January 14th, 2015

What is Balneotherapy?

Every time you immerse yourself in the thermal mineral waters at Glenwood Hot Springs, whether you are aware of it or not, you are partaking in the ancient practice known as balneotherapy. That is, using the minerals in thermal springs to improve health and wellness primarily through soaking, steaming and inhalation. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine, cited as long ago as 500 B.C. by Hipprocrates, the “father of modern medicine.” 


In Europe and Asia balneotherapy is a medical specialty taught through the rheumatology department at medical schools. Doctors there prescribe balneotherapy for a variety of conditions that include arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, skin disorders and depression, just to name just a few. Soaking and breathing in the vapors of mineral springs helps to revitalize the skin, calm nerves, detoxify the body and refresh oxygen levels. In the U.S. the practice of balneotherapy diminished in the 1930s, but it is experiencing a resurgence as more people seek out and embrace healing alternatives. 

There are 15 naturally occurring minerals in the Glenwood Hot Springs, all originating from the Yampah Spring, the name of the source spring, which happens to mean “Big Medicine” in the Ute language. The nomadic Ute Indians were the first known people to use the spring for its healing qualities. 

Soaking in the therapy pool at Glenwood Hot Springs is the most popular way for visitors to engage in this age-old healing tradition, but even if you’re playing with the kids or swimming laps in the big pool, you’ll still get all the curative benefits of balneotherapy. 

Plan Your Stay

Lodge Reservations: 800-537-7946 (SWIM) · Spa: 877-947-3331 · Pool: 970-947-2955 · Athletic Club: 970-947-2953 · Sport Shop: 970-947-2940

Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge: 415 East 6th Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Spa of the Rockies: 401 North River Street Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 · 877-947-3331