Oil and Water

Soaps make great souvenirs

Oil and Water

Your plan for natural health can include hot springs, essential oils.

Hot springs soaking can be part of your larger strategy to achieve better physical, mental and emotional health naturally. The health benefits of soaking, such as its impact on sleep, stress, anxiety, depression and quality of life, have also been demonstrated in scientific studies of essential oils such as lavender, vanilla, rose, geranium, jasmine, sandalwood and citrus.

A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicinein 2014, concluded: “Inhalation of essential oils may be considered for people with mild sleep disturbances.” The authors, who examined 15 studies including 11 randomized controlled trials between 1990 and 2010, said lavender was the most common oil used. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing found that shift nurses who used essential oils had better quality of sleep than a control group. A 2017 study found that lavender essential oil, blended essential oils and acupuncture massage all improved the quality of sleep and quality of life for groups of career women compared to a control group, with the blended oils providing the most improvement.

A 2016 review of 12 studies on the effects of aromatherapy on menopausal symptoms, perceived stress, and depression in middle-aged women found some evidence that the treatment is effective. A 2011 review of 16 studies about the effects of aromatherapy on anxiety concluded that “aromatherapy could be applied as a complementary therapy for people with anxiety symptoms.” More broadly, a 2014 randomized and controlled study of older adults concluded: “The aromatherapy programme can be an effective tool to reduce pain, depression, anxiety,and stress levels among community-dwelling older adults.”

A soak at Iron Mountain Hot Springs can help you achieve your natural health goals. You can even take home our mineral water-infused soap—in lemongrass rosemary, citrus mint, oatmeal shea, eucalyptus and peppermint —to continue the benefits along with your other activities. As the Romans said, Salute per aqua—“health through water.”

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.

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