What are Hot Mineral Springs?
Hot mineral springs are naturally occurring springs of water which travel up from the crust of the earth. Due to the increased temperature (110-150 degrees) of the water as it makes it passage through the earth it produces high concentrations of dissolved minerals, salts, sulfur compounds and gases. It is these dissolved substances that have been used for therapy and healing for thousands of years.
Hot Mineral Springs Video
(Hot Mineral Springs Video: This is done by some children who took a trip to some hotsprings, it’s the most informative video about hotsprings that isn’t advertising something!)
Hot Springs Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q – What makes hot springs smell?
A – Not every hot springs smells, and not every hot springs smells the same. The most common smell associated with a hot mineral spring is the pleasant aroma which may remind you of boiled eggs. This is the smell which is produced by the gas Hydrogen
Sulphide (H2S). It results from anaerobic bacteria converting some of the dissolved sulphur in the water to H2S. The presence of sulphur is a great indicator that the water in the hot mineral spring has traveled to great depths.
If the hot mineral water travels through oxygenated waters on its trip up to the surface of the earth the resulting sulphur smell will evaporate and the water will be odorless. This can be seen in springs like Radium, British Columbia where the water reaches the surface through aerated caves which allow the H2S to oxidize before it reaches the surface – the end result – no smell!
Q – What kind of healing benefits do natural hot mineral springs have?
A – According to the FDA no organization may make health claims concerning the medicinal value of natural mineral waters without scientific substantiation, it is largely due to this that people are uncomfortable with sharing the healing properties of natural hot springs. This being said, hot spring soaking has a deep and far reaching tradition in North America beginning with the First Nations people.
Hot springs have been universally used for healing, purification and therapy.
The following minerals are known to address the following health concerns:
- Assists opening peripheral blood vessels and helps to improve circulation to the body’s extremities.
- Relieve symptoms of hypertension and mild atherosclerosis
- Assist in cardiovascular disease and nervous system imbalances
Sulfur Springs- Hot Springs rich in Sulfur are used to address a wide variety of conditions, including:
- Skin infections
- Respiratory problems
- Skin inflammations
- Liver and gastrointestinal conditions
Thermal Spring- Heat from a hot spring increases the hydrostatic pressure in the body. This increases blood circulation and cell oxygenation, causing:
- The body to capacity to detoxify to increase
- The body’s metabolism to be stimulated
- Improved digestion
Q – How often should I visit a hot springs for healing?
A – Even one hot soak in a hot spring can provide enormous natural healing benefits for the body. 3 to 4 weeks of regular thermal bathing can assist in the normalization of endocrine glands and assist the automatic nervous system causing longer lasting more
substantial healing benefits.
Q – How HOT is a hot spring?
A – In order to be classified as a hot spring the spring must at least have temperatures of 108F degrees or higher. The geothermal areas of Yellowstone park host some of the world’s largest hot springs. The temperatures often reach an astonishing 204F degrees causing death to many that accidentally fallen into such pools.
Clearly we are not referring to such hot springs when we promote the healing properties of the pool!!
Q – Are the minerals in each hot spring the same?
A – Because every hot mineral springs is located in a different place in the world each one is unique. Thermal (hot) springs contain a high concentration of the following various minerals making their healing properties broad and effective:
- Sulfur springs contained hydrogen sulfide gas
- Lithia springs contained lithium salts.
- Alkaline springs contained an alkali.
- Chalybeate springs contained salts of iron.
- Alum springs contained alum.
- Calcic springs contained lime (calcium hydroxide).
- Salt (saline) springs contained salts of calcium, magnesium or sodium.
Q – Where are hot springs located?
A. There are healing hot springs on all continents and almost all countries in the world. There are more hot springs in Canada and the United States than any other countries in the world.
Q – How are hot springs created?
A – As rain or snow falls down onto the earth it quickly gets absorbed by porous sedimentary rocks. The water descends through the rock, and as it does this it picks up a variety of materials, everything from sulphur, to radium. The further beneath the surface this water travels the closer it is going towards the hot core of the earth.
Eventually the water comes across a large crack or fault. As the cool water enters the crack it forces the already hot water upwards along the fault line until it surfaces as a hot or warm spring. The dissolved minerals in this water is what gives it the name hot mineral spring and which make the hot mineral spring such a great way to heal naturally.
Soaking in a hot spring can be wonderful therapy for every body. The heat and subsequent sweating have a deeply cleansing effect on our skin and entire bodymind system. Each hot spring with it’s unique blend of dissolved minerals offer their
own individual healing properties. As always it’s important to recognize our own circumstances and be mindful of our special needs. Be wise in your decisions regarding how hot of spring you soak in, how long to stay in the spring before taking a break, and
how much water you drink.
With proper and careful planning soaking in a hot spring can be one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to heal naturally from a plethora of diseases!