#6 How Mineral Waters & Hot Springs Can Improve Your Health and Vitality

Hi, Welcome to Happy Now Olivia! A channel dedicated to the pursuit of happiness,
because you don’t have to wait. You can be happy now. I’m Olivia. Today, I’m going to talk about Healing Springs. People have used geothermal and mineral waters
for bathing and improving their health for thousands of years. Balneotherapy, the practice of using natural
mineral spring water for the prevention and cure of disease can be traced back about 5000
years to the Bronze Age, although there is evidence human beings have been using
hot springs for over 600,000 years. Nathaniel Altman has written a fantastically
informative book called “Healing Springs: The Ultimate Guide to Taking the Waters” which
I’m using to make this video. Taking the Waters was the popular term used
in the 19th century for visiting healing springs. Many of the popular hot springs resorts were
modeled after famous European spas attracting their own kind of royalty, including presidents, writers, musicians and artists. Taking the Waters began to decline in America
as people favored urban entertainment, theme parks and glitzy resorts. However, todays interest in natural lifestyles,
fitness and alternative healing has brought about renewed interest in healing springs. I only recently discovered the wonderful benefits
of healing springs. Though I remember being twelve and living
in Bucharest, Romania and taking a school field trip to a famous mud bath by the Dead
Sea. Then in the last few years I had the opportunity
to visit a popular hot spring in Alaska, but I was not aware there were so many benefits
to it. Then once after a long sleepless travel day,
I was about to get sick, I could feel it in my throat, which for me usually means it’s
too late, but after taking my natural remedies and visiting the springs I didn’t get sick. That’s when I realized there was more to
it than just sitting in wonderfully hot water surrounded by mountains and snow. I went in search of answers and found Altman’s
book, and of course, I haven’t been disappointed. Not only do I understand why natural springs
are so special, but I’m on a mission to visit as many as I can in the United States
and the rest of the world. Because of government regulations in the United
States most people tend to think of health resorts and spas in terms of their calming
effects and relaxation value. But in Europe and Japan balneotherapy is an
accepted form of mainstream medicine where there’s an abundance of evidence that shows
that in addition to relieving stress, certain mineral waters can help the body heal itself
of a wide variety of diseases. Thirst is the body’s way of telling us that
we need to replenish lost fluids. In addition to drinking water in various liquids,
we can eat water rich fruits and vegetables, but we can also absorb small amounts of water
by bathing in a warm bathtub or in a natural source like a lake, river or spring. Mineral springs are classified as springs
containing minerals, gases and vapors that can bring about specific therapeutic effects on
the human body like increasing body temperature, and the functioning of the glands, heart, circulatory,
digestive and immune systems, the muscles and the skin. Taking the Waters can vary tremendously. They can be enjoyed in an underdeveloped pool
in the woods that can only accommodate one person or an olympic sized swimming pool in
a luxury resort. The water can be piped into soaking pools,
whirlpools, bathtubs and drinking fountains. The water may be enjoyed naturally cold or
hot or artificially cooled or heated as necessary for swimming, showering and bathing. In some spas the water may be treated chemically
to ensure purity or the water may flow through the pool at such a rate that no additional
treatment is required. The word spa can trace it’s origin to a
mountain town of that name near Liege in South Eastern Belgium. In the 14th century an iron master used an
iron rich spring to cure his rheumatism. He founded a health resort at that spring and
called it Espa, meaning fountain. Espa became so popular that the English word
known as “spa” became the common designator for health resorts around the world. In addition to the curative waters many health
resorts have licensed health professionals on staff offering natural and complimentary
health treatments like acupuncture, massage, homeopathy, herbal wraps, mud baths, relaxation
classes, fasting programs, and fitness training. Mineral waters can also be classified according
to the predominant minerals they contain. In Europe a two to three week course of spa
therapy can be prescribed by a physician and paid for by social security. Because of budgetary constraints and the fast
pace of modern life many people visit hot springs and mineral springs for much shorter
periods of time with stays of several hours to two to three days. Many spas are located in natural, beautiful
environments surrounded by gardens, forests, lakes and hiking trails offering a wide range
of natural and recreational activities. My favorite aspect of mineral waters is the
healing aspect. As I mentioned earlier, balneotherapy is an
approach to nature and healing that uses hot spring water, gases, mud and heat for therapeutic
elements. Over the past 4 centuries the science of balneotherapy
has evolved into a medical specialty in Europe and Japan where courses in balneotherapy are
offered to both physicians and nurses by major medical schools. Doctors believe that thermal springs can facilitate
healing in a number of important ways, some of which are these. Bathing in hot springs can gradually raise
body temperature killing harmful germs and viruses. Thermal spring bathing can increase the hydrostatic
