The History Of Hot Spring Bathing

Throughout history people have appreciated the relaxing and rejuvenating powers of a hot bath. Inevitably, as any culture reaches sufficient sophistication and gentility, cleanliness becomes powerfully associated with virtue, domestic sobriety and even piety in many cases. All of the great societies throughout history embraced bathing as a ritual for relaxation, renewal, and socialization in one way or another.

So it is no great surprise that wherever geological conditions are right, people have capitalized on the natural resource of hot springs for their ability to provide reliable, hot, clean, and mineral rich waters. These have been used throughout history and all over the world to produce bath houses which are enjoyed as much today as they have been since the dawn of known history.

2000 B.C. - Egypt

The ancient Egyptians were a very sophisticated people who made bathing a pervasive part of their lives with the wealthiest among them bathing up to four times a day. They were innovators in the combination of essential oils and aromatherapy with their hot mineral baths.

1500 B.C. - Greece

The ancient Greeks enjoyed the hot waters provided to them by volcanic springs, first carving out cavities of stone before building elaborate bath houses where they developed their philosophy of dialogues.

200 B.C. - Rome

Possibly the most famous bathhouses in history, the Roman bath houses were centers of culture and a place where leaders and politicians collaborated. In some cases they were the scenes of legendary festivity and debauchery.

759 A.D. - Japan

Known in Japan as the Onsen, hot spring baths have been a part of Japanese culture for over 1000 years. They have used traditional ofuro, a personal wooden bath for personal use to include use in cleansing and meditation since time immemorial.

1700 – Native Americans

Native American long houses have been a part of traditional spiritual rituals for native Americans for thousands of years. These structures were filled with steam using heated rocks and water, but tribal people would incorporate hot spring water wherever they could find it.

1880 to Today

Of course, we modern westerners enjoy our baths just as much as people all throughout history. Today, hot spring bathing is still known and appreciated for its cleansing and recuperative abilities.

Get in touch to learn more about this ancient practice, and enjoy the benefits of hot spring bathing.