Benefits You Can Obtain From Hot Spring Baths

The sweltering heat might not make hot springs a go-to destination, but its warmth has life-changing effects to one’s health.

Hot spring baths are sanctuaries for rejuvenation of oneself. A mere soak instantly makes people feel better and is right on the ally of physical vitality and inner peace. However, now that it’s summer, is it really advisable to bask in the warmth of a hot bath? The short answer is yes. 

Hot spring baths are not only instantly therapeutic, but also provide profound and long term advantages to one’s well being. If you are willing to take a break from the usual pools and beaches this summer, maybe it is worth looking into a warm, natural bath.

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What is a hot spring bath?

According to Healthline, hot springs or thermal springs form “when water seeps deep into the Earth and circulates back up.” As the rocks descend deeper, water gets hotter. 

Hot springs are popular tourist spots globally due to their natural beauty and soothing, mineral-rich waters. These aspects attract visitors globally, who are seeking relaxation and wellness.

Thermal springs can vary significantly in temperature, with some reaching dangerously high levels. Hot springs, typically above 122°F (50°C), pose a risk of serious burns, with temperatures potentially exceeding boiling point. Factors like magma heating water underground can lead to extreme temperatures, such as those found in Yellowstone National Park. At 140°F (60°C), burns can occur in just 3 seconds, and some hot springs can erupt like geysers.

Thermal springs vary in temperature, with some reaching dangerously high levels. Hot springs that reach above 50° Celsius (122° Fahrenheit) pose a risk of serious burns which can potentially reach a boiling point. Some springs also erupt like geysers. It is important to do extensive research before pursuing this activity. 

Hot springs attract tourists who want to attain relaxation
Hot springs attract tourists who want to attain relaxation/Photo from Devon Hawkins via Unsplash

Is it okay to bathe in a hot spring during summer?

In a tropical country like the Philippines, the summer heat could be unforgiving, which might make it less appealing to visit a hot spring. However, according to Beppu City’s onsen (hot springs) website, it is okay to indulge all year round.

Dipping into the warm waters is “surprisingly relaxing.” According to the website, one’s body will feel cooler after bathing.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs Colorado also weighed in, saying bathing in geothermal waters is possible in the summer. They provided tips for people to stay comfortable in it in intense heat conditions. 

Time is a significant factor in this situation. Early mornings may be the best time to bathe in a hot spring, before the sun reaches its hottest temperature. You can also opt to indulge in the bath at night to end the day on a calm note. 

It’s also important to spend no more than 20 minutes in the hot spring bath depending on its temperature. Strategize your exposure under the sun too.

Known benefits of hot springs

Bathing in hot springs may help aid skin problems like acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and even dry scalp. This is due to the possibility that the springs may prompt the body’s natural detoxification process. Geothermal waters have high silica and sulfur content which helps soften rough and dry skin. 

Soaking in the warmth of natural waters can be satisfying especially if you are embarking on a vacation from life. The moment you are in contact with the water, all the stresses, worries, and tensed muscles will relax and gradually disappear, at least for a short while. People may get a long, uninterrupted, restful slumber, leaving you revitalized the morning after.

Hot springs may be good for those who have arthritis or those who are recovering from traumas. The waters contain iron content and minerals, which are good for a human’s immune system. It may also aid in improving one’s blood circulation, correct nervous system imbalances, improves metabolism, and deal with fat buildup and atherosclerosis, among other conditions. 

As promising as these benefits are, we should all do our due diligence and consult a doctor before plunging into a hot spring bath, especially those with preexisting medical conditions.

Hot springs have several minerals that are good for the body.

Dos, don’ts, and hot spring decorum

Sydney Morning Herald reported some dos and don’ts before bathing. One should hydrate beforehand to avoid feeling dizzy. People should not drink alcohol or take prohibited drugs before soaking as it can impede the body’s perception of temperature. Those with open wounds or skin infection should avoid the bath altogether. 

It is also important to determine how long you will stay in the water. You can either take breaks in between plunges, or stick to the 15 to 20-minute rule. 

There is also a hot springs etiquette guide. Remember to leave no trace of dirt, trash, or anything that interferes with the pure and clean ambiance of the place. If you are with people in a bath, be courteous and friendly but respect their personal space. 

Have a serene, relaxing time in the hot springs and respect people's personal space
Have a serene, relaxing time in the hot springs and respect people’s personal space/Photo from Jeff Sheldon via Unsplash

Be sure to rinse your body before soaking if you put lotion, sunscreen, or leave-on hair treatments to maintain the water’s cleanliness. 

Do not be rowdy or react loudly to the water’s warmth and just ease into it so that everyone will have a calm, soothing experience. And lastly, enjoy the feel of the water and the destination’s scenic views.

Banner photo from Craventure Media via Unsplash.

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