They exist in every country and have for centuries offered healing and calming benefits to those who immerse in them – geothermal springs.
But as our high-stress, cyber-driven society becomes increasingly frenetic, awareness of their therapeutic powers has faded at a time when we need them most.
Australian Charles Davidson is campaigning through his role as co-ordinator of the Hot Spring Forums held at each the Global Spa and Wellness Summit (GSWS) in Marrakech, Morocco this week and the Australasian Spa Association (ASpa, of which he is vice chair) conference in Melbourne, October 26-28, to raise greater awareness of this dynamic power that lies beneath our feet.
Also co-founder and director of Victoria’s award-winning Peninsula Hot Springs destination spa (pictured above), Charles wants to see the subject brought to the surface as a major business opportunity with profound benefits for clients.
‘One of hot springs’ primary benefits is in helping with stress management and thereby countering the potential stress has for causing ill health (both mental and physical) and accelerated ageing,’ he says.
‘Traditionally through history people have understood the wonders of lying in hot pools. Our society seems to have lost touch with this concept when these are times we really we need it the most.’
Keynote speakers at the ASpa Hot Springs Forum will be three elders sharing their cultures’ generational knowledge:
‘ Dean Ah Chee, Wati, Traditional Man, senior ranger for Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation, (IAC) and ranger for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia. Dean works in South Australia’s Witjira National Park, where he is a traditional owner.
‘ Her Worship the Mayor of Rotorua, Hon Steve Chadwick. The New Zealand city is world-renowned for its Maori culture, geothermal and spa heritage and for
its forests and lakes. Steve is driving an ambitious program to ensure Rotorua reclaims its status as a world-leading health spa, resort and recreation centre.
‘ Dr Richard Louis Miller, an American clinical psychologist and owner of California’s Wilbur Hot Springs Health Sanctuary.
‘The origins of the whole spa industry is in thermal waters,’ Charles says. ‘Reconnecting with this natural force – and getting people disconnected from machines for periods of time – will help bring them back to earth for the benefit of their health and happiness.
‘Over time we will be talking to government bodies about enlisting their help in drawing attention to hot spring as important wellness tourism destinations.’
For more information and to register for the ASpa conference visit http://wired.ivvy.com/event/9Z6PWL/