There are thousands of onsens (natural hot water springs) throughout the volcanically active country of Japan. These onsens have frequently been used to heal the body of injury and illness. Submerging oneself in an onsen (these baths can produce a heat between 39 – 43 degrees celsius) for approximately 10-20 mins can:
- Produce a warming effect on the body that increases blood circulation (increased venous return, increased central blood volume, increased cardiac output, increased stroke volume)
- Assist in recovery from exercise
- Decrease muscle spasms/guarding
- Decreases tone
- Increase a persons pain threshold
- Decrease sensation
- Most importantly promotes an increased sense of relaxation.
If you are traveling throughout Japan this winter, then onsens are great for post skiing, snowboarding or hiking recovery, and your body will thank you for it. Please note that like with all heat modalities, use with caution, especially for those people with peripheral vascular disease, high bloody pressure or sensory loss. Those with cuts or abrasions should also avoid onsens as well, because with such an acute injury, you want to prevent the exacerbation of inflammation.
If you would like to find out more, do not hesitate to get in touch.