What Is A Spa?
Today, the terms hot tub and spa are used interchangeably. The word "spa" is often associated with a health resort destination or a commercial establishment where patrons can get aesthetic services, massages, facials, etc. Thus, the term "hot tub" is more specific in describing that hot, bubbly tub, and is more often used to distinguish it from a day spa. The word “spa” in this website is synomynous with a “hot tub”. Sometimes a spa or hot tub is referred to by a trade name: “Jacuzzi”.
A spa or hot tub is a large tub or small pool full of heated water used for hydrotherapy, relaxation or pleasure. Some have powerful jets for massage purposes, providing: warmth, relaxation and a massage-effect on people's muscles and joints. They are used for therapeutic and social reasons. In the early days -- the late 1960s, early 1970s -- hot tubs were made from wood, including cedar, redwood, cypress, teak or a composite. In the mid-1970s, the technologically advanced portable acrylic spas were introduced, replacing the wooden tubs in popularity.
Types Of Spa
There are four basic types of spas:
- Portable spas: There are two versions of portable spas. Many brands come with hard shells and are really too heavy and bulky to be easily moved, but can be transported if the need arises. Inflatable portable spas weigh only 100 lbs. and when deflated are highly compact and portable.
- Relaxation spas are the least expensive of the "hard shell" spas. They include water jets and heating systems, but are not really designed for hydrotherapy purposes.
- Hydrotherapy Spas. Strictly speaking, any spa delivers the hydrotherapeutic benefits of the buoyancy of water, the soothing qualities of warmth and the massage effect of water jets. However, some spas are designed specifically for hydrotherapy. They will include extra features such as ergonomically designed seating, multiple trigger point massage jets and/or access for disabled persons.
- Swim spas are the most expensive type of spa. They are generally larger than other types of spas; usually around 14ft. long. They are multi-purpose spas with resistance jets at one end that allow you to "swim in place" much like you run in place on a jogging machine. They also include spa jets for relaxation and can seat 5 or more when used for relaxation.
These are the basic types of spas, but there are many variations in between. The smallest spas are just big enough to seat two comfortably, with hydrotherapy jets strategically placed so that two occupants can enjoy relaxing neck and back massages at the same time. Larger spas seat four, six or up to 10 and include massage jets for all occupants.