Heaven is a Hot Spring, Healing through Balneotherapy

In Blog by Trisha McBride

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There is nothing more healing than a clean, clear, mineral infused hot spring, Photo by  Mr. Justin Time at  Tabacon  La Fortuna, Costa Rica 2016.

 

Healing … everybody needs it.  Delving into several different kinds of therapy over the years, I have personally found that it is a good idea to not stop hunting until you find what is going to work for you.  Test everything, question everything and especially EVERYONE. Then when you think you have it dialed, open another door and shut a few behind you.  Healing is a journey and it can be the most epic voyage if you allow it. Feeling good is KEY and the best way to kick in the self-healing process is a happy and engaged body and mind.

I’m excited to share with you the types of therapies that have saved me from deep depression, anxiety, and a desire to leave my body. Movement therapy, especially through yoga and dance, are two of my favorite varieties… hence my career path as a yoga and dance instructor. Outside the studio, my love is strong for balneotherapy, because it is simply one type of therapy that ANYONE and EVERYONE can get into.  Not everyone is going to go to yoga, or take a dance class, but I have yet to meet a person who does not enjoy sitting in a warm natural hot spring.  I am sure you are out there somewhere grumpy pants, let us not cross paths!

Stemming from the Greek root balnae, meaning bath. Balneotherapy is the belief that soaking in hot waters packed with naturally occurring minerals, such as sulfur, iodine, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, lithium and trace arsenic and can impart deep medicinal benefits.  Those of you that are hot spring junkies like myself can attest to the mega-benefits of this awesome therapy.  Applying natural spring made muds and clays on the skin, which pull toxins and other impurities out of the body is also under the umbrella of balneotherapy (and feels oh-so-good from the inside out), as is the practice of Watsu, or massage and assisted stretching in chest deep water. This is such a beautiful practice to share with your friends in the pools. Alternating between hot and cold water in specific bathing intervals is also an intensely healing practice of balneotherapy. All of these practices lead to deep relaxation, muscle and joint repair and most importantly, stress relief.  Stress is TOXIC to our cells and our psyche, and it is important to shed it continually for a more balanced healthy existence.

My idea of heaven is a mineral hot spring, a place where I can truly unwind and let go of somatic and emotional tension. Nothing helps me slip into a meditative state and start to drop the weight of the world from my shoulder faster than being immersed peacefully in warm, healing waters.  My thoughts slow down and my body can finally surrender to the loving support of the earth and water, priceless.

The following are  some of my favorite hot + cold spring spots.  I hope this list of amazing spots will inspire you to take time out of your busy schedule to seek out some of these natural springs.  You deserve to relax, repair and restore in the ever-healing waters that our beautiful mother earth offers. I am looking forward to discovering more.

 

#8 Crystal Hot Springs Utah

Nestled in the hills of Honeyville, Utah, are the incredibly healing Crystal Hot Springs.  The pools in this locally frequented, public gem contains the HIGHEST mineral content in THE WORLD.  Yup, it’s true! After soaking in the stuff for a few hours you can feel the incredible difference inside and out. I recommend going on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds. Cost is $7- I recommend getting a pass and going all winter long.  Car pool with some buddies and get your feel good on.

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#7Mystic Hot Springs, Monroe Utah

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This place, OH MY… for years people have been telling me, “go to Mystic ”  I’ve always over looked it.  Something about the idea of renting a hippie bus and sitting in bath tubs that other people have been sitting in turned me off… honestly grossed me out.   I FINALY made it there in this past summer of ’16, thanks to James Hardy and the Gobeldy Goup crew (Thanks, guys! Xoxo).  I could not believe I had waited that long to get my lily-white ass in those tubs.  Never again will I roll my eyes at the ideas of setting in the bath tubs of Mystic Hot Springs.  The water is continually flowing from the springs, across hot rocks and down into the tubs, so it’s as if you are stepping into a fresh bath every single time.  The water is amazing, but it is the quirky Grateful Dead hippie vibe that is the real attraction … so damn cute! I am excited to go again.

 

#6 The “Secret Hot Spring” Monroe, Utah

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Right around the corner from Mystic Hot Springs is an EPIC little spot, with no name and is completely open to the public.  The best part? its FREE !!  I will do my best to recall how to find it, thanks to mountain loving man who shared directions to this spot with hot spring huntin’ me.

