Hot Springs and Balneotherapy
‘Balneotherapy’, refers to the treatment of afflictions in humans using water with various chemical compositions dissolved or leached into it. All around the world today, many spa treatments use the term to describe how hot springs are incorporated in the treatment. In the truest meaning of the word, the water’s source and composition must be completely natural, whether hot or cold water, and flowing directly from a source underground. Only genuine hot springs in Costa Rica flows through volcanic layers.
Magma lying below the crust of the Earth seeps through fissures and creates volcanoes. The magma load also heats fresh water aquifers in the vicinity creating a hot underground river. When a tributary of this hot river seeps up to, or near, the surface of the Earth’s crust and begins to flow a natural hot spring is born. At Blue River Resort & Hot Springs, the hot water bubbles to the surface at 60 C in beautifully green colored creeks and pools.
When water makes contact with its natural surroundings, invariably it takes on the characteristics of those surroundings. It absorbs and dilutes minerals and chemicals, and transport gasses and liquids after pressurization. Filtering it though volcanic beds with minerals and gasses under pressure, it rises to the surface as warm enriched water containing many minerals.
Those people who seek out hot springs believe hot springs therapy is purely an ‘alternate medical treatment’. There is little scientific proof that the process cures or prevents disease, but everyone that has experienced it testifies to the benefits gained.
The science of Balneotherapy uses water to treat physical conditions, and diseases in persons by:
(a) Externally by bathing and soaking.
(b) Internally by drinking
Warning! Most waters flowing from hot springs are ingestible; some are but be sure to enquire before attempting to consume this mineral laced water.
In either case, the water contains a combination of minerals and chemicals that is believed to produce a healing effect through absorption and consumption
The Roman Bath House in West of England
The famous Roman Bath House in the city of Bath, in West of England, is one of ‘The Seven ‘Manmade Wonders of the World. Prior to its construction, by the Romans, many people bathed there to enjoy the healing properties of the warm water. The practice of using mineral baths to heal people is many centuries old and proven by its results. The Roman Bath House is now closed to the public. The lead pipes that were used to transport the water to the baths is bad for the health.
Those countries with volcanoes rising up from their landmasses are usually where hot springs are found. Typically, they are located along the Pacific Rim of Fire, with Costa Rica being an active member of the chain.
Costa Rica Hot Springs
A common joke in Costa Rica is that if you just stand it the right place, good health will come bubbling up between your toes from underground. In truth, natural mineral hot springs are harder to come by. Our own Rincon de la Vieja Volcano rises from Costa Rica’s rainforest landscape heating many aquifers. Only on the north side of the volcano do natural mineral hot springs bubble up to the surface like those located at Blue River Resort and Hot Springs. From a ‘primary’ source in the volcano the water filters through volcanic beds directly to the hot springs where it flows into specially constructed pools. The pools design maximizes the visitors, comfort, safety, and relaxation. These are ‘virgin’ primary hot springs with no manmade modifications to the quality or chemical composition.
Iceland’s Blue Lagoon is the most famous balneotheraputic spa in the world. The Lagoon’s water comes from a geothermal power plant and is filtered by lava beds, with silica and sulphur added to the warm water. In Costa Rica, it is ‘Au Naturel’ straight from the earth with warm healing properties.
Try soaking in the hot springs at Blue River Resort following a spa treatment. Then relax with a siesta in the comfort of the air-conditioned cabanas. Many visitors to Costa Rica seek out hot springs, but few are truly natural and of high quality. At Blue River Resort the hot springs are second to none.
More about good health in Costa Rica