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Mud Baths, Thermal Springs and the quest for tranquility.

Mud Bath vs. Mudslinging

Slapping mud all over your body, including your face, seems foolish, at best childish. Mudslinging, however, is commonplace amongst politicians who betray no visible signs of fatigue or shame excoriating their opponents with insults and accusations in the absence of effective arguments and rhetoric. Although mudslinging is counterproductive in general, there are odd occasions when the outcome engenders a national debate resulting in policy changes or awakens the government machinery towards socio-economic matters that benefit the people of a nation as an unintended consequence. A Mud-bath is the polar opposite of mudslinging, highly benevolent in its disposition; endowed with therapeutic benefits which are known to detoxify and alleviate a multitude of physical and skin ailments, not to forget the compulsory exfoliation resulting in a soothing smooth skin texture—a prospect worth the trouble.

Mud Bath vs. Thermal Springs

Unlike the straightforward geothermal spring (hot springs)bathing where bathers must simply soak themselves in a pool of natural hot water imbued with minerals , which has been turned into a standard routine by the Japanese macaques (snow monkeys) during winters in the Jigokudani (an epithetical name for the region, which means and translates as “hells valley” due to the hot springs found in this area)mountains since 1963, the mud bath process is a little more elaborate and involves mud application by either entering a mud-pool and helping yourself or having your entire body covered in mud by attendants depending on the standard arrangement offered by the chosen location. A patient waiting is required for the settled layer of coat to dry to the point of developing cracks on its surface indicative of the signal for the much awaited wash under either under an overhead shower in the open or other available alternatives.

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The promise of travel approves a visit to bathing sites

Surely the question concerning the best place to visit for both mud baths and thermal springs by now has entered the minds of our dear readers.

If such facilities were available next door then a look of skepticism may trigger into action shooting the suggestion as nothing more than a piquant nostrum, but the moment its location turns out to be far away and exotic do we begin to concede the possibility of such treatments being a panacea and above all we wish they turn into one, for such is the power of wanderlust!.

Turkey and Jordan: Mud baths combined with Thermal Springs

Overdue vacations can always be combined with a thermal retreat by picking destinations that are endowed with natural thermal springs such as Turkey, Jordan or even Italy where according to legend a duel between Jupiter and Saturn resulted in a hot spring bursting forth when one of Jupiter’s strikes hit the earth, hence the springs acquired the name Saturine. Hot springs also known as Geo-Thermal springs have been revered in Greek culture; a thriving bathing culture flourished in Rome and has been integral in subsequent dominant cultures across the world. The Ottoman Empire, apart from being a dominant force in Eurasia during the medieval ages, was famous for its Turkish bath called the “Hammam” which is the equivalent of the Roman “Thermae”. In its modern incarnation Turkey has retained vestiges of old Roman architecture in the town of Hierapolis besides which a huge reservoir of hot-spring pools, visited in large numbers by those in search of cure for skin and a variety of ailments for more than a millennia, command visual attention for their limestone residue stretching over the periphery of the pools and their immediate landscape casting an illusionary impression of a snow or cotton covered landscape hence called Pamukkale in the local vernacular meaning “cotton basket” has attracted global attention and listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

Turkey Bath

While in Turkey don’t miss the opportunity to jump into the mud-bath near the Dalyan river, a treat not be missed, always filled with tourists from world over, of which those who able to withstand the stench of rotten eggs venture into a nearby sulphur pool, which is also believed to be very therapeutic, is reviewed favourably by a lot of travel bloggers. Not very far from Turkey lies a salt lake known as the “Dead Sea” landlocked between Jordan and Israel and Palestine, its shores are a major tourist attraction for its clement weather and mineral rich mud that is highly sought after for its curative properties and is exported world over. Jordan in particular would be a good option to exercise as it also home to the famous Ma’in Hot Springs which are about 6 kilometers away from the Dead Sea mud bath treatment facilities.

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A Bath to travel for

The travel bug by now may have sunk its fangs well past your epidermis depositing the serum of sweet temptation that could set you off to the tipping point of beyond return, comparable to the Romans in their conquest of Hungary.

It is believed that a partial reason behind the Roman conquest of the Hungarian land was its thermal springs including the Moor mud from this region which has come in vogue recently, the ruins of their bathing complexes in Budapest do seem to be in agreement with the idea, the culture of bathing was lost for a while but was revived under the Ottoman regime with a significant flourish that sparkles to this day earning Budapest the “City of Baths” sobriquet, not to be confused with the City of Bath in Somerset which shares the same founding ancestry and purpose: spas built by the Romans centered around the city’s thermal springs. A global heritage site, permanently inscribed in the works of Dickens, Dahl, and Austen; Bath offers local gastronomy unique to its residents along with theater and many cultural acts as side-dish to the bathing culture it has revived in urbane Britain as the sole location for natural spring spas easily accessible to everyone in Britain. If for some reason you are unable to make the journey to this fabulous city then try visiting your local spa where mineral rich mud treatment can be availed along with a spring water bath.

Somerset Baths

A mud bath and a mineral bath can also be made possible within the confines of your bathroom by ordering enough mud packs to coat your entire body, alternatively soaking your body in a tub full of water mixed with Epsom salts or Moor mud would prove equally gratifying, without the risk of clogging your drainage pipes as the moor peat easily soluble.

Bathing Expectations?

Most situations in our fast paced world engender stress-ridden lifestyles that produce a negative impact on our nervous systems which is turn affects our physical and mental well being. There are a multitude of claims made by proponents of hot springs and mud baths and many of them well may be true but if we were to view them with a great deal of skepticism and suspicion as many of us may not be in as precarious a position as the legendary Prince Bladud following the sagacious pig as narrated by Dickens, covering himself in mud to find the magical cure. We may in the least experience as many have a calm descend upon us as the warm layer of mud covers us with affection from all the worries that have been hunting us and caused us to become weary, the spring waters may wash away our anxieties as we simply lay down in their bosom. Our bodies are our vehicles and are essentially the link to our mind and by treating them with warmth we are as a result nourishing our minds in equal measure!

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