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Monthly Archives: January 2014

  • Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs

    Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs photo by Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons

    The inspiration for the hot tub is undoubtedly the natural hot spring. From time immemorial mankind has been soaking in hot springs for pleasure, for good health, and for religious reasons. It's no wonder that so many people want one located just outside their back door.

    What, Exactly, is a Hot Spring?

    Hot springs are created when geothermally heated groundwater seeps up from the Earth's crust. Geothermal heat is heat from the Earth's mantle: in general, the temperature of rocks in the earth increases the deeper you go. In non-volcanic areas, if water is deep enough in the crust it becomes heated by the rocks. Any that seeps up to the surface creates a hot spring. In volcanic areas, water may be heated when it comes into contact with molten rock. If it boils and builds up steam pressure, it erupts at the surface and we called it a geyser.

    What's So Hot About Hot Springs?

    Besides the obvious benefits for relaxation and cleanliness, people around the world and throughout history have believed that bathing in hot springs has therapeutic benefits. Here are just a few:

    • Blood circulation and cell oxygenation is increased, which helps dissolve and eliminate toxins from the body.
    • The body's temperature is increased, killing germs and viruses on and in the body.
    • Bathing repeatedly over a period of 3-4 weeks can normalize endocrine gland functions and autonomic nervous system function.
    • It increases metabolism and stimulates secretions in the intestinal tract and liver, which aids digestion.
    • It increases oxygen-rich blood flow throughout the body, which improves nourishment to vital organs and tissues.
    • Mineral springs have high amounts of negative ions, which encourage feelings of well-being physically and psychologically.
    • The body absorbs trace amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, lithium, sulfure, magnesium, and calcium. This provides healing to various organs, stimulates and enhances the immune system, encourages physical and mental relaxation, produces endorphins, and normalizes gland functions.
    • It improves joint mobility.
    • It can improve quality of sleep and can reduce incidents of insomnia.
    • It can lower blood pressure.
    • If the water is mineralized (especially if with sulfur), it can improve the effects of skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and fungal infections.
    Hot Springs: The Original Hot Tubs
    photo by cgcolman / Pixabay

    Where Can I Find a Hot Spring?

    Hot springs can be found all over the world, but tend to be clustered around fault lines and areas of volcanic activity. For example, in the United States the majority of hot springs are located in the West. Check tourist websites for hot springs in your country. In the US, hot spring guides for every state are readily available on the Internet. Many springs are developed, while others are quite raw and natural. Some are on well-traveled tourist paths; others are only accessible to hikers.

    Some countries are famous for their hot springs, and some hot springs are more famous than others. Japan, the United States, Taiwan, and China (Pacific Rim countries) are particularly noted for their hot springs. However, some remarkable springs are located in Costa Rica, Iceland, and Iran.

    Here are a few remarkable springs:

    • Budapest, Hungary--The area under the city is rich with springs, feeding more than 50 public baths and pools, private spas, and even drinking fountains.
    • The Nine Hells of Beppu, Japan--These remarkable springs are very distinct from each other, and each has a unique name. For example, the White Pond Hell has water colored white by excess calcium. The most famous and photogenic is Blood Pond Hell, with waters colored red by ferrous minerals seeping up from the bottom of the pond.
    • Bath, England--Springs in this area of England have been in use as far back as 8000 BC. The Romans first constructed baths there in the first century.
    • Lake Hévíz, Hévíz, Hungary--This is the second largest thermal lake in the world, and it is believed that the waters of the lake are completely replenished each day.
    • Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy--This sulfurous spring features natural pools cut into the rock and a waterfall of hot water.

    Hot Spring Bathing Etiquette

    There are no firm rules on how to bathe in hot springs--they will vary greatly from area to area and by type of hot spring. Developed springs and private springs will generally have posted rules. Springs located in out-of-the way places accessible only by hikers will have no official rules, but there are still some basic manners you should practice to ensure the springs can be enjoyed by everyone.

    Some "rules" for bathing in hot springs:

    • Follow any posted rules.
    • Shower prior to entering the spring. This helps maintain the cleanliness of the water.
    • Do not use springs during your menstrual cycle.
    • Do not soak for too long--about 30 minutes is a good limit. This ensures you do not become faint and risk injury or death. At smaller springs, it also ensures that everyone gets time in the spring. It's also advisable not to soak more than 3 times a day.
    • Avoid bathing 30 minutes prior to eating and for 1 hour after eating.
    • Before entering the water, test the temperature with a finger or toe to ensure it is not too hot. People have died from accidentally or purposefully entering boiling springs.
    • Hydrate before and after bathing. Sports drinks or water are best.
    • Do not drink alcohol while bathing! This can lead to injury or death.
    • Do not allow pets to enter the hot springs. This is for the safety of the animal, as well as to keep the spring clean.
    • If sharing a spring with others, refrain from too much conversation so everyone can relax.
    • Be aware of clothing rules for the particular spring--some springs require nudity, others require bathing suits. For secluded springs in the wilderness, use your own discretion based on likely traffic in the area and your own comfort.
    • Speaking of clothing, if wearing a suit be aware that any detergents used to clean the suit will transfer to the spring water. It's a good idea to have a suit specifically for the spring that has only been rinsed in water and not washed with soap. Simply wring out and air dry when finished.
    • Pregnant women and individuals should not use hot springs.
    • Avoid getting spring water in your eyes, nose, or mouth (unless it is a spring specifically designated for drinking). Many types of organisms survive in the hot waters and can cause diseases such as meningitis and Legionnaires' if they enter the body.
    • If at a spring in a remote location, set up your camp at least 200 feet away to avoid contaminating the water.
    • Avoid engaging in adult situations in the hot spring. This is for the comfort of other bathers, to maintain spring cleanliness, and to avoid becoming infected with any viruses or bacteria living in the water.

