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Learn About and Enjoy the Benefits of Hot Springs!

Hot Springs Science Project: What are hot springs? We’ll share our findings from years of research.
Bathing tips

The idea of going to a hot spring to promote health of body and mind has long existed worldwide. In recent years, however, people have begun thinking more scientifically about the benefits of hot springs, and soaks have been encouraged for their health benefits. In Japan, people may stay at a hot spring facility for a few days to remove fatigue or stress in what is termed a “hot spring treatment.” A long–term stay of one week to promote and maintain health, called “recreation,” is also available, as is “medical treatment” at a hot spring “hospital” or similar facility where physicians treat chronic illness. In this article, we will answer the simple yet important question of why hot springs are good for the mind and body.


Three reasons why hot springs are good for the mind and body

1. Buoyancy, water pressure, and temperature aid relaxation.

pic06_02Immersing one’s body in hot water, even in a bathtub, allows it to achieve buoyancy. In water, one’s body weight is about one ninth of its weight, which alleviates stress on the muscles that support the body. The water pressure also improves blood circulation as it simulates the action of a massage on the skin. Finally, warm water engages the parasympathetic nerves and helps the body relax, while hot water engages the sympathetic nerves and makes the body more alert.

2. Nutrients in the hot spring water help the body function effectively.

pic06_03Various components make up hot spring water depending on its source and region. These include sulfur, carbon dioxide, salt, sodium bicarbonate, iron, and non-harmful radiation. There are 11 main types of nutrients in hot spring water that provide healing and other positive effects, which has been medically proven. And the beneficial effect of hot springs is not limited to baths, as drinking hot spring water can help the body, too (though you should first confirm the water is potable).

3. Escape from stress thanks to a change of pace.

pic06_04Visiting a hot spring area allows you to escape from daily stresses. Bathers can enjoy a change of pace from their regular surroundings by soaking in the hot springs, taking in the fresh air, enjoying lush scenery, and eating delicious cuisine. This sort of break from the hustle and bustle of modern society is very important both physically and mentally.

The benefits of hot springs on mind and body have been verified scientifically, in addition to being a very enjoyable way to relieve stress caused by modern society.
Yet incorrect bathing can, on the contrary, place a burden on the body. Please note the correct way to bathe outlined below, regardless of the type of hot spring water. Master the five points to give your body the full benefit of a healthy hot spring treatment.


The correct way to bathe in a hot spring

Rinse off with warm water

POINT01Rinsing your body with warm water is important to help prepare your body for the warm temperature of the hot spring. Start by covering the extremities of the body, such as hands and feet, then work your way up to finally rinse your face with hot water. When your body will be subjected to a large difference in temperature, such as during winter or when bathing in very hot water, it is especially important to rinse your entire body with hot water from the face down. Next, wash your body with soap before entering the bath.

Get halfway into the bath

POINT02Enter the bath tub slowly and quietly. First, get slightly more than half of your body wet in the bath (up to around the pit of the stomach). Don’t overdo the speed of entering the water; acclimatize your body. Those who have weak hearts or lungs in particular should be sure to start bathing slowly, from the lower half of their body.

Move hands and feet to promote circulation

POINT03After bathing the lower half of your body and immersing your entire body in the bath, rest your head on the edge of the bathtub and slowly extend your hands and feet, feeling the sensation of buoyancy as your body floats up a little. Moving your hands and feet while in the bath makes your muscles work like a pump, and helps improve circulation.

Be careful about the duration and number of times you bathe.

POINT04The length of time you spend in the bath should be just enough for your forehead to break out in a little sweat. You may feel that you want to bathe several times but this puts a burden on the body. Even if you are staying at a hot spring town, limit yourself to three baths per day.

Rest and stay hydrated

POINT05Don’t pack too many activities into your hot spring trip. Avoid bathing soon after eating or drinking alcohol, and avoid activities such as driving soon after bathing. Remember to rest and drink plenty of fluids after leaving the bath.


Studying the science of bathing

As one of Japan’s top bath salt brands, Bathclin leads the industry not just in producing bath salts but also in research on the effects of bathing in hot springs. More than 30 years ago, we conducted joint research on hot spring medicine with university professors, to learn the effects of bathing on the body. We explored how bathing could help maintain health and even conducted research that was not directly related to product development. What motivated us was our belief that, by showing the impact of bathing on body and mind, we could raise people’s interest in bathing and thus help people become healthier. Since then, we have continued to conduct research with the goal of creating bath salts that maximize the benefits of bathing.
Our research findings are highly respected; they have been announced at academic conferences and via magazines, television, and the internet. The findings have also attracted attention in the sporting world. As a Japanese Olympic Committee official bath salts partner in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we not only provided our products to many athletes, including those involved in wrestling and trampolining, but also offered guidance about bathing methods to support recovery from fatigue.

As well as being a producer of bath salts, Bathclin studies the science of bathing. In addition to providing our customers with bath salts that support mind and body, we will continue to provide helpful information related to bathing such as effective bathing methods and ways to recover from fatigue.


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