What is the Soaking Life?
The soaking life unfolds at the steamy place where health and hedonism meet. Our mission statement is pretty laid-back: we believe that the pleasures of soaking in a geothermal bath are only rivaled by the health benefits that these minerals provide, and we’d like to share our experiences, photos and musings about the soaking life with you. Here you’ll find reviews of hot springs, mostly in the Southwestern U.S., which is the center of our loosely organized operations. You may also come across articles about the health benefits of soaking, which range from easing the pain of arthritis to softening skin and speeding metabolism. Above all, we believe that frequent soaking, known in medical circles as balneotherapy, makes life longer, less stressful and more enjoyable.
Where is the Soaking Life?
For us, it’s in Southern Colorado. The state of Colorado has 47 geothermal hot springs. Fortunately, we live only about 75 miles north of New Mexico, which offers even more soaking opportunities. We’ve visited one hot spring in Wyoming, and in 2009, we had the opportunity to visit hot springs spas in Budapest, Hungary. We are always looking for the opportunity to have new soaking adventures.
For you, the soaking life could be in an onsen in Japan, a geothermal pool in Nevada, a mountain hot spring in Idaho or a lava pool in Iceland. It could be in a jacuzzi, an urban bathhouse or your very own bathtub. Soaking is a pleasure that even the most virtuous Type A stress junkie can enjoy, because it’s also nourishing to the heart, joints, muscles and internal organs, which means that a long soak over the weekend might very well turn you into a monster of productivity on Monday. This form of therapy isn’t sanctioned by the medical system in the United States, but in Hungary, spa treatments are covered under medical insurance with a doctor’s prescription.
Who Writes This Blog, and Don’t You Have a Real Job?
Unfortunately, I can’t spend all my time soaking in geothermal water; I’d shrivel up, pass out and fall behind on my mortgage payments. In fact, I don’t get out to soak nearly as much as I’d like. I’m a registered nurse and a freelance writer specializing in health and nutrition topics. My experience with the American health care system made me a firm believer in natural therapies. In 2008 I became interested in, then mildly obsessed with, balneotherapy after visiting Indian Hot Springs with my favorite soaking partner, Eric, a photographer. We live together in rural Southern Colorado, in a solar-powered house at the foot of the Blanca Massif, about 15 miles from the nearest hot spring.
Is Balneotherapy Right for Me?
According to the healing traditions of many cultures, including contemporary Western medicine, soaking in warm or hot mineralized water can offer a wealth of benefits, from easing joint pain and soothing skin disorders to promoting healthy metabolic function and calming the mind. However, only you and your health-care provider can determine whether balneotherapy is safe or beneficial for you. While we hope you’ll find our articles and photos helpful and inspiring, the information on our site is not intended to replace a medical professional’s advice. We do not recommend that anyone use balneotherapy to self-treat any medical condition. Please talk with your health-care provider to develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs.
With all that stuff out of the way, we hope you enjoy “the soaking life” as much as we do!
~ Anne Tourney
Photo by Anne Tourney, copyright 2011