Balneotherapy Traditions Around the Globe

hot springs around the globe, steam rising

Balneotherapy Traditions Around the Globe

Balneotherapy Traditions Around the Globe

Balneotherapy has a long history all around the globe. People have been immersing their bodies in hot water for different reasons, including relaxation and the belief that these waters have healing benefits. Balneotherapy is more of a culture; it differs from place to place, just like with food and costume. The customs surrounding this act are different in almost every continent. Read on to learn more about the traditions in various destinations renowned for their balneotherapy, including the US, Europe, Turkey, Japan, and Taiwan.


  1. Thermal Springs, United States

The use of geothermal waters for purification, healing, and relaxation purposes first began with the Native Americans. In the US today, commercial hot springs have risen to about 200, with the springs being among the least formal springs in the world. You’ll need to put on the usual pool-attire when attending most of these springs. The use of these springs for wellness benefits is significantly starting to gain popularity across the US.


  1. Onsen, Japan

Japan has a bountiful number of hot springs, owing to the fact that it’s sitting atop the Ring of Fire, a location common with volcanic activities and earthquakes. A lot of years back, the Buddhist monks used these waters for purification rituals, before discovering the healing properties of the springs. People would then bring their ill loved ones to soak and be healed. To this day, Japanese practice public bathing in large numbers, for healing and as a practical way of staying clean. However, before entering the springs, people have to bathe with soap and water thoroughly. The community doesn’t allow anyone with tattoos to enter the water, regardless of who they are or the seriousness of their condition. Gender separation is also respected and upheld at all times.


  1. Turkish Bath, Turkey

Also known as Hammam, the Turkish bath originated from the Middle East, particularly during the era of the Ottoman Empire. In this ritual, there’s a heated room where people would typically relax in to induce perspiration. They’ll then move progressively to hotter rooms before washing in cold water. But to the Hammams, the process won’t be complete without a massage, which you’ll (in most cases) receive while nude. For modesty, the genders are usually separated, especially in traditional hammams.


  1. Kurort, Europe

Many centuries ago, the Roman Empire dominated Europe, and that’s where Kurort, the European spa culture originated. Kurort basically refers to the hot spring resorts. Patients suffering from depression, stress, and chronic conditions like rheumatism are often recommended by doctors across Europe to soak in Kurorts to alleviate the condition. It usually takes patients about 3 consecutive weeks to undergo the treatment, and many experience vast improvements in their condition and wellness.


  1. Wen Quan, Taiwan

Wen Quan receives its thermal waters from the active volcano, Yang Ming Shan. To soak in these springs, however, requires swimsuits. People casually place towels on top of their heads to lower the temperature differential between the hot water and the victim’s body, hence preventing them from fainting.


By now, you’ve learned how balneotherapy is valued in different places across the world. It can be a powerful treatment strategy, especially when you find a mineral spring – the minerals have therapeutic benefits for your health. At the Spring Resort & Spa, we use mineral water to provide different world-class spa treatments to enhance the efficiency of the process. Visit us today to learn more about how you can benefit from our services.