4 KEY FACTORS
It almost sounds too good to be true. Can this easy to use, one-step, drug free therapy really minimize the effects of musculoskeletal trauma and accelerate recovery from old injuries? Yes, it really is that simple and that good! Yet this powerful therapy technique is often underutilized by horsemen. It’s been proven in both horses and humans to work very well.
Cold water triggers three basic reactions:
The metabolic response of the cells is reduced decreasing the oxygen requirements to function.
A reduction in the amount of fluid that accumulates in the injured area due to a decrease in the permeability of the blood vessel walls. When a horse pulls a tendon, this sets off an inflammatory cascade that we see as swelling and the horse feels as pain. Left alone, this leaking with naturally stop in 12-36 hours and the body’s natural healing process will begin.
Numbing of the injured area serves to act as an analgesic and will make the horse feel better almost immediately. (Have you ever applied an ice pack to a twisted ankle? This is similar if a horses who knocks himself or gets kicked by another horse to the lower limb, for example) Cold water also prohibits enzyme degeneration of tendons post injury
Hot water is extremely effective for stimulating blood flow and relaxing sore and stiff muscles.
2. Salt Concentration
The salt content adds additional therapeutic value by acting like a poultice, drawing out inflammation and infection. Our spa uses TWO different types of salts.
The pure mineral compounds for Epsom salts are magnesium and sulfate, both readily absorbed through the skin. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes reducing inflammation and helping muscle and nerve functions. It is important for combatting stress and fluid retention and calming the nervous system. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients and flush toxins.
Salt from the Dead Sea
Includes potassium, calcium chloride and bromides. Potassium energizes the body and is a crucial mineral to replenish following intense exercise. Calcium is effective at preventing water retention, increasing circulation and strengthening bones. Bromides act to ease muscle stiffness and relax muscles. Sodium is important for the lymphatic fluid balance. This in turn is important for immune system function. The waters from the Dead Sea are unique in that they contain 27% of various salts as compared to 3% in normal sea water. Further, while sodium accounts for approximately 80% of the salt content of normal sea water, it comprises much less of the salt total in water from the Dead Sea.
During both therapies, the aeration gently massages the soft tissues and muscles as the horse enjoys the physical and mental break from their rigorous routine.
4. Depth of Water
The depth of the water will directly affect the amount of pressure that is exerted on the injury and aid in the dispersal of fluid retention.