    The Original Hot Tubbers photo by Yosemite / Wikimedia

    Share Your Hot Spring Experiences!

    Do you visit hot springs? Tell us your favorite bathing spots! Did using natural hot springs inspire you to purchase a hot tub? Share your hot spring stories with us in the comments below!

     

  • Moving Your Hot Tub

    Maybe you're moving into a new home and you want to relocate your hot tub with the rest of your belongings. Maybe you need to move the hot tub so you can build a deck, or move it to a better spot. Maybe you want to remove it from your property completely. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself wanting/needing to move your hot tub, but how the heck do you do it? Moving your hot tub can be a daunting task!

    Short Answer: Don't.

    In a nutshell: hire a professional.

    Seriously. A hot tub is big, heavy, and expensive. It's possible to move it on your own, but the best idea really is to have a professional do the moving for you. They will have the equipment and the experience to relocate the tub quickly and safely. To find a professional, contact a professional moving company and make sure they have experience specifically with hot tubs. Or, contact a local hot tub retailer. Chances are they will either offer tub moving services or will be able to recommend a mover to you.

    But I Really Want to Do it Myself

    All right, you have your heart set on doing the move yourself. The first thing you are going to need is a bunch of friends, and they should be big, strong friends. You will also need several furniture dollies or splurge and rent a hot tub dolly. You'll also need a trailer or truck for transporting the tub. Once you have all the necessary equipment (including the friends!), you are ready to begin:

    1. Drain the tub completely and clean it out.
    2. Pack all the hot tub accessories securely and separately from the hot tub. Accessories include all the various cords and tubes, the heater, pumps, etc.
    3. Disconnect any sources of water, electricity or gas.
    4. With your helpers, very carefully stand the hot tub on its side.
    5. Slide 2x4s under one half of hot tub so you can slide the furniture dollies under each corner. The flat side of the dollies should be under the tub, not the wheel side.
    6. Firmly strap the tub to the dollies.
    7. Move the tub. If you are loading it into a truck and transporting it, be sure to firmly tie down the tub to the truck. Also make sure your helpers don't disappear--you'll need them to unload the tub!

    It wouldn't hurt to watch this video before moving the tub, to see how the pros do it:

     Or Just Buy a Portable Tub to Start With

    Even easier than moving a hot tub? Moving a portable hot tub. There are lots of models of portable hot tubs available, and they are a breeze to set up and break down. Here are a few we carry:

    Alpine Inflatable

     

  • January Hot Tub News Roundup

    This time of year, soaking in a hot tub is more popular than ever. That means there is no shortage of hot tub news for us to gather up for your enjoyment.

    Hot Tub Illnesses in Winter

    The Huffington Post wants to remind everyone that with increased use of hot tubs in the winter comes increased chance of picking up an illness. This is also true of waking up, breathing air, and eating food, but it's still good to be aware. The high temperature of a hot tub can make it difficult to keep disinfectant levels as high as they need to be. The most common illness linked to improperly chlorinated hot tubs is the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or "hot tub rash". It presents as an ear infection or a skin rash that takes the shape of the swimsuit the person was wearing, because the fabric held the contaminated water close to the skin. As always, keep a clean hot tub, rinse off before and after using the hot tub, and be sure to contact us at info@spasandstuff.com if you have questions about cleaning products.

    Man Found Dead in Hotel Hot Tub

    A man was found dead in a hot tub at the Ramada Inn in Lexington, Kentucky. The cause of death was determined to be drowning. It has been deemed an accident, although authorities have not yet determined what caused the 52-year-old man to drown. It is always advisable to hot tub with a buddy, especially if you are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, or fainting.

    On the topic of hot tubbing with buddies ...

    Eagles Fans Tailgate in a Hot Tub

    Eagles fans tailgate in a hot tub (South Jersey Times photo | TIM HAWK)

    Somehow these Eagles fans set up a four-person hot tub outside the stadium where their beloved team faced off against the New Orleans Saints. How they filled it and powered it is unknown, but you've got to hand it to them for tailgating in style.

    Burglary Suspects Hide in Hot Tub

    Two men suspected of robbing two different homes were found hiding from police in a hot tub. It turns out this is not a great hiding spot when the temperatures are  is sub-zero. After being arrested, one of the men was transported to a hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

    But wait! Everyone's hiding in hot tubs, and this next guy is a doozy ...

    Man Found Hiding in a Hot Tub with a Machete

    A man was found hiding in a hot tub and wielding a machete after allegedly committing a series of bizarre crimes in Salem, Oregon. Apparently the man crashed a U-Haul, set a house on fire with gasoline, set a lawn mower on fire, robbed a different home of frozen elk meat, and then hid in the hot tub. Somewhere along the way he picked up the machete. After his arrest, he proceeded to kick the roof of the squad car, resulting in $1000 in damage. Police are unaware of the motive for these crimes at this time.

    Hot Tub and Couch Found Dumped on Pawnee Grasslands

    hot tub and couch dumped on pawnee grasslands

    A hot tub was dumped on public Pawnee grasslands and then, a few weeks later, a couch was also dumped. Pawnee National Grasslands officials are looking for the culprit or culprits, as dumping on the lands is a crime. "Each time crimes like this occur, tax dollars must be spent correcting the situation instead of those dollars being spent on the management of Grassland resources," the officials said. If you have any questions about how to properly dispose of your hot tub, please feel free to contact us at info@spasandstuff.com and we can direct you to the proper resources.

    Do you have any hot tub news happening in your area? Send us your stories and we'll include them in our next roundup!

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