Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 157–173 | Cite as

Psychological and physical reactions to whirlpool baths

  • William N. Robiner


Physical and psychological reactions to whirlpool baths were studied in a group of 40 healthy adult volunteers. Responses were measured after 10-min immersions in whirlpools under on and off conditions. Whirlpools and warm baths both induce increases in pulse and finger temperature, although a greater increase in finger temperature is associated with whirlpools. Both conditions produced increased feelings of well-being and decreased state anxiety. Whirlpool immersion decreased stress reaction though the tub did not. Whirlpool immersion resulted in a slight decrease in DSM III symptoms of anxiety. Immersion did not produce consistent significant changes in blood pressure, respiration rate, muscle tension, or pupil size. No changes emerged in anxiety, hostility, or depression on the Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist. Although whirlpools appear to be a popular form of recreation, this study reveals limited significant incremental relaxation beyond the effects due to warm water alone.

Key words

whirlpool bath psychological effects physical effects relaxation water 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William N. Robiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Psychology Clinic and Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Minnesota Hospital and Medical SchoolMinneapolis

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