During my holiday travels, I found myself in Hot Springs, Arkansas. As a little adventure, we made a stop at the Arlington Hotel.
The Arlington Hotel originally opened in 1875 and has been rebuilt twice since. The hotel has had many famous guests, including Al Capone, who used to rent an entire floor for his gambling scheme. The bathhouse spa looks like it hasn’t changed since the 20s, either – what a nostalgic event for Dwight and me! Of course, men and women have separate sections of the bath house.
The spa experience starts with a relaxing mineral soak. The tub had what looked like a hot tub pump in it. When we’d soaked for long enough, we went into a sauna to steam the water away. After drying, we were wrapped in hot towels. We laid on a cot, a cold towel on our face to keep us from overheating. A shower in Mineral Springs cooled us off after the sauna and towels.
The water used in the spa was mineral water from the natural hot springs. The water from the hot springs is heated in the depths of the Earth, and its hot temperature allows it to have a higher mineral content than normal water. This warm, mineral-rich water is what makes hot springs so good for you. A whole swath of studies have shown the health benefits of hot springs, but our ancestors have known for centuries.
While hot water is normally bad for your skin, minerals in hot springs, such as magnesium, can improve skin conditions. The warmth of the water and the way it floats the body reduces the stress of gravity on your muscles and joints and can ease back pain. Being immersed in warm water reduces the amount of work your heart has to do, improves circulation deep in your muscles, and promotes a healthy cardiovascular system. Even without knowing the science, you can just feel the stress melting from your body as the water carries it away.