The therapeutic benefits of mineral baths have been known for millennia. You’ve probably even heard people remark how a nice long soak in the tub, comprised of exactly the right ingredients, can fix just about anything. There’s good reason as to why so many leaders of civilizations across the globe built public and private bath systems, and why scientists from all corners of the earth place great importance on increasing the study of balneology. Balneology, also known as balneotherapy is the practice of bathing in mineral waters for the treatment of ailments and disease.
According to balneology advocates, aqua therapy has been used across the world for thousands of years to treat a whole range of disorders that include arthritis, paralysis, headaches, depression, stress and emotional disorders, as well as gynecological problems and pain of childbirth. So it’s not wondering that archeologists have unearthed ancient bath sites buried from India to Europe. Furthermore, bathing in natural spring waters is still a common practice in Japan, Iceland, and Central America. And, it’s quickly gaining momentum in the United States.
From a bad day to a brutal cold, a nice long soak seems to do wonders for our minds, bodies, and spirits. Although it’s not the most studied of areas, steady research is underway since the persistent mythology pertaining to therapeutic benefits of mineral baths does not seem to be waning anytime soon. And, to top it off study after study shows that there may be something to this theory after all. For example, there’s evidence supporting the idea that bathing in the mineral waters of the Black Sea is a viable treatment for rheumatological disease and others.
“We found bona fide evidence that Dead Sea treatments are especially effective in psoriasis due to both the special characteristics of solar ultraviolet radiation in the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea water balneotherapy. Dead Sea mud and Dead Sea balneotherapy have been found to be beneficial in rheumatologic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and knee osteoarthritis.”
Why Balneology Is So Effective
For one, the use of water in different forms and at different temperatures can have a wide range of effects on the different systems within our bodies. Just ask anyone who uses a cold compress to alleviate a bad migraine, and you’ll get the idea. Submerging in cold water tends to minimize pain, as well as decrease local metabolic function and muscle spasms. Hence the popularity of ice baths for treating injury among athletes or bone problems for those afflicted with osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Alternatively, soaking in warm or hot baths seems to have a relaxing effect on the mind and muscles, which any regular sauna visitor could easily confirm. And, fluctuating between cold and hot temperatures seems to provide additional benefits such as increased immunity, improved heart health, lower blood pressure, cleaner and smoother skin, reduced stress, higher cognitive function, decreased fatigue and lethargy, healthier bones and muscles, as well as a much better mood.
Therapeutic Benefits of Mineral Baths
Now, different water forms and temperatures combined with carefully selected minerals, salts, and herbs will increase the healing effects of bathing. Most of us don’t live near an easily accessible natural hot spring, or some kind of mineral water oasis. But, that does not mean we can’t enjoy the same health benefits from the comforts of our ultra comfortable bathtubs. The key to doing it successfully lies in understanding how to properly mix the ingredients to achieve the desired effect.
For instance, someone trying to alleviate a headache may want to stay away from any overly strong odors, since essential oils and certain minerals can be very overpowering. Alternatively, someone trying to minimize his or her stress can benefit from a long lavender-induced tub session since the smell is calming, relaxing, and soothing. This is one of the reasons that consulting with a specialist before partaking in any self-administered baths is highly recommended. Or, when in doubt, simply shoot an email to Merkaela with your questions. We’ll be happy to get those answered for you.
Generally, however, it’s good to remember the following when it comes to the therapeutic benefits of mineral baths:
– Sea salts are loaded with all kinds of minerals and are excellent for soothing strained muscles.
– Baking soda is wonderful for neutralizing chlorine and can help the body relax.
– Citric acid and apple cider vinegar are great for treating skin disorders, but could also make them worse if used improperly.
– Witch hazel and citrus acid can serve as powerful antiseptics.
– Since most people opt for warm to hot mineral baths that could lead to dehydration, it is incredibly important that you make sure to drink enough water when engaging in balneology.
With 7.4 billion people populating the earth, it’s getting harder and harder to find peace, quiet, and the solitude most of us need to reenergize and regroup. It is, therefore, imperative that we find ways to get ourselves back to neutral, without depending on the legal drug culture that seems to be sweeping our world. While it’s absolutely necessary to seek out professional help when we are sick, we should also have the basic information we need to engage in preventative medicine.
The more we understand about the mind-body connection as well as our connection to nature, the more we can rely on holistic practices to keep ourselves balanced, happy, and healthy. Enjoying the therapeutic benefits of mineral baths in the luxury of your own home is a very good place to start.
Check out our mineral bath made with a mix of rose petals, salt crystals, and minerals. It’s the perfect way to warm up during the cool fall months. The Awaken Bath enhances our spiritual connection to the vibrational element of water easing us into a restful and restorative space.