March 29, 2023
the importance of showering before geothermal bathing
Written by Grace
People from all over the world seek out geothermal hot springs for their wide array of therapeutic benefits. Natural hot springs are known for their healing properties, from the minerals and nutrients that help soothe sore muscles to the improved circulation and overall relaxation promoted by bathing. But did you know that showering before entering hot springs can enhance these benefits? Let’s explore why it’s important to shower before bathing in geothermal hot spring water.
it ritualises the experience
Bathing in hot springs is an ancient practice that’s been carried out in a multitude of countries across the world for thousands of years. In addition to the physical and mental benefits we derive from geothermal bathing, it can also become a sacred, conscious ritual — and this ritual should begin with a shower. We suggest spending a few moments standing under the shower and bringing your awareness to the sensation of running water on your skin as you contemplate the cleansing nature of water.
it kick starts your circulation
One of the major benefits of bathing in hot springs is that it increases circulation, which helps us to flush out toxins and improve cardiovascular health. This can begin in the shower, where you might even practise some gentle exfoliation to both smooth your skin and get your blood circulating (this will also mean you leave soft and supple at the end of your bathe!).
it removes impurities and keeps the pools pristine
In Japan, where bathing in onsens is enshrined in the national culture, taking a shower before immersing yourself in a hot spring pool is the etiquette. This is partly because we’re better able to absorb the minerals from the geothermal water if our skin is clean of dirt and sweat.
Of course, showering before bathing also means the hot spring pools remain clean and uncontaminated for other guests. As natural bodies of geothermal water, hot springs are rich in microorganisms. We keep these organisms balanced by using very small amounts of chlorine in our pools, but it’s ideal if guests cleanse themselves before entering the water.
it improves skin care
Showering prior to bathing can enhance the therapeutic effects of hot geothermal spring water on your skin. Geothermal hot springs are known for their high mineral content, including minerals like boron, , magnesium, potassiumcan help to soothe and nourish your skin (as well as your muscles once absorbed through the skin). However, when you enter the hot spring without showering first, any products or substances on your skin, such as lotions, perfumes or oils, can interfere with the absorption of these minerals. By showering beforehand, you remove any potential barriers to the absorption of the minerals in the water, allowing your skin to fully benefit from its therapeutic properties.
it gives you a chance to try contrast therapy
More and more people are experimenting with hot and cold (or “contrast”) therapy — and seeing huge benefits (for example, improved mood, increased energy and reduced inflammation). In our popular Fire and Ice workshop, guests are encouraged to practise contrast therapy at home by taking cold showers. Whether you’re planning on experiencing the Fire and Ice workshop or simply moving between the hot springs and cold plunge pools, your practice can begin with a pre-bathe cold shower (you might even just turn the water to cold for the last 30 seconds of your shower).
Next time you bathe at Peninsula Hot Springs (or any other hot spring location), deepen your experience by beginning with the ritual of a mindful shower prior to bathing. By removing dirt and sweat, enhancing the therapeutic effects on your skin and maintaining water quality, you can fully benefit from the purifying waters.