Are geothermal pool minerals the secret to happiness? A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust. While some of these springs contain water that is a safe temperature for bathing, others are so hot that immersion can result in an injury or death. Soaking in these waters is beneficial for health due in large part to the 15 dissolved minerals found in the geothermal water and a process called transdermal absorption.
Before science could prove it, people, even animals, instinctively knew that spending time immersed in a mineral hot spring made you feel better, and they’ve been revered by cultures around the world. In Japan, hot springs have always been prized real estate. Frequented by today’s globe-trotting wellness travelers, and the famed snow monkeys of Nagano. Closer to home, the Ute Indians of Western Colorado considered the hot springs sacred, incorporating soaking as part of their tribal rituals. For centuries, we have understood the efficacy of hot springs long before science discovered the nuances of cellular biology and biochemistry.
Science, however, can help us understand the details of why hot springs are healing. Our skin, the body’s largest organ, functions as armor, protecting our fragile insides from all manner of hazards. It does an amazing job of keeping the dangerous stuff out; so how do the minerals from a hot spring get in to work their medicinal magic? Two words: transdermal absorption.Even though skin is a formidable barrier, it’s also permeable and porous, allowing trace amounts of minerals to pass through. Geothermal water tends to contain 15 different minerals; boron, calcium, chloride, sodium, sulfate, lithium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, silica, zinc, fluoride, phosphate and nitrogen, each one possessing unique healing and mood elevating qualities. When you soak in geothermal springs, you receive a small, healthful, safe dose of this mineral mixture. In fact, transdermal absorption is how medicines are sometimes administered. “The Patch,” for example, is a common smoking remedy that delivers reduced dosages of nicotine to help smokers resist the urge to smoke a cigarette. Similarly and more pleasantly, in the case of hot springs, minute quantities of minerals pass through the layers of skin before entering the bloodstream. But even if your body didn’t absorb any minerals transdermally, you would still reap a prescription’s worth of healing. Simply soaking in mineral rich water is naturally detoxifying, mood elevating and a gentle remedy for skin ailments including acne, eczema and psoriasis.
In addition to the mineral content of the water, the heat of the water is also beneficial and helps to alleviate the sensation of pain. According to the North American Journal of American Sciences, heat, along with the pressure of the water, dulls our perception of pain by blocking pain receptors in the body. That’s why if you suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia or joint pain, you feel so much better after a dip in a hot spring. You can recreate the hot spring experience at home, by enjoying a hot whirl pool bath of mineral rich B.Witching Bath Salt Soaks.
Credit to Glenwood Hotsprings Resort www.hotspringspool.com
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