Hot Springs 101

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 April, 2005, 12:00am

Hot springs have therapeutic value. While soaking in them can be an invigorating experience, the benefits are more than psychological. ?The health benefits of hot springs are determined by both the temperature of the water and its mineral composition,? said Hao Hanlong, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University.

The water temperatures at Jiangmen?s hot springs usually range from 34 to 45 degrees Celsius, and temperatures are displayed beside each pool. As a general rule, start with cooler pools and gradually work your way up, resting for a few minutes between dips. Some people like to take a refreshing dip in cold pools between warm-water dips, but this is not recommended for those with heart conditions or weak constitutions.

Pools in the 34- to 36-degree range are both calming and relaxing. As a result, they can help induce drowsiness. While you can immerse your entire body in pools of up to 38 degrees, you should only immerse your lower body in pools in the 38- to 39-degree range. Reserve pools ranging from 40 degrees to 45 degrees for tired, aching feet.

After a couple of hours relaxing in a hot spring, have a massage or back scrub ? preferably outdoors on heated platforms. Then have a midnight snack before hitting the sack.