pressure in the body, increasing blood circulation and cell oxygenation helping to dissolve and
eliminate toxins from the body. The flow of oxygen rich blood throughout the
body is increased, bringing improved nourishment to vital organs and tissues. It increases body metabolism, stimulating secretions
of the intestinal tract and liver aiding in digestion. Repeated hot springs bathing especially for a period of 2 to 3 weeks can help normalize the functions of the endocrine glands and the autonomic nervous
system. There are 3 major ways natural waters cane be used for healing The first and most popular is bathing. Therapeutic bathing may include immersion in
water up to neck level for approximately 15 to 20 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. The time one can safely remain in a thermal
pool varies according to temperature and our own physical condition. The second way mineral waters can be used
for healing is drinking. The drinking cure is popular in
Europe where many mineral waters are bottled for commercial use. After a visit with a spa physician, the patient
goes to the source of the spring, usually a beautiful pavilion, and drinks a prescribed
amount of mineral water several times a day. Consuming water at the source is not the same
as drinking commercially bottled water taken from that spring and processed
at a bottling plant. Some minerals and gases tend to oxide within
hours of leaving the earth and may no longer contain the therapeutic effects for which they
are known. Not all mineral springs are good for
drinking. Some may contain arsenic which has been shown
to be very good for treating fungal infections of the skin but can be poisonous when swallowed. The third way natural waters can be used
for healing is inhalation. Inhaling mineral waters as as water vapor has
been effective in helping people with asthma, sinus problems, allergies and other respiratory
problems. Water therapies can help people regain their
health, treat chronic disease, help with the rehabilitation of injuries and surgical procedures
and my personal favorite as preventive medicine, building physical strength and general immunity. The world is blessed with tens of thousands
of hot springs and mineral springs. The United States has over 115 major
geothermal spas and many smaller ones and over 1,800 bathing mineral springs. Other countries rich in mineral springs and hot springs
include Russia with 3,500 spas, Japan with 1,500 spas and an estimated annual attendance
of 100 million people. The Czech Republic and Slovakia with 52 spas
and over 1,900 mineral springs. Although nearly every spring is unique in
temperature and mineral composition. There are two basic types. Filtration Springs and Primary Springs. Filtration Springs are common in the North
Eastern United States, France, Germany, Great Britain, Eastern Europe and Korea. They originate at higher elevations and are
nourished by natural rainfall which percolates under pressure deep into the earth through, through
fractures in rock formations such as granite and iron. The water is heated at about 100 F for every
kilometer beneath the earth. Then gradually the water travels back to the
surface along fault lines in rock formations, a process that can take thousands of years. Primary springs occur mostly in the western
United States, Canada, Taiwan, Japan New Zealand and Italy. They can be directly related with volcanic activity
and contain minerals and substances that are produced by volcanoes. Unlike Filtrations Springs, Primary Springs, the source of water for Primary springs is many miles beneath the earth making the water hotter and the flow more
constant and reliable. Another type of water is juvenile water
which has been trapped beneath the earth and never before reached the surface. Found in both filtration and primary springs
it is often the remains of a vast underground sea. Juvenile water can be tens of millions of
years old, stored in aquifers at different depths beneath the earth before they finally flow
towards the surface. Before I go over some of the substances and
minerals in springs that can have therapeutic and healing effects, I’m to go over a little bit of
the wonderful history of natural springs. Traces of homo erectus dating back 600,000
years have been found in the vicinity of hot springs. The early Greeks favored bathing in both private
and public baths. Homer and Hippocrates stressed the importance of bathing and drinking water for health. The early Romans were tremendously fond of
bathing for health and pleasure. Roman baths, often large and luxurious establishments
where centers of entertainment, gymnastics, debating and art. Early Japanese medicinal springs were considered
to be the abode of spiritual beings known as kami. Native Americans have always considered mineral
springs to be sacred healing grounds. With the fall of the Roman empire interest
in bathing, especially communal bathing declined. But by the Middle Ages, bathing in medicinal
springs made a come back. By the 17th century physicians in China and
Japan began to evaluate and classify medicinal springs and spas could be found in much of
the European continent. During the 19th and early 20th century many books on medical balneology were published. During WWI spas were often centers of rehabilitation
and convalescence for wounded service-men. Today, European physicians routinely refer
their patients for specialized spa treatments which are often covered by national
and private health insurance. European spas, many of which are affiliated
with national universities and medical schools, are staffed with trained health specialists
under the careful supervision of the respective ministries of health. In the United States and Canada interest in
springs developed soon after the European colonists arrived in what are now Virginia,
