Do Hot Springs Really Have Healing Powers?
By Author Name
Feb 10, 2020
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
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Well before there was Western civilization, people have enjoyed a good old-fashioned soak in natural hot springs. It’s a steamy and sulfur-smelling tradition that spans the ages and continues to be a staple for spas, resorts and campgrounds around the world. Some people swear by the rejuvenating powers of sulfur springs, but is there any credence to the claims or is it a simple matter of wishful thinking? Let’s clear the air and take a look at the health benefits behind hot springs.
Soaking in hot springs can be a great way to naturally detox your skin. Thanks to the high amount of silica in the water, it can also soften rough or dry skin. Plus, the mineral content of sulfur springs has been shown to help persisting skin conditions like psoriasis, acne and eczema. In fact, the treatment of ailments with hot sulfur water has such a rich history, we even have a word for it: balneotherapy.
As you might remember from our previous article on the benefits of bathing, hot showers and baths can do your body good. It’s been shown that people who bathe in hot water sleep more soundly and have lower levels of stress. The study even went so far as to suggest these hot-water bathers have good subjective health and happiness in general.
When you’re soaking in a hot spring, there’s a boost in the hydrostatic pressure all around your body. This is due in part to the heavy mineral content of the water. But let’s break down what hydrostatic pressure even means since it’s a big fancy term. Basically, it’s when your body induces the flow of blood through your veins, which increases cardiac output and improves your metabolism. And as we all know, our bodies need good circulation to keep our hearts ticking and our vital organs working well.
It turns out that it’s not just wishful thinking when it comes to hot springs blocking out our pain — although it is all in our heads. Soaking in a hot spring can actually block pain receptors so we don’t feel certain pains we may have felt when first entering the pool. Even ailments as serious as joint pain, arthritis and fibromyalgia could be mitigated after soaking in a hot spring. It’s always recommended that you talk with your physician before taking up a hot springs habit, but it could be worth starting the conversation.
Although not everything can be cured by taking a dip in your nearest hot springs, hopefully this helped shed some light on a few ways to naturally detox, rejuvenate and relax. And if you can find what you’re looking for while getting some R&R out in nature, why not give it a shot? What are some of your favorite ways to naturally maintain or improve your health? Let us know!