Mineral baths are pleasant and relaxing, and because they promote relaxation and help alleviate stress, are health-enhancing as well. A centuries-old tradition in Europe and Japan, hot springs therapy is a widely accepted and popular treatment for musculoskeletal problems, as well as for high blood pressure, eczema and a variety of other complaints. The various minerals dissolved in natural hot springs have been credited with specific (although unproven) health benefits.
- Sulfur may relieve nasal congestion
- Calcium and sodium bicarbonate may enhance circulation
- Soaking in salt water is reputed to improve digestion
In addition, studies have suggested that lounging in a hot mineral spring can lessen the pain of arthritis, and relieve the pain and lessen the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Before taking a soak, make sure the water hasn’t been treated (such as with chlorine) and consult with your physician if you have any health issues or are pregnant.