20 Apr Wellness Benefits of Soaking in Colorado Hot Springs
Learn the benefits of soaking in pure mineral hot springs water and how to design a European-style wellness retreat.
Resident wellness expert and an Iron Mountain Hot Springs owner Mogli Cooper grew up in Lucerne, Switzerland, where “kurorts,” curative destinations centered around hot springs are considered as essential to maintaining health as going to the doctor for regular checkups. “Wellness, and in particular hydrotherapy, is part of the culture in Europe; it’s central to maintaining vibrancy and vitality over a lifetime,” she said. “It’s not unusual for my family members who still live there to go for a week of wellness in Austria or Germany.”
While Americans certainly appreciate the sensory pleasure of soaking in hot springs, many are just beginning to understand how the mineral content of the water supports health. “Our hot springs is high in iron and sulfate, both of which are remedial for skin issues and stomach disorders,” explained Cooper. “I would suggest basing hydrotherapy treatments on ailments you are experiencing.” Mineral content at Colorado hot springs varies widely by region. If you are seeking relief from a certain symptom, psoriasis for example, do some research to find out about the mineral benefits at a particular hot springs resort.
If at all possible, Cooper also advises soaking in hot springs where the mineral water is untreated. “It’s rare to find springs that don’t use chlorine to some degree, but as you would expect, in addition to absorbing the health-supporting minerals, the body also absorbs the chemicals which may not be something you want.” The water at Iron Mountain Hot Springs is 100 percent pure. From the source springs, the water passes through a sand filtration system before it enters the pools. Each of the 16 pools is filled and discharged independently, with the water completely changing over every two hours.
Cooper is particularly keen to talk about how guests can create their own European-style wellness retreat at Colorado hot springs resorts. “This kind of regimen is very similar to what you would experience overseas,” she said.
- Arrive early in the morning; it’s the least crowded and most peaceful time of day.
- Before entering the pools, thoroughly rinse your body so it is free of lotions and oils. This step ensures that your skin is properly prepared to absorb the healing minerals.
- Take the waters in 15-minute increments.
- For maximum benefit, utilize all the pools. The temperatures vary from 98°F to 108°F. The contrasting temperatures help to stimulate the circulatory, digestive, lymphatic, respiratory and nervous systems.
- Take a fresh air break. Go for hike or just a gentle stroll, preferably in a natural setting. “This is a very important step. It opens the mind, opens the heart and by breathing deeply it brings oxygen to the brain,” said Cooper. Ideas for local hikes include walking the Red Mountain/Jeanne Golay Trail, meandering along the Rio Grande Trail, heading out to Glenwood Canyon for a moderate hike up Grizzly Creek, or if pressed for time just circumnavigating nearby Two Rivers Park. For re-entry to Iron Mountain Hot Springs, simply present your receipt to the attendant.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during soaking and activity.
- Return for an afternoon or evening of hot springs immersion. “Don’t plan to do anything intense afterwards though,” Cooper emphasized, “at the end of a day of soaking, you will walk out like a noodle – very relaxed.”
- Enjoy the special therapeutic pools: The bottoms of the Lapis and Topaz pools are strewn with river pebbles. Walk back and forth on them for a do-it-yourself reflexology treatment. The Motherlode pool is the hottest of the 16; a cascading waterfall spills over into the Moonstone pool. Sit under it for an aqua-massage of the head, neck and shoulders.
“Europeans have used hydrotherapy as part of preventative care for hundreds of years, and now Americans are catching on to its health benefits,” said Cooper. “The most important thing for physical and mental wellness though is to listen to your body. It will tell you when it is stressed and when it needs to eat a piece of cheese.”
Find out more about the health benefits of soaking in Colorado hot springs at www.ironmountainhotsprings.com.