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The “Magic” is Probably in the Water Itself
Whatever the case, hot springs still feel heavenly. A large part of the virtues of hot springs are owed to the properties of water itself, along with the heat.
As you so cleverly deduced, hot springs are generally pretty hot, typically measuring around 37-degrees Celsius (or 100-degrees Fahrenheit) or hotter. Each of the pools I dipped into also ranged from 37-degrees Celsius to 42-degrees Celsius, with the idea being that people would go to each pool and gradually ease their bodies into hotter and hotter temperature baths.
This heat, although sometimes intense, can help relieve pain. The way it works, as this meta-analysis of studies published in the North American Journal of American Sciences suggests, is that the heat along with the pressure of the water dulls our perception of pain by blocking the pain receptors in our bodies. Plus, the mineral concentration and hot water can make you feel “floatier”, which has positive effects on your joints and muscles, working together to help you feel good and—more importantly—more relaxed.
Most of us have confirmed this, at least empirically: Our achy joints and cranky muscles from a rough workout or just life in general tend to feel alive again after a hot soak. A review in Rheumatology revealed that spa therapy and balneotherapy may be able to help relieve lower back pain, specifically at higher temperatures. If you really want to make the most out of your soak, Paul Ingraham over at PainScience.com suggests combining a little self-massage and gentle stretching to feel awesome.
One crucial precaution to bring up, however, is that immersing yourself in hot water can up your body temperature and loss of water through sweat (though you wouldn’t easily notice it when you’re already wet). After a while, you might feel lightheaded and/or dehydrated so be sure to drink plenty of extra water during and after (since we don’t always remember to do so beforehand). I found my limit to be about 15 minutes of continuous soaking before the baths got to be too much for me.
Hot Springs of Iran
Besides all the attractions you visit while traveling to Iran, why not take the benefits of Iran’s hot springs. They may be conveniently close to your destinations, so let’s not miss the opportunity. Here we introduce hot springs of Iran based on the geothermal resources on the map below:
Vananaq Hot Spring is located near Vananaq Village in Qareh Poshtelu, Zanjan Province. Vananaq Hot Spring has sulfuric water with therapeutic benefits. Bathe in Vananaq Hot Springs is so relaxing and relieve pain related to joints and nerves. The first highlight is a deep basin where water is extracted through a stream with a speed of 7 Litres/Minute. The second basin has a depth of 120 cm and flows down to the pools with the speed of 10 Litre/Minute, so people can use it for farms.
Ghatood Balaghi spa is located near Vananaq spa with the altitude of 1982 meters above sea level. Based on the local people’s experience, it’s very good for foot ache. Rubbing its mud on skin is so effective to remedy rheumatism. This hot spring lies between Vananaq and Lagahi Villages. The only issue is part of the way toward the spring is dirt road after the intersection of Vananaq Village Road and Zanjan-Armaqan Road.
Open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Monkey Slide Open from 12:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Perdido Springs (Lost Springs) is an interconnected system of forest trails and seven spring-fed pools located within a forest canyon just a short 100-meter walk from the lowest level of the Las Lagunas pools. At the heart of these flowing pools you will find Los Perdidos Bar (The Lost Ones) and Rancho Perdidos Bar along with our thrilling water flume called the Monkey Slide. These pools range in temperature from 91˚F to 104˚F.
Where are they found?
Hot springs truly are the world’s original spa – interestingly, the term ‘spa’ originates from the town of Spa, Belgium, made famous for its hot springs. Typically, hot springs are found where there is volcanic activity or magma chambers, or where there are fault lines in the Earth. This being the case, there are hot springs all over the world; USA, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, and Canada, including even right here in our own backyard at our British Columbia location.
All warnings listed above are not intended to scare you away from visiting hot springs, but rather to inform you about possible risks.
If you have never experienced hot springs’ health benefits, now is the time to do so. However, always use common sense when bathing in the geothermal water.