What Are The Benefits Of A Thermal Bath?

Soaking in the natural thermal waters found around the world is a serene and soothing experience like no other. The fresh air, nourishing minerals of the water, and deep stress relief are something just about everyone should enjoy at some point in life. The healing practice of soaking in natural mineral waters to ease muscle pain and improve skin conditions was even deemed magical by ancient cultures and thermal waters were thought to have supernatural powers (via Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences).

"Thermal water comes from natural springs, and contains minerals like calcium, selenium, sulfur, magnesium, and iodine," Dr. Sony Sherpa, holistic doctor and author at Nature's Rise, told TZR. "These chemicals help reduce inflammation in the body and fight off infection by helping balance the skin's natural good and bad bacteria."

Essentially, thermal baths contain minerals you won't find in a tap water bath at home and while some cosmetic companies are using thermal water in their skincare products so you can reap the benefits at home (via NewBeauty), nothing can replace an actual thermal bath soak in the beauty of nature. Here are some of the benefits of thermal baths.

Aids spiritual and mental health

While indoor thermal baths do exist, soaking outside in a hot, natural thermal bath can do wonders for the body, mind, and soul. Spending time in nature has been shown to be abundantly beneficial for our mental health and stress levels, even upping our empathy for others (via American Psychological Association). If you have access to a hot thermal bath during the cold winter months, even better. The hot mineral waters will feel like even more of a treat. Just be sure to heed any posted thermal bath warnings in the area, keep your soak relatively short, and avoid the practice if you're pregnant or have heart disease (via Healthline).

Improves inflammatory skin conditions

The healing minerals found in thermal baths can be incredibly soothing to those with uncomfortable skin conditions, like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis (via Healthline). And anyone struggling with one of these knows how frustrating (and painful) it can be to try lotion after lotion with no success. "Mineral water thermal baths are known to be an effective treatment for treating skin conditions and sunburns," Chinthaka Dilanjan of Healing Holidays told TZR. "Plus, the heat from the water dilates the blood vessels — this alone can improve the glow and texture of the skin."

Eases joint pain

According to a study in Medicine, thermal mineral waters could greatly reduce joint pain and inflammation. So, if you struggle with arthritis, have limited mobility due to stiff joints, or you're looking for a more natural alternative to reduce joint pain, regularly visiting a thermal bath for a soak could be your new favorite hobby. We've all been told to apply heat to sore muscles or aching joints via a heating pad or hot water bottle and this is the same idea — just maximized. Taking ibuprofen for joint pain just can't really top the healing minerals of thermal waters.

Boosts the immune system

Thermal bath soaks have been shown to benefit immune system stimulation and it's not hard to imagine why. The heat, healing minerals, and fresh air — what more could encapsulate a spa-like experience of well-being? "Thermal water positively affects your immune system and the release of hormones in your body," Dr. Sony Sherpa, holistic doctor and author at Nature's Rise, told TZR. "When you soak in thermal water, you relieve the symptoms of inflammation and alleviate pain," said Sherpa. "Ultimately, the experience boosts your sense of wellness."

Reverses UV damage

According to Healthline, the earth's magical thermal waters can even lessen ultraviolet (UV) damage. The antioxidants found in thermal waters might be able to reduce the risk of sunburn. And the healing thermal water contains minerals like selenium and magnesium that not only reverse UV damage, but also can balance the microbiome and, of course, hydrate the skin. While this isn't a replacement for lathering up with a protective sunscreen from head to toe when spending a day outdoors, it's definitely an unexpected perk of a thermal bath soak.