The Numerous Benefits of Hot Springs! Essential Tips and Taboos for Hot Spring Soaking All in One Read


Benefits of Hot Springs: Know the Taboos and 10 Key Precautions for a Complete Understanding

What Are the Benefits of Hot Springs?

Hot springs have been a natural wellness practice since ancient times. Dating back to the 2nd century AD, the Romans embraced the concept of hot spring bathing for purification, improving health, and as a social activity. Today, soaking in hot springs remains a common method for relaxation and health improvement, offering numerous advantages:

1. Enhances blood circulation and metabolism: Immersing the body in hot spring water evenly stimulates blood circulation, invigorates the cardiovascular system, boosts metabolism, and reduces pain caused by lactic acid buildup.

2. Relaxes muscles and reduces fatigue: Buoyancy in hot spring water reduces body weight, relaxing muscles and joints, aiding in fatigue reduction and physical recovery.

3. Relieves mental stress: Studies show that hot spring baths increase relaxing alpha brain waves, soothing tense emotions and mental stress. Mild-temperature baths (37–39℃) stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing calmness and relaxation. In Europe, treating depression often involves hot spring baths and drinking hot spring water.

4. Treats neurological conditions: Hot spring baths are recommended for chronic rehabilitation in conditions like post-cerebrovascular disorders, peripheral neuropathy, neuralgia, and cerebral palsy.

5. Skin care: Hot spring bathing allows pores to breathe, absorbing oxygen and minerals, cleansing skin impurities, softening keratin, and promoting skin health. Acidic springs containing sulfur, manganese, and iodine have antibacterial effects beneficial for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and bedsores.

6. Aids sleep: Whether full-body or foot baths, hot springs alleviate restlessness and improve sleep quality by raising core body temperature, subsequently inducing drowsiness and deeper sleep.

7. Sweating and detoxification: Hot springs induce sweating, eliminating bodily toxins and excess moisture. Bathing in hot springs during summer also helps cool and remove moisture.

What Are the Taboos for Hot Spring Bathing?

1. Avoid bathing after drinking alcohol: Alcohol consumption causes blood vessel dilation and lowers blood pressure. Bathing in hot springs after drinking can lead to fluctuating blood pressure, imposing cardiovascular stress and stroke risks.

2. Avoid highly acidic hot spring water: Overly acidic water can harm the skin, causing hot spring dermatitis and resembling burn-like indentations.

3. Not suitable during menstruation: Menstruating women have lowered immunity and are prone to infections, and hot spring bathing can stimulate blood vessel dilation, potentially increasing menstrual flow and prolonging periods.

4. Avoid after intense exercise: Rest for at least 15 minutes after vigorous exercise before soaking. Long travels or excessive fatigue require rest before bathing.

5. Avoid on an empty stomach: Wait at least 1.5–2 hours after a meal before bathing.

Who Should Avoid Hot Springs? Can Pregnant Women and Babies Soak?

Individuals with the following conditions should avoid hot spring bathing:

- Open skin wounds

- Cold/flu

- Advanced rheumatoid arthritis

- Acute infectious diseases

- Cancer, leukemia, sarcoma

- Large blood vessel aneurysm

- Severe hypertension and arteriosclerosis

- Severe diabetes

- Severe heart or kidney disease

- Stroke

- Occurrence of stomach or duodenal ulcers

- Recent surgery

Additionally, pregnant women, the elderly, children, and those with limited mobility can bathe in hot springs with caution and attention to safety. As for babies, it's generally advised against bathing infants below 2 years old due to underdeveloped skin tissues. Toddlers over 2 years old have more resilient but still sensitive skin, requiring careful monitoring of water temperature and pH, avoiding extremes and prolonged soaking.

Precautions for Hot Spring Bathing

Despite the manifold benefits, observing essential principles prevents accidents or dampening the experience:

1. Adhere to hot spring etiquette: In Taiwan, communal pools are common, allowing people of all ages and genders to wear swimwear together. Some places offer private or family baths for privacy. In Japan, customs often entail complete nudity while bathing, tying up long hair or wearing a cap.

2. Cleanse before entering: To maintain cleanliness and quality, a thorough shower is necessary before entering the pool.

3. Keep towels out of the pool: Do not bring towels into the water to prevent fibers and trapped dirt from floating, ensuring pool hygiene.

4. Enter and exit quietly: Avoid loud noises and enter the pool slowly to minimize water splashes or disruptions.

5. Gradual immersion: Follow a sequence of foot, partial, and full-body immersion, avoiding submersion beyond heart level.

6. Hydrate before and after: Consume plain or mineral water before and after bathing.

7. Limit bathing time: Individual sessions should not exceed 15 minutes, and total time should not surpass 1 hour.

8. Rise slowly after bathing: Hot spring bathing dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Avoid sudden rises to prevent dizziness or accidents.

9. Avoid abrupt cold water contact: Drastic temperature differences can strain peripheral blood vessels, causing a sudden spike in blood pressure and heart strain.

10. Rinse before leaving: Wash away impurities lingering on the skin and dry off before leaving the pool.

There you go! All the information about hot springs, from their benefits to precautions and who should avoid them, is laid out in detail.


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