To access this little gem, you will need a vehicle some with some ground clearance, like a jeep, van, or Subaru outback. Right before the turn to mystic hot springs,  take a left on 300 N.  (heading east).  Go to the end of the road (which will turn into a dirt road). Stay on the main dirt road and take your SECOND left, this will lead you right to the hot spring.  You can see the orange – red mineral mound from afar … ENJOY!

BIG THANKS to whomever built this place, it is soooo good.  Go on, get naked!! No one is around, and the best way to enjoy the healing power of balneotherapy is in your birthday suit!  I will definitely be back.  We had the place to ourselves and I had the chance to enjoy the porch swing after soaking.  You will find a few more amnesties surrounding the springs.  There are two BBQ’s and a place to hang your clothes. You will want to bring charcoal if you are going BBQ and your own wood, of course.  Be sure to bring in a garbage bag to haul out your trash, you know the drill … pack in, pack out, with much respect to the land.

This place is absolutely amazing.  The water was cooler than mystic and much better to relax in on a hot day. If you find yourself heading to Mystic …

I would highly recommend going to both.  They are so close to each other, why visit one, when you can visit both?!unnamed-13

The orange-red color of the rock is a dead  give away to the rich mineral content of these pools. A true phenomenal way to detox while laughing and taking in the big blue sky.  Earth RULES, she’s has provided all the best ways to heal form the inside out. I LOVED this little secret spot.  I wanted to roll around in the red stuff all day.  PRO TIP *Take some chlorella and eat some cilantro, to assist in pulling the heavy metals out of your body.  This will maximize the detoxing effects of the pools and you will feel like you are walking around in a new space suit once you are finished.

 

 

 

 

#5 Diamond Fork Hot Springs, Spanish Fork Utah

One of my favorite places on earth, this is a very interesting hot spring spot.  Be sure to approach these pools with great respect.  I would advise going to these hot springs during the day.

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I have had some extremely intense paranormal experiences on my way down the two-mile trail from Diamond Fork Hot Springs in the dark.  Be sure you stay safe and be very respectful of this trail.  I received great advice from a trusted spiritual councilor about leaving an offering before heading up the trail. I will always leave an offering before hiking up, I would very much advise this.  After you’ve show respect, HAVE FUN!  There are some great rocks to nestle into and drape your body over.  This is a great advantage for phenomenal restorative benefits while soaking in the springs. The posture I am in on the left is helping me correct my upper body posture by using gravity to guide my shoulder onto my back, while opening my heart. Much like in restorative yoga, I am not holding myself up in this posture at all.  The key is to find complete surrender in restorative postures, and let gravity work for you.  Just be sure your body says “yes” to the posture.   BREATHE DEEEEP the more oxygen in your loving lungs the better.  While you are there be sure to dig in the mud by the waterfall and cover yourself in it.  It is PACKED with the good stuff to pull out the heavy metals in your body.

 

#4 Lava Hot Springs Idaho  & The New Moon Women’s Weekend Retreat at this epic hot spring

The perfect getaway about 2 hours from Salt Lake.

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Because this spot lands my #3 (and it is not out of the country) I have decided to hold quarterly New Moon Women’s Retreats in Lava Hot Springs.   This retreat is designed to reawaken the magic in your life.  Women are givers, healer and nurturers by nature.  We gather to support each other and honor our transitions.  Using the energy of the new moon, our practices consists of restorative and vinyasa yoga, several deep hip opening workshops and pranayama.  Belly dance is a big part of this practice as well, moving stagnation out of the body is essential. Hence the focus on shimmies.  Most importantly, the ceremonial fires of the new moon are where we transmute the blockages. To top it off, this retreat is Catered by Tamara Smith and her DIVINE vegan cuisine.

unnamed-5The second New Moon Retreat will be held on Friday, February  24th – 26th  2017 –  For more info and to sign up for this this retreat, follow this link New Moon Women’s Retreat … this particular retreat is *ALMSOT SOLD OUT*      Because I have such a passion about what mineral pools can do as far as healing the human body, I am more than thrilled to return to Lava for the second women’s retreat in the cold of winter. I believe that hot springs and ritual and are so very vital to our personal healing.  When we can deeply connect to nature, to ourselves and to others, we are truly living well.

