Hot springs and warm springs are considered the healing waters of the earth’s surface. These hot springs, which contain large amounts of minerals such sulfur, have been long used in the therapy and treatment of many medical disorders.
Sulfur, a naturally occurring mineral found in hot springs, is the product of volcanic craters. The smell is a result of the sulfur dioxide off-gassing into the air. Though it seems foreign, sulfur is part of the makeup of every cell in your body–in fact, it makes up .25 percent of a person’s total body weight!
Since ancient times, the mineral properties present in these volcanic waters have been thought to therapeutic, medicinal, and beautifying effects on the mind, body, and soul. Modern medicine is also now taking these claims more seriously, as they begin to understand the benefits of sulfur-enriched waters.
The Therapeutic Effect of Hot Springs
“Soaking” in a hot spring is considered therapeutic because of the warm temperatures and minerals present in the water. The warm water is both relaxing and allows the body to sweat, creating a deep cleansing and detoxifying of the skin, body, and the soul! You can almost feel the tension and stress melt away in the warm, natural bath waters.
The Medicinal Healing Effect of Sulfur
The sulfur itself has been said to have positive effects on skin disease, asthma, neuralgia, arteriosclerosis, rheumatism and shoulder, neck and wrist pains. Sulfuric water is believed to have a detoxifying and mucolytic effect, and has even been used in the treatment of diaper rash and eczema.
The Beautifying Effect of Sulfur
Sulfur is present in cellular growth of keratin, which is responsible for strong hair, nails, and skin. For this reason, sulfur is considered to be “nature’s beauty mineral” because it promotes the healthy growth of collagen, which keeps the skin elastic and young-looking. In fact, many beauty products on the market today are geared toward the healthy production of collagen.
Ancient medicine has credited hot springs for the energy that is created from the balance of the five elements: earth (from the ground), metal (from the minerals), water (from the water itself), wood (from the surroundings, or in our case, the cedar-encased bathhouses), and fire (from the sun and heat of the water). This balance of these elements is said to “harmonize the body, mind and soul” naturally.
Beyond the therapeutic, medicinal, and beautifying elements present in the hot springs, there is pure enjoyment that comes from soaking in a hot bath of the Earth’s water. Your mind clears, your skin softens, and muscles take a much needed break. Once you experience the pure enjoyment and relaxation that comes from steamy soak in a natural hot spring, your baths will seem oh-so ordinary!