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Healing Benefits of Hot Springs and Why You Should Visit One

Last updated August 18, 2022

Hot springs are hot spots for good reason. Wellness seekers the world over flock to these mineral-rich waters for their therapeutic and medicinal properties not to mention Instagram-worthy surroundings. 

In the busy hustle of modern life, knowing when to slow down and take it easy is vital to maintaining wellness. Once you’ve made the decision to get away from it all, do you even know where to get away from it all?

There are many destinations that offer a peaceful, relaxing vacation experience, but a healing hot springs vacation can truly change your life. In addition to their calming effects, they are good for your body. 

What Are Hot Springs?

Pamukkale, Turkey at sunset.

Hot springs are naturally occurring springs of groundwater that are actively heated by geothermal energy. This energy comes from hot rocks deep within the Earth’s mantle. Mankind has been visiting hot springs and using them for therapeutic purposes and relaxation for centuries.

The temperatures vary from location to location, but the generally accepted definition says that the water must be hotter than 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Indeed, many hot springs are naturally too hot to be comfortable and are artificially cooled to create that perfect, soothing environment. 

These naturally occurring spas form primarily as a result of geothermal activity. In some non-volcanic areas, temperature increases with depth in a phenomenon known as the Geothermal Gradient. 

Aguas termales de Polques, hot springs with a pool of steaming natural thermal water in Bolivia

Hot springs are created when water from a naturally occurring spring circulates deep enough to be in contact with these hot rocks. This water is then carried back up to the surface and creates a pleasingly warm pool of water.  

Other hot springs in volcanic zones are heated by magma flowing underground. Many of these springs, however, are too hot to be enjoyed by humans and must instead be viewed from a distance.

The Healing Benefits

Steamboat Colorado Hot Springs in the winter

Not only can hot springs be physically relaxing, but they are also often surrounded by beautiful scenery. 

The geothermal waters are filled with rich, dissolving minerals that contain a variety of positive health impacts. Since ancient times, people from all over the world have been visiting mineral-rich waters for their restorative effects.

Healing hot springs can be excellent ways to improve your health. The hot water and minerals commonly found in these pools can boost your blood circulation and oxygen flow. And they can provide pain relief from chronic conditions like arthritis., too. 

The sulfate can help keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. Boron is also often present, which can strengthen bones and increase brain function. 

All of these health benefits and the relaxing atmosphere make them a truly excellent way to get away from the stresses of modern life. There’s nothing quite like sitting in water heated by rocks deep within the crust of the Earth while gazing up at a clear starry night.      

The Best Hot Springs in the World

Woman in geothermal pool in iceland

Natural thermal pools may be found anywhere in the world and are actually far more common than many people think. Research shows that the United States alone is home to more than 1,100 geothermal springs. 

Here is a list of some of the most beautiful hot springs in the world:

  • Kerosene Creek | New Zealand
  • Uunartoq Island | Greenland
  • Kurokawa Onsen | Japan
  • Air Panas Banjar | Bali
  • Hammamat Ma’in | Jordan
  • Pamukkale | Turkey
  • Blue Lagoon | Iceland
  • Cascate Del Mulino | Italy
  • Ainsworth Hot Springs | Canada 
  • Castle Hot Springs | Arizona
  • Hot Springs National Park | Arkansas
  • Calistoga Spa | California
  • Strawberry Park Hot Springs | Colorado
  • Bozeman Hot Springs | Montana
  • Hot Springs | North Carolina

Rules of a Good Soak

Man in japanese onsen

Enjoying your experience to the full means following a few basic principles of etiquette. The specific rules may vary from resort to resort and location to location. For example, in Japanese onsens, complete nudity is a mandatory requirement. Nonetheless, there are a few broad rules that apply. Following the below principles will make your experience a resounding success. 

  • Leave no trace—keep the space clean and pick up after yourself
  • Be mindful of others—don’t wreck the peaceful experience by being rowdy
  • Avoid bringing or using soaps or shampoos that could upset the balance of minerals in the water
  • Use the toilet beforehand (no peeing in the water)

About Vacayou

We believe that travel has the power to change lives. The power to revive, rejuvenate and redirect the inner self. That’s why we’re here. Take an online staycation with us. Change how you think about travel and let us make it easier for you to search, discover, and book wellness and active vacations. But we don’t stop there. We are with you every step of the way—before, during and after your journey—to make sure you enjoy the most meaningful vacation ever. It’s Travel That Moves You.

Vacayou’s travel concierge team takes the hassle out of discovering, booking and planning your next wellness experience. We are here to help create a healthier global community through wellness and active travel.

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