21 Days – Pelican Spa, Soak #15

Posted on April 29, 2013 in
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Pelican Spa – Yellow Bath

At Pelican Spa, baths are reserved for lodging guests only, who have free access during office hours (generally from 9am-10pm during the week, and from 10:30am-11pm on holidays and weekends).

Pelican has upwards of 25 colorful rooms (emphasis on “colorful” — take a look at their website and you’ll see what I mean!) spread across at least 3 properties in town, so there’s almost always availability if you’re looking for lodging.

The five private bathing rooms are located at the Pelican Spa “proper” on Pershing.  Pelican’s concrete baths (with a bit of tile) are industrial feeling and roomy and the bathing enclosures are as colorful as the lodging rooms.

Pelican SpaThe largest bath at Pelican holds several people comfortably. I’m flying solo so I grab a single — the yellow!!! one — and get going.

Observation I’ve made a few times since starting the 21 days: lying still while floating in mineral water, my right shoulder drops like a rock. Could knotted muscles & tender nerves be heavier? No vast improvement in the shoulder area, even after 2 weeks.

I entertain myself by testing this theory over and over in the Pelican bath, which is big enough to float in unencumbered by steps and ledges and such. Float…list…thunk.

Time for a segue, and to learn more about that word I’ve started hearing (and using) more and more: balneology.

According to the website of the Balneology Association of America, balneology is “the scientific research and therapeutic practice of using mineral and thermal mineral waters as well as natural gases and peliods (muds) through bathing, steaming, drinking and inhalation.”

Well, can’t say I’ve been drinking my bath water…

But, back to minerals.

Experts in Balneology and proponents of the health benefits of geothermal water believe we absorb about 10% of the minerals we’re soaking in. The sodium magnesium in our water is very much like Epsom Salts.

So I’m getting Epsom Salts plus 36 other minerals. Or do, I only get 3.7 minerals (10%), and if so, do I get to choose which ones? Or perhaps the algorithm for deriving the 10% is something like 10% of the area of skin surface in square inches multiplied by the number of minutes spent in water. Seems like water temperature would also play a part since hotter water theoretically opens your pores, right? This could make for some great contemplation for many soaks to come. I’m forgetting about work already…

Mineral Content in the Hot Springs of Truth or Consequences
Artesian Well Analysis determined by the Los Alamos National Laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, from samples taken May 31, 1987.

…and thinking about what a friend told me about Epsom Salts. She read online about how it cures many things, and decided she needed to try it. Seriously, check out the benefits (brought to you by a salt-selling company. Well then, take it with a grain.) But this friend actually had to scale back on the Epsom Salts because she was becoming too relaxed.

Let’s also explore this other idea that gets thrown out in discussions about T or C’s water – that it is inherently cleansing. As in, having antiseptic qualities. Why, the baths darned near clean themselves. (Just kidding, I didn’t really hear that.) The chloride is said to play a part in this miracle, and the sodium too.

I suck at chemistry, and at smelling, and don’t really have a way of testing these things, so I decide to ask a local about her experience. To be more specific, I ask a highly allergic local about her experience. I figure she’d be first to notice if there was anything “funky” going on.

I’d learned a while back that she was a hot springs enthusiast, and was fascinated, given her extreme sensitivity to mold and other toxins. She’s had to move a few times in the few years I’ve known her, just to escape mold.

Last time I caught up with her, she was recovering from another toxic disaster – after purchasing a new heater for her newly built mold-free home, it was turned on and effectively blasted mold spores into every corner of her previously safe environment. She had to evacuate and sleep in her car for weeks, until the house could be cleared of the problem.

But – she soaks!

In her words:

“I have an environmental illness, and exposures frequently lead to burning skin. The hot springs help me in a variety of ways. They totally clean my skin and hair of all burning sensation, in ways that regular showering does not touch.

The deep penetrating heat of the waters helps with de-tox better than sauna.

Sauna is recommended by many doctors for de-tox, but if you are not wiping the skin clean, the toxins may soak right back into the skin. In a hot springs bath, the toxins sweat out, and are washed from the skin and neutralized by the salts in the water.

The hot water is also very calming for Central Nervous System hits, and inflamed joints.”

So take it from the most allergic person I know: T or C’s hot springs are not just cleansing, they’re allergy-safe.

(A new mineral analysis should be published soon, according to my Riverbend source.)

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