Hot spring spas provide several benefits for the body besides just simple relaxation. The hot waters, usually filled with minerals, have been used by people for thousands of years to provide relief from a variety of ailments. Some of these benefits include the stimulation of the immune system, relief of muscle soreness and improved circulation.
Stimulates the Immune System
Hot springs are immune system enhancers. According to “Healing Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taking the Waters,” hot springs can regulate the body’s autonomic nervous system, which is comprised of the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. The sympathetic nervous system is stimulated through stress, sugar and caffeine, and regulates the fight-or-flight response, while the parasympathetic nervous system regulates rest and repair of the body. The heat of the water in hot springs brings the body into the parasympathetic state, where healing and immunity are increased.
Relieves Muscle Soreness
Heat has long been known to help relieve tired, sore muscles. Instead of purchasing heat packs at the store, soaking in hot springs is a natural way to help the muscles, and not just in one area, but throughout the entire body. Holistic Online notes that “heat quiets and soothes the body,” and also lessens pain sensitivity. The relaxing effect also tends to last longer than pain relievers.
The hot water in hot springs also stimulates circulation. In the book, “Healing Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taking the Waters,” author Nathaniel Altman notes that “thermal bathing increases hydrostatic pressure on the body, thus increasing blood circulation and cell oxygenation.” A study at the Institute of Physical Medicine in Romania found that hot springs bathing helped improve the circulation of those suffering from severe diabetes. Credit: LiveStrong (http://www.livestrong.com/article/212662-benefits-of-hot-spring-spas/)