5 min read



Nature is medicine. 

At some level, we all know this is true. We haven’t been able to embrace this truth because the responsibilities and time constraints of daily life just don't encourage it. Immersing yourself in nature isn’t always within reach when you’re living and working in the city.

Author and marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols refers to this as the “red mind” which is the anxious, over-connected, and over-stimulated state that defines the new normal of modern life. Does this sound painfully familiar? 

Nichols states that the antidote to this state is the “blue mind,” which describes the mildly meditative state we fall into when near, in, on, or under water.

Luckily, you don’t have to live on an ocean-front property to consistently reap the many healing benefits of being around water.

At J Designs Pool & Spa, we believe that water is life. This very sentiment is what inspired the creation of our company. As such, our mission is to help our clients achieve their "blue mind". We have over 15 years of experience designing and building water features and pools that promote holistic health benefits and overall restoration. 

This article is going to focus on three vital health benefits of being around water, and how owning certain pools and water features can deliver long-term wellness to your door. 



Feeling blue is the problem (and the solution).

Ever wonder why rain is so calming, or why the sight of waves crashing against rocks puts us at ease? These mental responses to moving water are explained by science.

Positive ions are triggers, and we absorb too many positive ions from our excessive screen time and being confined indoors most of the day. The positive ions are the ones that get us down; leaving us fatigued, anxious, and unmotivated. All aboard the brain fog express!

Or not. This is a self-sabotage free-zone.

Negative ions (the good ones) are created in nature and are strongest and most abundant near running water. The negative ions are absorbed into our system by proximity and enter the bloodstream. 

The results include increased levels of serotonin and increased flow of oxygen to the brain, which are both linked to decreased stress and anxiety, better mood, higher energy levels, more alertness, and decreased drowsiness. 

Blue Mind Visual Aid with father and son sitting by edge of swimming pool

With the help of swimming pool add-ons such as waterfalls and fountains, this mental health booster is completely attainable on a regular basis. Waterfalls and fountains are engineered not only to mimic nature but to allude to it with their naturalistic acoustics and aesthetics. Your built-up tension and stress can ebb and flow as freely as the cascading water splashing against the rocks.

Water can basically “un-trigger” us, and with the right pool and spa features, your outdoor space can become a haven of ease and replenishment. 



Suffering from chronic pain can make you feel like a sitting duck, at the mercy of the brutal and unpredictable next flare-up.

Through the intentional use of certain water features, chronic pain can begin to drift away. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), water-based exercise can decrease joint pain.

Hydrotherapy Spas in particular have proven to be a very effective water feature for those suffering from arthritis. Hydrotherapy uses warm water to increase circulation during exercise, while the massaging jets reduce the pressure of the water on your joints. These healing effects are not limited to a hydrotherapy tub at your physical therapy appointment! They can be achieved in your outdoor space by adding massage therapy spa jets and a pool heater. These game-changing water features installed in your pool can also radically transform your post-workout pain. 

We all know that the day after a workout soreness makes us wonder if it was even worth it. Instead of struggling to make it from your front entrance and up the stairs to collapse on your memory foam mattress, you can skip the brutal journey by opting for your water-feature-enhanced pool first! The massaging jets circulate the water and speed up the recovery process by stimulating the lymphatic system, which aids in flushing out toxins. Coupled with soaking in warm water (courtesy of your pool heater), the stress and muscle tension is relieved. 

The result? Recovery on your terms, AND on your turf! 

Another water feature with impressive pain reduction benefits is cold plunges. The icy cold water helps regulate the release of hormones. After the initial “shock” of being submerged in extremely cold water, many people experience an elevated mood. This is likely due to the brain being on alert and sending a self-preservation message to our bodies. This causes the release of endorphins and increased dopamine levels, hormones that act as natural painkillers, which have been shown to improve mood and reduce stress.

Consistent pain relief doesn’t have to include a trip to the pharmacy when your pool and spa are just across your veranda. Alexa, play “Rolling in the Deep.”



Filters have never been more relevant than they are now; they sanitize our pictures until any flaws or natural appearances are stripped. The same can be said for the typical swimming pool; its water is stripped and sanitized by a load of artificial chemicals. In both cases, the result is toxic to our well-being.

Pool water treated with chlorine and other chemicals are not good for our bodies. These harsh chemicals can cause eye irritation, hormone disruption,  asthma, dry and itchy skin, and allergies. As much as we’d love to be in our #nofilter era, swimming pools do need some sort of sanitation system to clean the water. That’s where natural swimming pools come in.

Natural swimming pools prevent these health issues because they use zero chemicals. Instead, they utilize hydraulic and biological processes to clean the water. The pool has two sections: a swimming area for relaxation and recreation and a water garden for purification and regeneration. 

This design reflects the biodiversity and function of the natural environment; water circulates constantly from the swimming section through the watergarden. This watergarden is essentially a pond with an ecosystem full of water-loving plants. These plants absorb the bacteria and act as natural filters, keeping your water pure and clean.

With the right design and filtration system, your pool can be a safe space for preventing health issues and keeping toxic damage from sabotaging your well-being. 



Come on in, the water’s fine! After reading this article, that saying has more depth than you initially may have thought.

Peace of mind and good health are within reach. With your newfound knowledge of the holistic benefits of being near water, physical and mental burnout does not have to be your reality. By adding the right water features to your outdoor space, you can grow right where you’re planted. 

If you’re ready to learn more about how installing a swimming pool can transform your space into a sanctuary, we are here to help. J Designs Pool and Spa has 15 years of experience building water features that resonate with each client’s unique needs. In other words, we understood the assignment. 

Retreat from an exhausting reality should not be your last option, retreat should be your daily reality. 

Our services, just like your pool’s diving board, can help launch you onwards and upwards to health and wholeness. It’s up to you to take the leap, contact us and schedule a consultation!

Excited to wash away your pain but still need more information on which pool and water features are ideal for your blue space? No rush; you have to dip your toe in the water before diving in.

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