Physical characteristics of the hot springs
There are two types of hot springs according to their geological origin, magmatic and telluric.
The type of terrain from which they appear is one of the main differences between both. Magmatic waters are born from metallic or eruptive seams, while telluric waters can appear anywhere.
The temperature of magmatic waters is higher than that of telluric.
The former generally have temperatures above 50º C, while those of telluric origin rarely do so.
On the other hand, thanks to the fact that telluric waters are filtered, they have less mineralization than magmatic ones.
The elements most commonly found in magmatic waters are arsenic, boron, bromine, copper, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
Telluric waters generally have bicarbonates, chlorides, lime salts and others.
An important characteristic of hot springs is that they are ionized.
There are two types of ions, positive and negative.
Contrary to its name, positives do not bring benefits to the human body, and on the contrary, they are irritating.
Instead, negative ions have the ability to relax the body.
The hot springs are loaded with negative ions.
Classification of waters according to their temperature
- Hyperthermal Waters More than 45º C
- Meso thermal or hot waters From 35º to 45º C
- Hypothermal or slightly cold waters From 21 º to 35 º C
- Cold waters Less than 20ºC
Classification of waters according to their dry waste
- Minerals From 1 to 1.5 gr / L
- Mineral medium From 0.2 to 1.0 gr / L
- Oligo minerals Less than 0.2 gr / L
Effects of hot springs on the human body
The hot mineralized water from the “hot springs” has different effects on the human body.
Some authors divide them into three, biological, physical and chemical, although in reality they all act at the same time.
Bathing in hot springs increases the body temperature, killing germs, including viruses, it also increases the hydrostatic pressure of the body, thereby increasing blood circulation and oxygenation.
This increase in temperature helps dissolve and remove toxins from the body.
By increasing oxygenation, bathing in hot springs improves the nutrition of the body’s tissues in general, which is why it increases metabolism, while stimulating the secretions of the digestive tract and liver, thus helping digestion.
Repeated bathing (especially in periods of 3-4 weeks) can help normalize the functions of the endocrine glands, as well as the general functioning of the body’s autonomic nervous system.
There is also an improvement and stimulation of the immune system, mental relaxation, endorphin production and regulation of glandular functions.
Many of these effects are due to the body’s consumption of minerals such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium.
There are skin diseases that can be markedly improved by bathing in hot springs (especially if they contain sulfur).
The diseases that benefit the most are psoriasis, dermatitis, and fungal diseases.
Sometimes they also help to heal wounds and other skin lesions.
Sometimes this action is attributed to “sulfobacteria” (an organism isolated by the “International Society of Hydrological Medicine”, to explain the effects of the “intangible elements” of hot springs.
Not too many years ago, a microorganism was isolated – at the “International Society of Hydrological Medicine” – studying precisely what is called “intangible elements” of hot springs.
The isolated organism belongs to what is called today “sulfobacteria”.
It has been described that this group of microorganisms help the human body by improving the defense system of the skin against all kinds of aggressions.
In the same way, they help to slow down the aging process of this organ.
In summary form, the chronic diseases that benefit from the use of balneotherapy, according to research by Dr. Yuko Agishi (5) are
- Chronic rheumatic diseases
- Functional recovery from central and peripheral neuropathy
- Some metabolic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and gout
- Chronic gastrointestinal problems
- Mild respiratory diseases
- Circulation problems
- Chronic skin diseases
- Stress-related and other psychosomatic illnesses
- Aftermath of trauma
- Chronic gynecological diseases.
Some general recommendations for the use of hot springs are:
- It is always best to consult with your doctor before using hot spring therapy in case you are pregnant or have any illness.
- Avoid bathing only in hot springs, older adults should use them with caution and do not use them if you are under the influence of alcohol or any drug.
- If you take medications for heart disease, be careful.
- Don’t overheat, stay well hydrated, and if you have contagious skin conditions, use private pools.