December 25, 2009 09:39
The thought of a bath in hot springs is especially tempting in cold weather. Their water contains various minerals conducive to bodies as they penetrate the skin and relieve aches and pains.
The widespread belief is that water over 42 degrees Celsius is better, but to relieve fatigue it is actually better when water is only just above the body temperature, at about 38 degrees.
Chang Tae-soo of CHA Medical University said, "Hot spring water around body temperature stimulates the parasympathetic nerve, expands peripheral veins, lessens pressure on the heart, and decreases blood pressure." Water above 42 degrees, meanwhile, stimulates the sympathetic nerve and contracts veins.
Spending more than 20 minutes at a time in hot water is not a good idea. Soaking in water for too long slackens skin tissue, excessively expands veins, and disturbs blood circulation.
Cho Sun-hwa, an oriental medicine doctor, said, "The ideal temperature and bathing in hot springs depend on physical constitution." Cold baths stimulates circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid, and general metabolism.
Starting with cold water and ending with cold water helps your skin stay tight and lifted, and strengthen veins. But cold baths can be dangerous for people with cardiovascular diseases, so those with weak hearts or high blood pressure had better soak their bodies only below the waist.
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