Most commonly known as Hot Springs, Onsens are the Japanese equivalent which includes the bathing facilities and Inns which are situated around them. Given Japan is a volcanically active country, there are thousands scattered throughout all of the major islands.
It is the richness of the minerals in these Onsens and their benefits on the body and mind that have seen the Japanese partaking in the ritual and indulgence of an Onsen for thousands of years. Combined with body scrubs and other spa rituals, they certainly knew how to take care of themselves.
By thoroughly warming up the core of your body and enveloping yourself in the blissful waters of an Onsen, you are indulging your body in 4 main elements.
The Mineral Effect:
With a combination of minerals like magnesium, calcium, sodium bicarbonate and many more, these nourishing ingredients penetrate into the body and work to relieve symptoms of some common ailments, like arthritis. The relaxing effect of negative ions assists in soothing muscle pain, joint pain and general fatigue.
When taking an Onsen, the large amounts of sodium chloride components cover the body like a veil and bring about a moisturising effect to assist in more youthful skin and the treatment of some skin issues such as abrasions and eczema.
The Thermal Effect:
By warming your body in an Onsen, your blood circulation improves and metabolism increases. Both of these effects work to bring about a more invigorated look and feel to ones body and mind.
The Buoyancy and Pressure effect:
The simple act of submerging yourself into the body of water, like an Onsen, brings immediate relief from the effects of gravity. The body instantly feels lighter, the muscles loosen and release tension leading to an almost immediate feeling of relaxation.
Also when submerged, water pressure causes the blood vessels to narrow pushing blood towards the heart improving the circulation around the body, especially to the legs resulting in increased efficiency of the lymphatic system.
The Change of Environment Effect:
When we take ourselves away from our common surroundings, we release our minds from the usual triggers of stress and pressure. Most Onsen are located in serene and beautifully picturesque places in nature surrounded by lush forests and rocky outcrops allowing you to feel like you have truly escaped to paradise. Gazing at the sky or the sea, hearing the gentle murmuring of a river, these kinds of scenes are far away from the usual bustling activity of towns and cities, and are catalysts for relieving stress, and mental fatigue.
So, while we can’t all hop on a plane and escape to Japan, there are ways to take from the many cultures before us who knew the myriad benefits of an Onsen and recreate these benefits in your own home with these simple steps.
- Make the water in your bath warm, but not too hot. Bathwater that is too hot will close up your pores and spoil the mineral effect
- Add some minerals. Specialty and natural health retailers carry a variety of mineral bath products. Be sure that the products contain natural mineral ingredients such as calcium, potassium and magnesium and that no synthetic or toxic ingredients are used.
- Add essential oils.
- Keep the lighting low, candle light is perfect.
- Have soft fluffy towels ready for after your bath.
Soak in the hot water for 20-45 minutes and repeat as often as you can.
Apsu has been inspired by these ancient bathing rituals and created our range of products to assist you in creating your own Onsen experience at home.
From our aptly named Onsen Candle to create your relaxed lighting and fill your senses, to our range of bath bombs, scrubs and lotions, we’ve got all you need to create your own bathing ritual at home.