It’s one of life’s little luxuries: slipping into a hot spring or thermal bath and unwinding while your stresses melt away. Not only does a thermal bath help relax the body, it’s also said to have tremendous health benefits and may even help prevent and treat disease.
How Does a Thermal Bath Work?
Using hot spring water for health and healing is known as balneology. A thermal bath or hot spring occurs when water seeps deep into the soil and – when rising – brings with it a multitude of minerals. These minerals are said to be incredibly healing, though they vary depending on the minerals in the surrounding soil. Such minerals include:
- Calcium and magnesium
In some countries – such as Hungary – people have regular thermal baths as part of their healthcare regime.
What Do Thermal Baths Treat?
As well as relaxing the muscles – making them great for healing ligaments and supporting injuries – thermal baths have hot air, which has been claimed to bolster the respiratory system. Many common gynaecological issues are also said to resolve after a thermal bath. Other benefits include:
- Better circulation: With more than 250 parts per million (PPM) of free carbon gas, thermal baths are bicarbonate. This makes it ideal for people with poor circulation, nervous imbalances and hypertension.
- Treat skin complaints: The sulphur in thermal baths may treat common skin conditions such as acne, rashes, eczema, psoriasis and dry scalps.
- Detoxification: Research has suggested that a long, hot thermal bath can improve the nervous system and aid the body’s detoxification processes.
- Boost your immunity: Feeling fluey? Luxuriating in a thermal spring may help your body fight infections.
- Relieve anxiety: When you’re stressed, you could experience insomnia, digestive problems and sore muscles and joints. A thermal bath can counteract this, as the heat relaxes the body and the buoyancy may put you into a calm, meditative state.