There are mineral springs and hot springs all over the US and I encourage you to seek one out. I go to this place not far from me near Weed, CA http://www.stewartmineralsprings.com/. If you don’t know of any in your area, I suggest checking this website, http://www.spaindex.com/special-features/hot-springs-and-mineral-springs/ which is NOT an inclusive list, I admit, but it is a good place to start.
Or, you could Google either “mineral springs” or “hot springs” and see if Google is smart enough to find one near you. Let me know what you find!
A mineral spring is simply a spring of water (water that comes forth from the ground, often in a non-glamorous, non-geyser-like fashion) that has a high proportion of dissolved minerals. If you visit an establishment where you pay to soak in mineral water, you are soaking in heated water that has come up from the ground with minerals in it that can do a variety of beneficial things. I am in no way an expert, nor do I have a degree in anything science-y but I can report the claimed benefits and you can take it or leave it. The minerals can exfoliate the skin, so much so that many places have a statement of caution against soaking too long because your skin can become irritated. I experience this nearly every time I go because I love soaking and I get all cozy and relaxed and invariably soak too long. The minerals are said to aid in muscle relaxation and I don’t doubt that to be true either lest Epsom Salts wouldn’t be a bath additive.
A hot spring is a water coming forth from the ground (potentially in a glamorous and geyser-like fashion- think Yellowstone National Park) often heated by subterranean volcanic activity. There are of course establishments where you can soak in this naturally hot water and enjoy many of the same benefits. Soaking in a hot spring is on my list of things to experience and once I do, I promise to report back, dear readers.
Before I went to the mineral springs for the first time, a friend wisely cautioned me, “It is NOT like going to a spa.” True, some places are in new, modern buildings with many spa treatments and facilities. Others, like the ones I have been to and enjoy, are clean but old and funky and frequented by folks who aren’t necessarily subscribing to mainstream culture.
If you go, by all means, bring a friend, water, some flip flops, your own towel, and an open mind. Many establishments have saunas, cool showers, and other amenities to rotate through after you soak. Inquire at the front desk about your options. At Stewart Springs, the rotation includes a sauna and either a rinse in a cool shower OR a jump into a creek. As in a flowing body of water fed by melted snow, as cold as 40 degrees. The dip in is fast but exhilarating. Don’t skip it! Soaking in the hot mineral water is twice as delicious after the polar plunge.
Before your soak, remove your jewelry (minerals in the water can react with the metal and tarnish it pronto) and put your hair up lest the minerals react with your natural or purchased hair color. Set your cares aside and enjoy yourself!
In the comment section below, tell me your mineral or hot springs experience! Where’s a great place to go in your area?