Pennsylvania and New York. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson
were fascinated with mineral springs. By the 19th century doctors understood the
therapeutic value of a natural environment and adjunct therapies were part of the
bathing experience including diet, relaxation and exercise. By, but by the middle of the 19th century American
spas had begun their decline. Fashion shifted as vacationers moved to the more, the newly established seaside resorts. The growth of modern medicine, or scientific made balneotherapy seem old-fashioned. Modern medications held out the promise for
rapid cures of chronic diseases. In addition, unscrupulous charlatans made
all kinds of unsubstantiated claims about hot springs that gradually the medical community
and the American and British public lost interest in the curative value of spa therapy. While Taking the Waters remained popular
in much of Europe and Japan by the middle of the 20th century many of the most important American spas closed. Today as more and more people pursue natural
lifestyles and choose natural forms of health care, the popularity of hot springs and mineral springs
for the prevention and cure of disease is increasing. So let’s take a look at what’s in the water and how it may be benefit our health. One of the substances that can be in mineral waters is bicarbonate. Many of these waters have carbon dioxide,
nitrogen and oxygen and are often bubbly. Bicarbonate is a natural component of blood
and it’s essential for proper digestion, metabolism and overall functioning. Another substance that can be in mineral springs
is sulfur. Sulfur rich springs abound wherever there is volcanic
activity. They’re easily identified by the strong aroma
of hydrogen sulfide gas emanating from the waters. The gas itself is strongly antibacterial,
stimulating the mucous membranes and helping to relieve problems of the sinus and respiratory
passages. People have long used in sulfur rich springs
to cure a wide variety of health issues including liver, digestive and urinary tract disorders,
chronic metallic poisoning, skin diseases and venereal diseases like syphilis. Waters rich in chlorides are found throughout
the world. Popularly known as salt waters or muriated
waters. They have a high salt content, often derived
from subterranean deposits of salt rock and sandstone which contain sodium chloride. sodium is an important component of blood,
tears and perspiration. Chloride helps balance fluids in the body, helps regulate fluids in the body, facilitates in the absorption and digestion of nutrients and
helps transmit nerve impulses to and from the brain. the use of thermal mud as, for medicinal purposes is
called pelotherapy. Mud may naturally contain minerals or decomposed
vegetable matter which contains minerals and other therapeutic substances. The use of mud as a firming mask can be, has been
documented since ancient times. Mud helps remove toxins from the body, it helps maintain heat in various parts of the body and it aids in the absorption of nutrients and minerals, and other substances by the skin. Many mineral springs and hot springs around the world
do not contain strong concentrations of minerals and are classified as lightly mineralized. When heated, these waters are popular for
their sedative and thermal properties which help relieve stress. These waters are also popular for drinking and
may bottled and sold commercially. A mineral that can be present in springs is
iron. Iron. Our blood depends on iron for the formation
of red blood cells which is essential for our immune systems to function. Another mineral, another essential mineral found in springs is calcium which helps blood clot, builds bones and muscles, builds bones and teeth, helps regulate the permeability of cell membranes, plays an important role in normal liver function and helps our muscles contract and our hearts to beat. Magnesium is an important part of over 300
enzymes used for body functions including energy and protein production,
and the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles including the heart. Potassium plays an important role in many
body functions, helping to transmit nerve impulses, balancing fluid and mineral
content and maintaining normal blood pressure. Now that you know some of the substances and
minerals that are in springs that can be therapeutic and healing, I want to mention nutrition. Most books dealing with natural healing modalities
tend to gloss over nutrition but of course nutrition is a key pillar to being happy now
and essential for our health and well being. If you want to know more about that, you can
watch my Nutrition! video. The minerals and substances found in mineral springs
come from the earth’s core which usually end up in our soil and help produce nutritious
food. Unfortunately today most of our soils are
extremely depleted and not replenished in natural or sustainable ways so that most of the natural food with eat lacks vital nutrients unless you go out of your way to buy organic
and biodynamic food farming products and even then you have to be healthy enough to absorb
the nutrients from that food. If you want to know more about that, you can
watch my GAPS video. Mineral springs are beneficial in so many
ways because we’re exposed to toxic substances on a daily basis and we don’t often get
enough nutrients from our food. And if you’re consuming mostly processed and denatured food products then your diet is severely depleted of nutrients. Although bathing in hot springs and drinking mineral water should never be a substitute for a nutrient dense diet, it can be a simple
and comfortable way of allowing the body to absorb a small amount of minerals and substances
that are essential for good nutrition and health. And if you’re like me, interested in preventive
