2019.02.19- Thermal water is not only for the elderly, young people get attracted to it too!

2019.02.19- Thermal water is not only for the elderly, young people get attracted to it too!

Thermal water is not only for the elderly, young people get attracted to it too!

There was a time when the majority of visitors of baths were old people who wanted to heal. This fact wasn’t quite obvious even back in the old days and fortunately it is getting less and less true nowadays. What can a thermal bath offer to younger, healthy people?

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In 1565, when Arslan, the Pasha of Buda ordered building the bath we know as Király Bath today, his main intention was probably not the fact that it would be fantastic to soak his old, tired body or even his rheumatic limbs in healing thermal water. It is safe to claim that he probably wanted to enjoy the bath before retirement, as bathing has great traditions in Turkey. The bath is the place for getting refreshed, for bathing and for regeneration, no one should go there only after becoming ill. Beyond physical blessings, our minds and spirits get recharged in the water, our tired minds loosen up a little after a stressful day. Important philosophical or everyday questions can be answered in warm steam where no one is in a hurry, everyone has the time to discuss these questions in peace, and nobody speaks in a loud voice in the discrete semi-darkness, since the bath is not the perfect place for gossiping and overheated political debates. We don’t need to dig into the Middle Ages for examples to illustrate the social role of baths, since for example according to an urban legend, Lukács Bath was the place where the intellectuals of Budapest shared not only their thoughts, but also information and news which were nowhere to be found in the newspapers because of the censorship of the regime. 

Unfortunately Arslan Pasha didn’t live long enough to benefit from the healing aspect of his thermal bath, because the Sultan had him executed due to his military failures, so the bath’s building was completed by Sokoli Mustapha and therefore he was the one who could relieve stress for the first time in the thermal water springing to the surface from the mountains of Buda. 

We can’t deny the fact that baths have always been ideal places for meeting new people. Nowadays strict rules of behaviour limit this role of the bath, since it isn’t very decent to approach someone intrusively when they are underdressed and due to this a bit vulnerable; however, there was a time when such behaviour was completely normal, furthermore baths were usually scandalous places due to the brothels located inside them. In Japan this scandalous part was carried out more elegantly, that is why this type of Turkish bath, which is a combination of a bath and a brothel (called Toruko-buro) still exists in Japanese culture.

Bath

Taking into consideration the fact the average age of bath visitors is getting lower, the question arises: ‘Why is it recommended to visit thermal baths even in a younger age, when healing isn’t the main cause?’

1) Relieving stress

Modern urban life puts our nervous systems to the test many times. We must meet several expectations, and a huge amount of information flows through our minds, which are tiring to process. The calm atmosphere of the thermal bath helps in regenerating our nervous systems.

2) Strengthening the immune system

Especially in the winter, our immune systems face challenges, since several pathogens are attacking our bodies, and our systems of defence – weakened by the cold – could give up the fight. The sauna section of baths can be the solution for our cooled down bodies, to get through these rough times. It isn’t by accident that saunas are very popular in the northern parts of the world.

3) Physical exercise

Thermal baths usually have swimming pools too or even a whole aqua park. Visiting these places frequently is a great experience for children, especially in the cold winter days when they run around a bit less, but it is also recommend to adults to swim regularly, since swimming is a sport which doesn’t burden the ligaments, the joints and the spine, but it increases one’s stamina, improves the circulation of the blood, and burns extra calories. What is more, after a long swim it is an amazing feeling to chill out in the sauna or in the warm thermal pool.

4) Preventing illnesses

Thermal waters contain a huge dose of minerals, which can be absorbed by our skin, this is why thermal water plays an important role in maintaining the right amount of minerals in our bodies. It isn’t necessary for us to know which micro-element we need if we give regular occasions for minerals to get absorbed, our bodies will take care of absorbing the right amount of everything. One of these important elements is sulphur, which can be found in Hungarian thermal waters in a significant amount very often, and not only rheumatic joints can use this element, but the bones and the skin of healthy people too.

5) Having fun

Aqua parks aren’t only fun because of the steep slides, but also because most thermal baths form part of our culture, and when someone visits one and sinks into the hot water they become part of this heritage to a certain extent: by admiring the mosaics, tiles and arches they can philosophise about the many famous writers, poets, actors, politicians and inventors who took a bath there, while coming up with brilliant ideas. Just imagine how many talented people will get inspiration the same way with the help of the energy coming from below!

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