Thermal waters are natural pools used for their healing and aesthetic properties, which range from simple relaxation, to their efficiency in treatments for numerous conditions and diseases of all kinds, such as: skin diseases, digestive problems, mental illnesses. or the nervous system. They can be found anywhere in the world and practically everyone can take advantage of their properties.

They are distinguished by being particularly hot, although their properties go beyond temperature. The hot springs are highly endowed with the minerals of the land where they are located, so the concentration of these minerals will vary depending on the area.

Benefits of hot springs

Thermal waters have been used for centuries, it was common for the Romans to treat their illnesses with this method, in addition to using them to improve their physical appearance. It is even common to observe some animals enjoying these waters as a way of relaxation.

Studies in recent decades have shown the efficiency of these waters in their different applications and uses, making them even more popular than they used to be. Among the benefits that can be obtained from hot springs, are the following:

Purifies the body

Most of the common viruses or bacteria cannot withstand the high temperatures that hot springs have (35 ° C on average), resulting in a deep cleaning bath at these levels.

In addition, high temperatures contribute to better blood circulation, optimizing the process of eliminating toxins from the body. Thus, it purifies the body in its entirety, from the inside out; although obviously, its most significant effect is externally.

Normalizes the nervous system

Hot water is a quintessential relaxant; therefore, a few minutes immersed may be enough to shake off the stress and anxiety of everyday responsibilities.

The body immersed in hot water decreases the secretion of hormones related to stress, thus relaxing physical tension and offering peace of mind. In addition, the heat has an anti-inflammatory effect and relaxes the muscles.

Taking these baths constantly helps maintain normal body functions, including the nervous system.

Treatment of multiple diseases

Numerous studies ensure its effectiveness in all types of diseases, including those considered chronic.

It is a popular treatment for skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and those caused by fungi, as well as accelerating the healing process of wounds and skin lesions. It improves the condition in those with severe kidney and gynecological problems, helps to free the airways, stimulates blood circulation, as well as improves the digestive system.

For patients with rheumatic problems, there is almost immediate relief in localized pain. It even works as a treatment for severe mental illnesses, by relaxing the body, the symptoms of these conditions diminish.

Speeds up metabolism

The minerals and heat oxygenate the body’s tissues, allowing a better functioning of the organs, including everything that participates in the metabolic process. Diseases such as obesity are more efficiently fought with the use of hot springs, not to mention that it also helps to maintain normalized body indices.

In addition to the thermal baths, consuming the water provides the body with multiple minerals that are absorbed to improve the processes carried out by the organs, eventually improving metabolism as well as other functional processes.

Fight acne

In the first instance, the vapors emitted by the water open the pores of the skin, later, the minerals combined with the heat, eliminate bacteria and dirt that are on the face and as a consequence, eliminate acne.

It also contributes preventively, reducing and eliminating excess facial sebum that is the main cause of acne.

Source of rejuvenation

The aging of the skin is mainly caused by micro lesions, which happen in a chain over the years. Thermal waters, especially sulfuric ones, contain bacteria that represent a protection against micro-injuries, in addition to recovering part of those that already exist. Considerably improving the elasticity and firmness of the skin.

In addition, consuming thermal water encourages the production and processing of collagen, the main component of the skin, all this greatly improves the appearance of the skin.

Thermal hydrotherapy

It is a therapy that consists of applying massages with powerful jets of hot water, in order to relax the muscles, reduce muscle contractures, stimulate blood circulation and exert analgesic effects in specific areas. It is ideal for those patients with sclerosis, arthritis, and many motor conditions.

Likewise, the saunas created with the vapors full of minerals, are a source of benefits for patients with respiratory conditions such as simple colds or asthma, even.

Types of hot springs

Thermal waters can be classified according to their geological origin, the temperature of their waters or according to the types of minerals that compose them; therefore, there are the following types of hot springs:

According to the geological origin

There are two types of geological hot springs:

  • Magmatic : They arise in eruptive areas, usually above 50 ° C, due to the active magma that is highly heating the waters.
  • Telluric : They are of medium temperatures (hypothermal and mesothermal) and originate anywhere in the world, and basically it works, from below; that is, the water is heated below and then rises to the surface.

According to the temperature

In this category, they can be classified as follows:

  • Hypothermal : They have a temperature that ranges between 21º and 35º C.
  • Mesothermal or hot : Its temperature is the most common, between 35º and 45º C.
  • Hyperthermal : With a temperature between 45º and 100 ° C. This classification is dangerous for living beings.
  • Superthermals : Their temperature exceeds 100 ° C, so they are waters not suitable for taking baths.

According to the minerals

These waters have many minerals, as a result, they can be classified in many ways, the following being the main ones:

  • Ferruginous waters : They have high levels of iron, a mineral responsible for producing hemoglobin to oxygenate the human body. They are ideal for people with deficiencies of this mineral, those with anemia and bleeding. Added to this, they are invigorating.
  • Sulphurous or sulphurous waters : They are those with a high sulfur content, they are usually easy to recognize because they have a strong smell and yellowish colors. They are the ones that offer the greatest number of benefits, recommended mainly to treat serious skin diseases, to maintain skin firmness and to treat rheumatic diseases.
  • Chlorinated waters : Rich in chlorine, they have antiseptic properties, therefore, they clean skin infections and reduce acne.
  • Carbonated waters : They contain chlorine, carbon dioxide or sulfur. They are usually alkaline waters, so they are useful to balance PH and combat problems of this type such as heartburn.
  • Fluorinated waters : They are rich in fluoride in the form of fluorides and are recommended for patients with bone and dental problems.

Recommended bath time

Although it can be extremely relaxing, care must be taken not to fall asleep or lose track of time and exceed the recommended time.

It is recommended not to exceed 30 minutes in the water. Children, like older adults, should not exceed 15 minutes, otherwise dizziness and fainting may occur.

Contraindications of hot springs

The hot springs are not ideal for those who suffer from hypertension, heart disease and ulcers, since the heat of the water is likely to worsen their condition.

Patients with tuberculosis, many types of cancer and tumors, should not immerse themselves in these waters in the acute phase of their treatments, in the rest of the treatment they should avoid them, however, the treating physician will indicate the limitations of use.

Those with active infections should avoid hot springs, and if indicated by their doctor, they should go to a private pool where they cannot infect other users.

Impossibility for pregnant women

Pregnant women should exercise caution and always check with their doctor before soaking in hot springs. Changes in the mother’s body can cause changes in the placenta and the baby, which can have negative effects.

The best hot springs in the world

Thermal waters can appear anywhere in the world, all continents are homes of authentic thermal paradises, however, there are some thermal waters that stand out by far, among which we can mention:

  • Blue Lagoon, Iceland
  • Yunessun Spa, Japan
  • Caldea, Andorra
  • Gellert Baths, Hungary
  • Hidalgo, Mexico.
  • Yubatake Souan in Kusatsu, Japan
  • Rio Hondo, Argentina.
  • Arenal, Costa Rica.

conclusion

The World Health Organization officially declared hot springs as effective therapies to heal numerous conditions and diseases. In addition, practically all countries have hot springs, so most populations have access to these waters.

As a result of the foregoing, using these waters is fully recommended; As long as it is not contraindicated and does not spend a lot of time on them, since this can also be negative for health, since nothing in excess is good.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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