Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFESTYLE - Daily Mail


HOT baths could be even more ef­fec­tive than ex­er­cise in com­bat­ing mild to mod­er­ate de­pres­sion, a study sug­gests.

It in­volved half of a group of 45 peo­ple with de­pres­sion tak­ing “ther­mal ther­apy” at a spa twice a week, while the oth­ers were put on an ex­er­cise pro­gramme.

The spa group soaked in a tub of water at 40°C for up to 30 min­utes be­fore wrap­ping up with blan­kets and hot water bot­tles for an­other 20 min­utes.

Af­ter two weeks, some were asked to con­tinue at the spa, while oth­ers car­ried out their treat­ment at home.

Af­ter eight weeks, the bathers’ de­pres­sion symp­toms fell by six points on a widely used scale, while those of the ex­er­cis­ers went down by three.

The bathing treat­ment started work­ing faster, ac­cord­ing to the study from the Univer­sity of Freiburg in Ger­many, pub­lished on the bioRxiv web­site.

The body tem­per­a­ture pat­terns of those with de­pres­sion can be dis­rupted and it is be­lieved that hot baths may help cor­rect this. The baths in the study raised par­tic­i­pants’ tem­per­a­ture by around 2°C. |

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