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By Chris Sovey, RN,BSN

Water is versatile. I’d like to present a cutting edge product from a company called Furohealth. This form of Hydrotherapy may be an effective means of controlling pain for various myofascial or rheumatoid disorders such as Fibromyalgia or Arthritis.

This is not a new concept, just an application of water that is growing in popularity. Water has been used therapeutically throughout history. Depending on the temperature, soaking in water may effectively treat various conditions. This is commonly known as hydrotherapy.

Here is a list of literature-based temperature ranges and their purpose used in hydrotherapy:

  • 32-79° F: Acute inflammation of extremities
  • 79-92° F: Exercise
  • 92-96° F: Wound care, spasticity
  • 96-98° F: Cardiopulmonary compromise, treatment of burns
  • 99-104° F: Pain management
  • 104-110° F: Chronic rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, increased range of motion.

(Adapted from Cameron M.: Physical Agents in Rehabilitation: From Research to Practice. Third Edition. WB Saunders Company. 2008.)

As you can see from the list above, water possesses the ability to address a wide variety of musculoskeletal disorders. Personally, I’ve noticed significant benefit from soaking at temperatures near the top end of the above scale for my own chronic pain. This can be achieved through a product such as an O’Furo tub.

furo2What Are O’Furo Tubs?

O’Furo tubs are traditional Japanese  water soaking vessels that typically exceed 106°-114°F. These tubs involve soaking in hot water while remaining motionless for a short period, depending on the temperature. During this time, the user will experience significant vasodilation throughout the body, along with an artificial fever.

Despite the overwhelming popularity in Japan and other societies, the concept of therapeutic soaking is relatively new in the United States. There are only a handful of companies currently producing these tubs for therapeutic purposes.

(WARNING: The activity of high-temperature soaking should NOT be attempted by anyone with compromised cardiopulmonary health or other contraindications determined by your health provider. Always check with your health provider before using an O’Furo tub)

Why would I want to subject myself to something like that?!

I’ve yet to discover a method of pain relief for conditions related to muscle tension more potent than this. I’ve suffered from chronic back pain for greater than a decade. I combine several various treatment approaches. The first time I used the Furo tub, I noticed >70% reduction in my pain for the remainder of the day. Several other customers of this company have reported significant reduction in their fibromyalgia symptoms.

Also, I actually enjoy the whole experience, and feel a deep sense of relaxation. My sleep has improved. I feel more alert throughout the day. My concentration seems more focused. You will hear more about the many benefits I’ve experienced in the video above.

As an added bonus, artificially induced fevers from hot soaking may help to build your immunity and reduce sick time. (On a personal note: my nephew recently was here with my sister. It appears he brought with him a nasty bug. Everyone in the family became quite ill. I began to feel the “tickle in my throat.” I immediately jumped (more like slowly lowered) in my furo tub. Within two short 5-minute sessions, my symptoms were completely gone and I never became sick.)

A significant amount of research has been carried out on the effects of hyperthermia and immunity. There is even promising research emerging about the potential role of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer.

Why not just use a bath tub?

I tried that. It didn’t work so well. The water was highly unregulated. Sometimes I’d burn myself. The temperature varied a lot, and cooled off too fast. This technology is affordable, convenient, and even portable. Those are all great things for an active guy, such as myself. Plus, regular tubs really aren’t that comfortable.

I’m not directly selling these tubs, but do encourage people to check out the website below and learn more. When used responsibly and safely, I cannot recommend this product enough.

For more information about these tubs, please click here.