Just the thought of sinking into a hot bath brings a smile across most people's faces and a rush of relaxation into their bodies. Who wouldn't blame them? The warm water just envelops you and makes you feel cozy, toasty, and safe. Maybe even sleepy, too. And the steam caresses your face and helps you feel like all the problems in the world just melt away. Then, you fall into this peaceful momentary bliss all because of a homemade spa right inside your own bathroom.
Now imagine experiencing that exact same feeling, but outside with nature in the open and crisp fresh air. What? An outdoor spa? That’s possible? Yes, that is definitely all possible with something special: hot springs.
You might ask, what is a hot spring? Well, it is a body of water outside in nature that is warmed geothermally--or, in other words, from the heat produced by the earth. Hot springs are classified by the temperature of the water it holds. Usually, the temperature required to be considered a hot spring must be higher than the temperature of the surrounding earth. In most cases, that would be around one hundred degrees Fahrenheit and this temperature is dependent on a few factors: heat supplied at its depth, the water flow rate, and whether or not there is cooler groundwater that mixes with the hot water.
The word "spa" originated from a town called Spa in Belgium, which became famous because of their hot springs; this definitely makes sense given that hot springs are the world's first and original spa experience. The best parts about this outdoor spa, though, are that you never have to wait to draw a tub full of water, worry about getting the right temperature, or fret about any chemicals. Additionally, since we live in a world where water and energy are limited and valuable resources, having a bath literally provided and heated by nature, saving us both water and heat costs, truly makes dipping into a hot spring an enriching, fulfilling, and environmentally-friendly wellness treatment! And the whole experience is incredibly beneficial for both your mind and body, too!
By bathing in a hot spring, you enjoy a form of therapy. Due to the high temperature of these springs, minerals from the surrounding rocks collect in these pools of water, providing a multivitamin bath for your skin. The heat is also responsible for soothing aching muscles and chronic pain. It also stimulates certain bodily processes that may have halted or hibernated due to stress; for instance, bringing your circulation up to speed and lowering your blood pressure. Even your bones, joints, and internal organs, such as the heart and bowels, benefit with this type of therapy. With all these health benefits and the chance to relax, why wouldn't you want to try this heavenly goodness?
So what are you waiting for? Go experience a soak in a hot spring. Since they are typically found where there is volcanic activity, magma chambers, or near Earth's fault lines due to the heat source, you can find such locations all over the globe; most notably in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, and Canada. Therefore, there is no excuse not to enjoy one of the earth’s greatest, most natural, and most heaven-like gifts.
Words by Theresa Do