Sometimes it seems like the pursuit of healthy living is loaded with overhyped trends and “buzz words” (here's looking at you, acai). But the significant and undeniable key ingredients in the recipe for healthy living are the “happy hormones” (like serotonin and dopamine) and natural painkillers (known as endorphins) that are released during activities of pleasure and relaxation.
Endorphins affect the inter connected factors of health and happiness, and have the opposite wearing down impact on the body that stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine do. Relaxing practices such as hot tub hydrotherapy have consistently shown to elevate the body’s levels of endorphins, by increasing blood flow and deepening breathing (and by association, oxygen levels in the brain). Our recommendation is for consistent hot tub soaking, especially as a solution to a day full of mental or physical (ie. exercise) stressors. In preparation for the resulting boost in endorphins and other happy hormones that your hot tub soaking will provide, let’s review the differences between them.
The endorphins that hot tub soaking will trigger include:
1) Endorphins Called your body’s natural painkillers for a reason, endorphins helped our stone age era ancestors escape predators by running through the pain when chased. Today, the pain most often associated with their release is thankfully anaerobic-exercise triggered. By training your body to release greater levels of endorphins during your hydrotherapy, you can maximize the endorphin release that exercise will give you as well.
2) Serotonin Serotonin is the key hormone of happiness, and regulates mood by suppressing feelings of depression and thwarting irritation. These effects in turn make you more sociable and improve your interpersonal bonding. How about hosting your next gathering of friends or family in your hot tub, and letting the serotonin flow!
3) Dopamine Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that is released when you strive towards a goal. There’s a cyclical effect with dopamine, as an increase in this hormone motivates you to work hard so that you can achieve the satisfaction of reaching that goal. Because dopamine makes you more mentally alert and helps you focus, consider soaking in your hot tub for several extra minutes the night before a high-pressure meeting or big presentation.
4) Oxytocin Oxytocin is the love hormone, and is released in large amounts during affectionate physical contact and childbirth. Oxytocin also increases feelings of love and trust. Speaking of trust, trust us when we suggest that you take advantage of soaking in your Beachcomber to reap the maximum benefits of these happy hormones!