Thermal spas, also known as geothermal baths or hot pools, have naturally warm waters that are rich in minerals and provide a unique and enjoyable experience for bathers. They are found all over the world in remarkable locations in countries such as Iceland, Japan, the United States, Costa Rica, Peru, and New Zealand. Although renowned for their beauty, they also offer many benefits.
The Thermal Spa Experience
Thermal spas come in many forms, from ponds and pools to lakes and lagoons. They are often surrounded by spectacular natural beauty and can possess striking features like cascades, waterfalls, and vivid colours. Some spas are found in luxurious bath houses, while others have entire resorts built around them dedicated to their therapeutic nature.
While every thermal spa is unique, they all have in common their naturally warm waters, which come from geothermally heated hot springs. Their temperature can differ quite considerably, but many of the most popular range from 35 to 40 degrees. Spas that are enjoyed outside in the open can sometimes be cooler as they are affected by the weather and the seasons.
It is believed that thermal spas can provide a number of genuine health benefits because of the mineral content in the water. Although the exact mix can vary, spa waters can include trace amounts of chlorides, boron, silica, potassium, fluoride, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and sulphates.
Geothermal waters have been used for centuries to promote health and healing, a treatment called balneotherapy. In Europe and Japan, bathing in thermal spas and hot pools has long been regarded as both physically and mentally therapeutic, and the practice is still popular today.
The relaxing and immersive experience provided by thermal spas can lower stress and anxiety, which can improve sleep. People often report feeling happier and more content after bathing too.
The soothing, mineral-rich waters can also help relieve pain in muscles and joints, and ease spasms. Studies conducted in Israel even suggest that spa bathing can increase strength and alleviate stiffness in arthritis sufferers. It has also been found to lessen some symptoms of fibromyalgia.
The minerals in the water may boost metabolism and circulation as well, while also helping to eliminate toxins from the body.
Thermal spas are particularly well known for improving the condition of skin, hair and nails. Silica in the water is believed to promote collagen formation, which can make skin appear rejuvenated and more youthful looking. Sulphates can help clear skin problems like acne, and sooth eczema and psoriasis.
With so many benefits, it is easy to see why thermal spas and the therapies based on them are increasingly sought after. The impressive beauty of their natural environments further adds to their irresistible allure.