 

 

#3 The secret clay pool near Goblin Valley

Diving into the cool clay pool after hiking in the hot sun for several hours was a real treat. The view was breath taking .  It was well worth the excursion in the heat.  I am trying my best to remember the name of this spot.  I was asked not to disclose this location, but I am going to anyway.  It is so far off the grid that only the real died hards are going to seek it so stay tuned and check back for more info.  I will find its name and location and post it as soon as I gather it.  Fresh cool clay on your hot skin, EATH RULES.

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One of my favorite features of this spot was this giant rock.   It held a lot of heat and healing.  A stone bed per say that immediately grounded us, a GIANT Grandfather hug.

 

#2 Baldi, La Fortuna Costa Rica

Check out what I would call, “The Disney Land of Hot Springs.” It’s literally a playground of pools, slides and attraction comprised of 25 different hot springs, resting just underneath the now sleeping Arenal volcano.  La Fortuna is completely alive with the best vibe, a little hip, a little raw and really BOOMING with that glorious Pele chi.   The town of La Fortuna is really thankful for all the tourism that comes through it, so dive in.  Keep their little town booming GO PLAY!!

As soon as we got in the pools, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there was that much spring water pouring out of the earth from the volcano.  I was in disbelief for about three hours.  Desperately trying to make sense of just what in the hell was going on … literally, it was blowing my doors clean off.   It finally started to sink in … places like this exist on this planet and they are just waiting for us to play in them !!! WTF.  It will take you two days to discover all of the different pools, and you have to dig deep so you don’t miss the hidden steam room in a make shift dark cavern!!  It is in the carved out man made steam room where the hottest pool resides. The extreme 120 degrees to be exact, couldn’t do it.

I loved watching the few adults at the resort (we basically had the place to ourselves) turn into little kids plashing around and rolling down the extreme water slides.  Baldi turned it to 11, my mind was completely blown and my body so deeply relaxed. The next day I decided to brave the “kiddy water slide” OH MY GOD!  Kiddy nothing. We climbed up a giant structure and as soon as we got to the top I realized just how F*^$ed I was.  I peeled down my sunglasses and turned over my shoulder to look at my boyfriend with terrified eyes, there was no way I was climbing down those stairs like a coward.  I put on my big girl pants and climbed into the smallest darkest tube (made for small people) gained enough speed with my adult body, I felt as if I was shot out of a cannon. Spit out into a giant water bowl like a massive human gumball.  I had zero control because I was being propelled at such a high speed so I rounded the water bowl and fell out of the bottom of the “kiddy” ride finally.  I felt as if I was literally was reborn back into a separate matrix. No, I was not on drugs, this waterslide was no joke.  Now I know why this place is such an attraction, “extreme waterslide” are not legal in America! and for good reason, LOVED IT.

 

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#1 Tabacon, La Fortuna Costa Rica  aka Heaven on Earth

I can’t say enough about this place.  It is my #1 hot spring destination I have been to on this planet, to date.  Mind BLOWN, jaw dropped, spectrum expanded. A god honest serious slice of Nirvana.  If you, by chance find yourself in Costa Rica, do yourself a serious favor and take time out to make it to this most insane destination spot.   Heaven is truly is a hot spring.   The money you spend, you can make again.  It is the experience of this place that you can’t always have.  I spent one night in heaven and I felt like I shot myself in the foot. I recommend spending at least three nights if not more, so you don’t cry when you leave.  Before we arrived to this unbelievable heaven on earth I was really in disbelief that another hot spring spot could trump Baldi.  Yea, I was wrong … there is no place like Tabacon, Dorothy had no idea.  I wandered around in heaven for one full day and it was breath taking.  A never ending maze of natural river beds, meets volcanic hot springs, which has cultivated into a breathtaking zen garden. Enough said, you have to go.  If you are a guest of the hotel, you get a hall pass to the creme de la creme of river beds. From there you are at the source of the water and there is nothing like it I have ever seen.   I have no more words, you simply must experience this place for yourself.

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