What is Hot Potting?
Hot potting is a therapy in which a person soaks in natural hot water springs. It is done usually to relieve stress, just like relaxing in a hot water tub.
What is Hot Springs?
Hot springs form when water after seeping deep into the earth circulates back up. The deeper the rock in the water hotter is the temperature. Water in the volcanic area is hotter as it gains heat from the hot magma.
Hot springs are popular tourist destinations all over the world and many spas are found around them.
Soaking in hot water springs is known to promote relaxation and general wellness.
Hot potting can be a dangerous practice as it can lead to serious injuries.
Is Hot Potting Safe?
Water in hot springs is higher than in other groundwater.
Warm springs and hot springs are different, but the difference cannot be told just by looking at them. Hot springs in fact look deceptively cool.
The temperature of hot spring water can be 122° or even higher. This can lead to serious burns. In some hot springs, magma superheats the water before it rises back to the surface. But, because the water is in constant circulation, it does not get hot enough to cause an eruption.
One has to be very careful while hot potting. News reports of a death in 2016 in Yellowstone of an old man looking for a place to a hot pot. He slipped into the boiling acidic water and was killed instantly.(1)
According to an associated press, 22 people have died from hot springs in the vicinity of Yellowstone National Park.(2)
Benefits of Hot Potting
Water therapy has a lot of benefits, but if talking about hot springs, things get a bit complicated. The temperature in them varies from warm to hot and also there is a difference of minerals present in them.
Some potential benefits of hot potting include:
Relaxation and Stress Reduction
Soaking in water can help in releasing stress. It helps in easing pains and aches of joints.
A reduction in stress can further improve the overall outlook and physical and mental health.
Relief in Numerous Skin Conditions
Thermal water can also help in other skin conditions such as dermatitis and collagen vascular disorders.
Improves Vascular Function
Hot water bathing helps in burning calories in people who are not able to exercise.(5)
Side Effects of Hot Potting
Hot springs around the world vary and so do their risks. There are a few factors that one should be concerned about while hot potting.
Just by looking one cannot judge the temperature of hot spring, but on touching you may end up blistering your skin in seconds.
Some springs are very hot and can cause instant burns or even death.
Some springs are hot enough to boil and shoot water as from a geyser.
Some hot springs can be acidic to an extent that they can cause severe burns in the eyes or skin.
Different microorganisms present in hot springs can lead to waterborne diseases such as infection, skin rashes, and gastrointestinal disorders.
How to Hot Pot Safely?
It is very important to be cautious while walking near a hot spring. The barriers and safety warnings should never be ignored.
Advance planning can help identify warm or hot springs that are safe to use. Few tips that can be considered while planning hot potting are:
- Never hot pot alone
- Do not submerge your head in it
- Do not swallow the water
- Soak in for a short while
- Immediately move out of the water at the first sign of illness or burning
Hot springs can be dangerous in the following conditions:
- In a person suffering from any heart illness
- Pregnant females
- Those with cuts or sores
- Those prone to slipping, fainting, or falling
- You can also consult your doctor if hot potting is safe for you or not.