There’s a reason long showers, bubble baths, a day at the pool or even a dip in the ocean have the ability to relax, revitalise and refresh our minds and bodies.
Water has therapeutic properties that can medically and psychologically aid in peoples’ health and wellness. For centuries, bodies of water have been recorded to possess healing properties, in both a spiritual and medicinal sense.
With the pandemic waging on, wellness vacations and healing holidays are on everyone’s minds. The trend is proving to be big as borders open up and people become comfortable with travelling again.
If you’re looking to centre yourself, unwind and find healing on your next vacation, visiting these healing waters may be exactly what your mind, body and soul are searching for.
Healing waters across the globe:
The Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea, landlocked between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest point on the planet, at 400 meters below sea level. Lauded for its health-giving powers, in addition to being breathtakingly picturesque, people travel from all across the globe to experience all it has to offer.
Floating in its waters to exfoliating the skin on your body, it offers relief from ailments like psoriasis and eczema. The website, Dead Sea Spa Care boasts that the dry air in the region does not sustain bothersome levels of pollen and is mostly pollution-free, which is supposedly why the location has the ability to treat asthma and other ailments too.
If you’re seeking some sunshine, the Dead Sea has another incredible feature - the evaporation layer above the water, the ozone layer, and an extra atmospheric layer filter damaging UV radiation.
Therefore, visitors are able to absorb the therapeutic effects of vitamin D without sun damage.
Ganges River, India
In Hindu scriptures, this transboundary river of Asia flows through India and Bangladesh, is referred to as a goddess, with references to the extraordinary healing ability of its water. Bathing in the river on particular days, according to Hindu belief, forgives misdeeds and aids in salvation.
According to National Geographic, Hindus from all over the country travel to Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges, to spread the ashes of their loved ones, believing that the river will carry their souls to paradise and help be set free from the cycle of reincarnation.
Travel Awaits shared that each morning, visitors can witness the devoted take spiritual baths in the river, and in the evening, priests perform the famed Aarti ceremony (which includes burning lamps and chanting). If you want, you can also release an offering of floating flowers and candles into the river for your own natural healing.
Kusatsu Onsen, Japan
Kusatsu not only has natural, hot spring water rushing out, but the ambience is just as delightful for tourists to experience with its rustic charm.
Kusatsu has been providing guests with therapeutic waters since the Edo period. The secret to Kusatsu Onsen's sterilising powers is its strong acidity.
Its dedicated website shared, “Experiments have proven e-coli bacteria cannot survive for even one minute in Kusatsu's spring waters, and virtually all other bacteria and fungi are unable to proliferate and soon die.” This is why these waters are reputed to have beneficial, therapeutic effects.
Healing Hole, Bahamas
Hidden in the west coast mangroves of East Bimini is the Healing Hole. This freshwater pond is exclusively reachable by boat, according to the Bahamas website. Its waters are filtered down beneath the mangrove swamps' saltwater.
Because of the therapeutic properties recorded by individuals who have swum in it, it is known as the Healing Hole.
The Healing Hole is a chilly spring of freshwater hidden in the mangroves along the coast, with many believing that it has actual and mythological healing properties.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath, Hungary
Budapest's Széchenyi Medicinal Bath is Europe's largest medicinal bath. Its water comes from two thermal springs with temperatures of 74°C and 77°C. For the average local, National Geographic states that soaking in the warm mineral waters is part of a balanced life in Hungary.
The thermal springs, which bubble up from deep beneath the earth, are rich in vitamins and minerals like zinc, calcium, and magnesium, which are believed to have calming and soothing effects on the mind and body. Soaking in these waters relieves painful muscles, improves circulation, and reduces inflammation.
A place of architectural beauty, Eminence Certified Organic Spa says, “Since its construction in 1901-1913, the complex has received many upgrades, all the while preserving the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance architecture of the original bath palace.”
Turkey is a country that is blessed with abundance when it comes to hot springs and healing waters, since it boasts so many natural treasures.
Thanks to its more than 1 000 springs, Turkey has become one of the leading countries in wellness tourism. With its water temperature fixed at 36 degrees Celsius regardless of the season, the pool offers its visitors a soothing dip into its pools that melt away their worries.
However, the AA website claims they can do more than that, “It is believed to have healing benefits for cardiovascular diseases, rheumatism, skin and nerve diseases as well as intestinal disorders if it is drunk.
Saratoga Springs, New York
Doctors have prescribed "drinking the waters" to treat anything from hangovers to cancer, diabetes, and malaria over the years.
The Saratoga website details how it has evolved into a resort town, catering to the demands and whims of visitors seeking the healing benefits of the springs. “It became a thriving spa, where people came for "the cure," which involved drinking a prescribed amount of various mineral waters, taking hydrotherapy treatments or mineral baths, and walking in the clean, fresh air,” they said.