medicine, it can be, healing springs can be a wonderful and relaxing way to boost your immunity and
your health. But what if you’re already suffering from
a disease and looking for natural ways to to heal? Springs can be part of a natural
healing protocol to allow your body to heal itself. I’m going to briefly talk about some of
the specific type of diseases treated with springs. If you want to know more about everything
I’ve talked about, I highly recommend Altman’s book. As always, I link below the video anything
I recommend and additional information. Skin diseases like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis
as well as burns can be treated with springs. Our skin is made up of 15-40% water. Dryness is often a factor in chronic skin
disease, and it’s related to aging, lack of sufficient drinking water, excessive perspiration and
living in low humidity environments. Immersion in water can have positive
chemical, physical and mechanical effect on chronic skin diseases. Different types of spa therapy, therapies are used
to treat a wide variety of joint and muscle diseases like inflammatory joint, connective
tissue, and degenerative joint diseases and rheumatism. Thermal and spring waters, especially the
drinking cure are often indicated for treating a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders
including problems with the stomach and duodenum, gastroenteritis, ulcers and constipation. The use of mineral waters to treat
liver, kidney and urinary tract disorders is among the oldest forms of spa therapy. Among heart and circulatory diseases that
respond to balneotherapy are circulatory arterial, venous congestive disorders, hypertension,
myocardial insufficiency and cardiac arrhythmia. Since pre-Roman times women have been soaking
in hot springs and mineral springs to help gynecological problems. Although medications, hormone therapy and
surgery are often used today for treating gynecological complaints, the hot spring, hot springs bathing is still
popular in Europe for women who prefer natural therapies with a minimum of adverse side effects. Mineral waters have also been used to treat
glandular and metabolic disorders like, like diabetes, obesity, gout and prostatitis. Healing waters have been very effective
in treating respiratory problems like sinusitis, laryngitis, chronic bronchitis and asthma
and finally mineral waters can help relieve symptoms of migraines, depression, and nervous
system disorders. Nathaniel Altman has written a great book,
well-researched and practical. His book has a list of the most popular hot springs around the world classified by mineral content. He also has a section of the most popular
mineral waters, what’s in them, what spring they came from and how they are processed
as well as a list of the most popular and prominent hot springs and mineral springs around the world. His book is a wealth of knowledge as well
as a great resource, however there are many comprehensive guides of mineral springs around the world. When it comes to safety mineral springs have
stood the test of time for centuries. In Europe and Japan where balneotherapy
is an accepted form of mainstream medicine, springs have to maintain the same levels of
water purity and general sanitation as one would find in a hospital. However common sense should always be used,
especially if you’re elderly, you have a chronic diseases or condition, open wounds. If you’re pregnant or planning to take small
children. And of course, proper hydration is always a must. Although Americans enjoy the most advanced medical
care in the world, with the finest physicians, the most sophisticated diagnostic
equipment, the largest and most modern hospitals on earth our health is declining overall exponentially. Degenerative diseases like cancer, diabetes,
heart disease and obesity continue to affect a large portion of the population. The use of prescription and over the counter
medications increases every year as well as their many adverse side effects. Billions of dollars are lost annually from
missing work due to lower-back pain, arthritis and muscle aches alone. As a result of their dissatisfaction with
mainstream medicine Americans are spending billions of dollars a year on natural
therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic and homeopathy which are often
not covered by health insurance. I know because while in the Air Force during
my entire healing journey with alternative therapies, except for chiropractic, I had to pay
for it out of pocket and I still do. Americans are looking for safe, effective,
inexpensive and natural methods to allow their body’s innate healing processes to function for the prevention and cure of disease. The United States is blessed with thousands of
hot springs and mineral springs. It’s up to us to use them for our benefit,
our health and the health of our families. Someday North American spas may be as popular
as European and Japanese ones providing health treatments as well as relaxation value. If you live in a country that values the healing
power of nature in the form of mineral springs and hot springs then take advantage to the fullest. Like Altman, I hope more people will appreciate
their therapeutic and health promoting potential and use them not only for pleasure, relaxation
and personal reflection but also for healing. If you enjoyed this video please like it and
share it, and consider subscribing so you can get the latest Happy Now Olivia! video. In addition, I’d love to hear in the comments
below how healing springs have affected your health and well-being. Remember happiness is an active choice, you
don’t have to wait, You too can be happy now. Thanks for watching. See you next time.

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