The pursuit of rejuvenating the mind, body, and spirit is still very much alive in Manitou Springs’ culture today as it has been for hundreds of years. Manitou boasts amazing beauty and abundant natural resources. American Indians regard this valley as sacred, and thus historically, a place of neutrality where all in search of physical relief are welcome. In the late 1800s, European and American visitors arrived in hopes of finding a cure in the dry mountain air and the mineral spring water.
This photo shows a masseuse giving a massage, the price for which was $2.00. The steel cabinets on the right were electric sweat boxes which produced a dry heat; the patient sat on a seat inside with their head through the hole on top. — Dr. L. L. Williams Collection
In the early 20th century bathhouses were constructed, and Manitou Springs was soon regarded as a resort and healing destination. Patrons could be treated to a massage, an electric sweat box, and a soak in the mineral water tubs. Digesting the spring water as an elixir was also a part of a physician-attended regime. While many sought the waters for healing, others simply enjoyed the taste and partook as a preventive measure. A stroll around town and up Ruxton Avenue was commonplace and gathering around the numerous springs became a social affair.
Mineral water health treatments that were once highly touted fell short to new medical technologies. During the 1930s in the United States, pharmaceuticals gained in popularity as a antidote for treating illness. In Manitou, springs were capped, bathhouses burned down or were destroyed, and the town changed focus to adventure and travel tourism. With the reintroduction in 2015 of a new spa establishment utilizing the 7 Minute Spring mineral water, Manitou Springs is once again a destination full of history, culture, and healing.
Soaking in mineral water is ideal for clearing skin conditions, eliminating toxins, and sweat-therapy. When soaking in warm-to-hot water, the body temperature rises and promotes the flow of oxygen into the body’s circulatory system, which leads to faster healing and infection prevention. Other benefits include muscle relaxation and joint therapy similar to but a more complete therapy than soaking in Epsom salt. Various minerals found in these waters bring about a general sense of calmness and well-being; these same minerals have several healing qualities, whether taken internally or through soaking, and provide maximum health benefits.
Soaking in Hot Mineral Water -So What!
What is not so commonly known, is that minerals are easily absorbed through the skin. In fact, many minerals are absorbed much more quickly and effectively through the skin than the digestive system. Our bodies are highly intelligent, they know what they need. When we soak in mineral water, a process happens called "homeostasis" or a balancing within and without of minerals passing directly through the skin. Add this benefit to that of stress release caused by heat alone, and we have the reason humans across the world have been traveling to soak in hot mineral water since the beginning of time. — Kathleen Morrow R.P.P.,L.M.T