Monday, February 22, 2010

How to Refresh and Revitalize Yourself in a Thermal Bath

Paipa Thermal Mineral Water Therapeutic Center

Healing Treatments from Hot Spring Mineral Waters

My shoulder was still killing me. After weeks of therapy sessions with a physical therapist, and injections by a sports medicine specialist physician, my left rotator cuff was still bothering me. My wife Doris strained a muscle in her back from a minor fall and I limped slightly from a bruised right heel. In such a state as we were, the three and a half hour trip from Bogota to Paipa was a no brainer. Why? It’s because of the well-known thermal baths and therapeutic mineral treatment center located in this tiny town in Boyaca.

Pool Hydro-Massage

The first stop in the six-phase, hydro-therapy treatment sequence has you in an algae rich therapeutic pool where two steps occur. One is to have a jet stream of water cascade down on you from above. The thermally warmed powerful flow gives a deep tissue and muscle massage to your head, neck, shoulders, upper back and arms as you position yourself beneath it, There were twelve of us in the pool so we alternated between the overhead cascade and the second stop of the sequence which also takes place in this pool, a hydo-massage jet stream below the surface at navel level or below depending on your height and standing position. This lower, under water powerful stream effectively ripples your lumbar region, kidney area, spinal column muscles, abdomen and gluts.


A too short forty minutes later we were beckoned out of the green waters and led to a Jacuzzi room with two pools bubbling to a froth for the third of our six water therapy sessions. The water is quite hot but pleasant to most. Again we split up into two groups. One set gets the Jacuzzis, while the others head for the hydro bubble beds situated next to the Jacuzzis with their neck deep water. The water is pretty hot so you’ll need to go to the cool down shower on one side of the room a couple of times during this session, our therapeutic treatment guide advises. Our treatment schedule allows for twenty minutes here. At the end of this time we are to switch to the next twenty minute phase, the hydro-bubble beds.

Hydro-Bubble Bed

Have you ever been in a Jacuzzi lying down Thus begins our forth therapeutic session. The concave cement hydro bubble bed requires you to lie down, first face up while jets of warm water and bubbles shoot up along your spine, legs, back and shoulders through openings in the pebble surfaced bed. The water here is decided cooler than that of the Jacuzzi although still on the warm side of the temperature scale. I liked the hot Jacuzzi waters better, but am soon lulled into a blissful state by the bubbling streams gently pounding my back from head to toe. Turn over face down for some time too our guides voices cautions during the session. I flip over so my front can also get done, but soon decide I much prefer the effect on my back. A couple of minutes or so later I roll back over face up again and remain so the rest of the session which ends with a time to move to the sauna from our treatment guide.


A Thanksgiving turkey must start off feeling like this I think to myself after seating myself on a wood bench at the far end of the wood lined sauna. The wooden slat lined walls are too hot for me to rest my back against at first. Soon, as planned, sweat begins to flow and our group glistens in the dim glow of heated rocks near the front wall of the room. We all fit comfortably enough into the room. One teen girl plays a guess who game with her parents while we sweat out a horde of toxins form our pollution stressed skin and systems. My wife Doris has a tendency towards high blood pressure so she pops out for regular cool off showers in an adjacent room. The cooler outside air is noticeable each time someone opts out of the steaming room. “Is it a politician?” “Is it a singer?” “No” “Is it a famous person?” “Yes.” It’s an athlete the girl coaches, “that should help you some”. It didn’t help me, my brain doesn’t work well at these temperatures, I decide. The game continues with an elderly man joining in. “Is it a Colombian?”, the mother asks. “Yes” “It’s a famous soccer player like Pembele.” Everyone breaks up in laughter. All the adults are well aware that Pembele was a boxer, not a soccer player. But then you knew that too, didn’t you? Doris heads for the cool off shower for the third time and a drink of cool, natural spring water available near each station, while I stick it out in the sauna.

Lodoterapia - Mineral Mud Therapy

For our last session we’ll head for the “lodo” (mud) therapy area states our guide from outside the opened sauna room door. Many of the ladies have been waiting for this one. Mineral-laden mud from the nearby swamp has been prepared as a skin treatment pack. This particular treatment has some distinctive benefits that include:

1. Peeling off of dead skin cells
2. Stimulation of the circulation
3. Providing essential nutrients to the skin
4. Aids in fortifying muscles and skin tone
5. The act of vigorously rubbing on the mud aids in soothing sore muscle areas

Here’s where some more fun begins, Upon entering the mud treatment room we are each given a wooden tray of the rich black mud to spread all over our (or someone else’s) body. So, each of us in turn, sets to work smearing the slick mud onto our skin. Soon we re all the same tribe or a t least we look to be as everyone is now covered with a thick coating of fine textured mud with sandy grains mixed into it to help its dead skin removal properties. I’ve never been so black in my life. Let it dry, then, rinse it off in the shower over there. As the inky colored body mask dries you can feel your skin tightening. When dried, the mud takes on a gray hue. The whole process takes fifteen minutes or so including drying time. Large mirrors are hung on the walls so you can see your smeared self. Most of the ladies actively indulged in this rare type of mud gazing. The aroma wasn’t at all unpleasant and I didn’t taste the mud, especially after seeing the face of one woman who did. Her expression convinced me alright.

Hydro Acupuncture Showers

The showers were another unique point of the hydro therapy treatments. They feature seven multi-stream shower heads which spray you from the front, back and above all at the same time. Hot water came from one side and above while cooler water pummeled your front from chest to knees. Actually the experience was quite pleasant and in a fit of hedonism I asked my wife, is anyone else waiting to get in. Her “No” response meant that I could sneak an extra few minutes in the hydro acupuncture showers as they were called. Man was it great.

The Paipa Thermal Mineral Water Therapeutic Center is open seven days a week from about 6 am to around 9 pm. In addition to their popular hydro therapy treatment the center also offers full or partial body massages and there are three thermal pools adjacent to the therapy center facilities. Whatever ails you, you’ll get relief and a relaxed session to calm your stress and frazzled nerves to aid in the healing process at a thermal spa of your choice, wherever you may live.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 135 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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