Jacuzzis are a popular form of recreation and relaxation. While irresponsible use may pose health risks, the belief that hot tubs endanger people with heart trouble is largely unfounded. In fact, moderate jacuzzi use may actually provide health benefits.
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Immersion in a jacuzzi lowers blood pressure by causing vasodilation, or the opening up of blood vessels beneath the skin. It also constricts the splanchnic vessels, causing digestion to slow down.
It has been suggested that vasodilation may harm people with cardiac problems, and that the constriction of splanchnic vessels increases the chance of heart attack. According to Dr. Larry Weinrauch, neither of these suggestions has any scientific basis. There is also no evidence that hot tubs are dangerous for those with pacemakers.
Since jacuzzis lower blood pressure, moderate use may actually be therapeutic for individuals with high blood pressure or hypertension. Dr. Weinrauch points to recent scientific studies suggesting that people with congestive heart failure can gain "clinical benefits" from hot tub immersion.
Ten minutes is considered a safe amount of time to use a hot tub. According to the American Heart Association, movement between cold pools and hot tubs or saunas can raise blood pressure, and should be avoided by those with high blood pressure. While jacuzzis may be beneficial, extremely hot water is not.
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