Arthritis sufferers find benefit in thermal mineral bathing

With one in three Victorian’s today being affected by a muscle, bone or joint condition which is growing at a rapid rate and expected to increase by 43% by 2032, it is no wonder that more and more suffers are turning to preventative and alternative methods to alleviate the pain experienced by arthritic conditions.

Hot springs soaking is a common prescription given by many licensed doctors throughout Japan and Europe for a wide range of conditions including arthritis. The mineral waters are part of preventive medicine that is widely recognised and encouraged. Balneology is the scientific study of the therapeutic benefits of naturally occurring mineral waters.

In Australia, this science is not very well known, and is even less seldom practiced. However, throughout Europe and Japan, balneology and hot springs therapy is very much a part of routine medical care.

The mineral content of hot springs water around the world is different and therefore the benefits may vary. Peninsula Hot Springs is considered a true mineral spring based on the assessment conducted by the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in New Zealand. The minerals found in the water include sodium chloride beneficial for rheumatic conditions, arthritis, central nervous system conditions, posttraumatic and postoperative disorders, as well as orthopedic and gynecological disease. Peninsula Hot Springs water is also rich in sodium and natural salts assist with the alleviation of arthritic symptoms, and may stimulate the body’s lymphatic system when used in baths.

Peninsula Hot Springs sees a number of arthritis suffers who bathe almost every week. Brook Ramage, General Manager at Peninsula Hot Springs said ‘due to the increase of guests visiting Peninsula Hot Springs with arthritis we researched ways that could assist with their condition. We found that warm water exercises were beneficial to arthritis suffers, and therefore decided to begin running a weekly complimentary class.’

Some arthritis suffers discussed how bathing has helped with their conditions. Martisa has been bathing at Peninsula Hot Springs for around three years; however it has only been in the last three months that her arthritis has impeded her ability to move her fingers. Martisa said “I don’t like using chlorinated pools, I wanted something much healthier”. Since the pain in her fingers has become worse, she explained that the hot spring bathing has really helped, “It has made such a difference, so much so that I am now coming twice a week”.

Janet is also another regular bather who said that “the mineral bathing helps the remove the swelling from my joints”. Janet suffers both rheumatoid arthritis and osteo arthritis and often visits once a week. Janet recently started participating in Peninsula Hot Springs new warm water exercise classes and said “it is perfect for all ages, it is so cheerful doing it with others and I have found that it really builds my core strength”.

Mrs Ellis is another participant in the warm water exercise classes who visits due to the arthritic pain she experiences in her back and knees. Mrs Ellis has been surprised by the exercises that she can do in the mineral springs pools that she couldn’t usually do in a chlorinated pool. She said that “the warm water exercise classes have really allowed me to push myself”.  She continued “the minerals in the water obviously have something to do with it as the benefits are more beneficial when compared to when I exercise in chlorinated pools” Since coming twice a week, I have noticed such a difference she said. Mrs Ellis also sees a physio once a month and has a massage once a fortnight to assist with the pain and also as a preventative measure.

Sandra Che-Tanget has suffered arthritis for the last two years she believes that her arthritis has been the result of her work as a nurse for many years. Sandra is 71 years of age and shared that most of her friends are virtually crippled by arthritis. Sandra said that the mineral springs bathing has “loosened her shoulders as well as given her more strength”. Sandra aims to come once a fortnight as she considers Peninsula Hot Springs to be a world-class facility. Having been to many other hot springs around the world including ones in Europe and in New Zealand, Sandra said “it is so reasonably priced and it has been done well, they (Peninsula Hot Springs) haven’t copied other hot springs in their design, they have tied it into the bush andcreated their own style”. Sandra said “we would come to Peninsula Hot Springs even if we didn’t have anything wrong with us”.

“The warm water exercise classes have been extremely popular and we are delighted to be able to offer our guests a natural way to ease their pain.” Brook Ramage adds.

Peninsula Hot Springs warm water exercise classes are held once a week on a Thursday at 8am and are complimentary with Bath House bathing entry. Extra warm water exercise classes will be held during Seniors Week which is running at Peninsula Hot Springs from Tuesday 6th of October until Thursday 8th of October. The warm water exercise classes are perfect for guests who experience any arthritic pain and assist in building core strength.

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