing with buddies ...

    Eagles Fans Tailgate in a Hot Tub

    Eagles fans tailgate in a hot tub (South Jersey Times photo | TIM HAWK)

    Somehow these Eagles fans set up a four-person hot tub outside the stadium where their beloved team faced off against the New Orleans Saints. How they filled it and powered it is unknown, but you've got to hand it to them for tailgating in style.

    Burglary Suspects Hide in Hot Tub

    Two men suspected of robbing two different homes were found hiding from police in a hot tub. It turns out this is not a great hiding spot when the temperatures are  is sub-zero. After being arrested, one of the men was transported to a hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

    But wait! Everyone's hiding in hot tubs, and this next guy is a doozy ...

    Man Found Hiding in a Hot Tub with a Machete

    A man was found hiding in a hot tub and wielding a machete after allegedly committing a series of bizarre crimes in Salem, Oregon. Apparently the man crashed a U-Haul, set a house on fire with gasoline, set a lawn mower on fire, robbed a different home of frozen elk meat, and then hid in the hot tub. Somewhere along the way he picked up the machete. After his arrest, he proceeded to kick the roof of the squad car, resulting in $1000 in damage. Police are unaware of the motive for these crimes at this time.

    Hot Tub and Couch Found Dumped on Pawnee Grasslands

    hot tub and couch dumped on pawnee grasslands

    A hot tub was dumped on public Pawnee grasslands and then, a few weeks later, a couch was also dumped. Pawnee National Grasslands officials are looking for the culprit or culprits, as dumping on the lands is a crime. "Each time crimes like this occur, tax dollars must be spent correcting the situation instead of those dollars being spent on the management of Grassland resources," the officials said. If you have any questions about how to properly dispose of your hot tub, please feel free to contact us at info@spasandstuff.com and we can direct you to the proper resources.

    Do you have any hot tub news happening in your area? Send us your stories and we'll include them in our next roundup!

  • Announcing Saunasandstuff.ca!

    saunasandstuff.ca

    Everyone here at Spasandstuff.com is excited to announce a new member to our Storesandstuff.com family: please welcome our new website Saunasandstuff.ca!

    We've been selling saunas online since 2005, and we are so pleased to now be expanding into Canada. The new website will serve our Canadian friends by providing quality saunas at great prices. We'll offer a selection of top-of-the-line sauna rooms, pre-built and pre-cut sauna kits, heaters, and other other accessories. We are pleased to offer free shipping, just as we do with our US customers.

    Connect With Us!

    If you have friends or family in Canada, please send them our way! Be sure to join us on our website, blog, and social media outlets. Please share our links! We love connecting with our customers.

    We look forward to being Canada's foremost supplier of quality, affordable saunas and sauna supplies. Thanks to all of our customers, everywhere. We couldn't do any of this without you!

  • Holiday Gift Ideas from Spasandstuff.com

    Hot tubs are the gift that just keeps giving, especially as the temperature falls. Below we've listed some gift ideas for the spa lovers in your life, or maybe just treat yourself!

    Gift Ideas

    Holiday Gift Ideas from Spasandstuff.com

    Santorini II Fiesta Cantilever Umbrella ($915) -- This attractive umbrella will keep the rain off in the spring, the sun off in the summer, the leaves off in the autumn, and the snow off in the winter, making your hot tub comfortable to use all year round. Comes in two colors and has solar LED lights.

    Elegance Portable Inflatable Hot Tub ($899) -- If you're reading this, you already know how great hot tubs are. Why not buy one for someone special? This inflatable hot tub is a great starter spa!

    Holiday Gift Ideas from Spasandstuff.com

    Round Table 42" H Bar Table ($348) -- This beautiful table is available in 6 color options, and 5 diameter sizes (24", 30", 36", 48", 58" & 68"). Top-quality select grade California Redwood, a renewable resource, is used to construct this practical table. Provides a perfect for spa-side space for drinks, towels, books, or a portable radio.

    Drink Caddy ($80) -- Unique design of this drink caddy provides safe and easy transport to and from the hot tub. It comes in six attractive finishes.

    Holiday Gift Ideas from Spasandstuff.com

    Square Redwood Planter Boxes ($232) -- Make your hot tub a destination with these attractive square planters with a pot shelf that allows for a quick exchange of seasonal color. Sized for two 6" potted plants or can be filled with ice to cool your favorite beverage. Available in six colors to match any décor.

    Attached Spa Bar ($84) -- This attached spa bar turns your hot tub into Party Central. It comes in five attractive colors. Add some matching bar stools and guests can mingle or soak without having to leave the hot tub area.

    Order Soon!

    There's not much time left before the big holiday, so order soon to ensure your purchase arrives on time! If you need any help choosing the perfect gift, contact us and we'd love to help!

  • Thanksgiving in the Hot Tub

    Thanksgiving in the Hot Tub Image by moodboard photography. http://www.flickr.com/photos/67835627@N05/7301112520/

     

    With the holidays kicking off this week, it's the perfect time to take the cover off the hot tub and plan family gatherings around warm, bubbly water. Below you'll find some tips and advice on how to make your hot tub a fun part of your Thanksgiving.

    We are Thankful for Lounge Seats and 28 Stainless Steel Jets

    Get the tub warmed up as your guests start to arrive. Invite people to soak while they wait for the turkey to cook, and to soak while the turkey digests happily in their bellies. It's a great way to distract the kids and placate the teenagers. Something about a hot tub really brings a family together, and might even help prevent those awkward holiday arguments. Here are some ideas for making the tub a big part of Thanksgiving dinner:

    • To encourage guests to use the tub, have them bring their suits and towels.
    • Pick up hot tub accessories like this towel table and stools so there's a place to put towels and drinks and other guests and hang out and visit with the soakers.
    • A small table nearby is a good place to set plates so food stays out of the tub.
    • Consider adding some spa steps with handrails, so grandma and grandpa can get in and out of the tub easily.

    Don't Get into Hot Water While in the Hot Water

    As always, you'll need to take precautions while the tub is in use to make sure everyone stays safe. A few things to keep an eye on:

    • A sober adult should always be monitoring the tub if there are children or pets in the home. It can be easy to get distracted by Auntie Amy's crazy stories, but it can only take a second for a child or pet to fall into the tub and get into trouble. Consider assigning non-drinking guests as hot tub monitors in half-hour increments.
    • Disallow drinks and food in the tub. In addition to getting the water gross, spilled food and drinks can be a safety hazard and can damage the hot tub's system. Encourage guests to use nearby tables and benches and to exit the tub to eat and drink.
    • Prevent guests from drinking heavily and then using the tub, as they could pass out and injure themselves and others.
    • Eating a big meal can make people drowsy. Throw in a little wine and you have a recipe for a satisfying nap. Keep an eye on the tub after dinner and get sleepy soakers out and onto the couch instead to prevent accidental drowning.

    Happy Thanksgiving, to All of Our Super Soakers!

    From all of us here at spasandstuff.com, Happy Thanksgiving! We hope your holiday is full of good food, good company, and good soaking.

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