10 Healing Spots Around the World

From Hot Springs to Salt Flats

1/11 ● Travel and Leisure
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The Dead Sea, Israel

Besides being absolutely breathtaking, this landlocked salt lake has long been touted for its health-giving properties.



Photo: ITAMAR GRINBERG/ISRAEL MINISTRY OF TOURISM.

From slathering the black mud over your skin for exfoliation and alleviating skin conditions like psoriasis, to its professed natural power to remedy asthma, arthritis, osteoporosis, and other issues, the body of water also boasts a low content of pollen and other allergens.

Another unique feature? At 400 meters below sea level, harmful UV rays are filtered through an evaporation layer above the Dead Sea, the ozone layer, and an extra atmospheric layer.

This is said to mean that sunbathers can absorb the beneficial effects of vitamin D from the sun's rays, without risk of sunburn and ensuing skin damage.

Yakushima Island, Japan

This special mountainous rainforest region that covers one-fifth of the island is a popular "power spot" in Japan



Photo: KAGOSHIMA PREFECTURE VISITORS BUREAU.

If forest bathing is good for the soul, then being one with nature under the watchful shade of trees from time immemorial must really supercharge your cells.

This special mountainous rainforest region that covers one-fifth of the island is a popular "power spot" in Japan, celebrated by the Japanese for its healing ability.

At the UNESCO World Heritage Site — 35 miles south of the southernmost tip of Kyushu Island — each peak is worshipped as the home to gods, and there are many holy shrines around the island.

A giant cedar tree known as Jōmon Sugi, which scientists estimate to be between 2,000 and 7,200 years old resides here and is said to be the single oldest tree on the island.

Jōmon Sugi, and a slew of millennia-old trees, are also reported to have remedial properties.

The Healing Hole, Bimini, The Bahamas

A freshwater pond unlike any other, and accessible only by boat, this tranquil space is situated in East Bimini.



Photo: THE BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM, INVESTMENTS & AVI.

The cold channel of freshwater that swirls together with warm saltwater outside the Bahamian mangroves is purported by some to be quite the panacea.

It's no easy feat to find this mineral-rich nostrum on your own, so hire a guide in a shallow boat to lead the way to salvation.

And it's worth noting that neurophysiology researcher Dr. Richard Wingate tested the Healing Hole's composition, finding that it contains high levels of lithium, sulfur, and magnesium.

Lithium is used to treat mood disorders, magnesium is used to help muscle function and energy production, and sulfur is necessary for your body to function, which makes the Healing Hole a triple wellness threat.

Taos, New Mexico

It's apparent status as the only hot springs in the world with four different types of sulfur-free mineral waters, including iron, arsenic, soda, and lithium.



Getting us to a health resort isn't a tough sell — especially when it's got natural mineral springs bursting with healthful properties.

At Taos's Ojo Caliente, one of the oldest health resorts in America, you can take in the craggy desert cliffs and Cottonwood-studded bosque (a type of forest in the Southwestern United States), between dips in the mud, arsenic, or Kiva pools, each touting their own healing properties and aura.

Salt Flats, Jan Thiel, Curaçao

The moment you arrive at this Dutch-Caribbean island, the spiritual hum is practically palpable.



Photo: CURAÇAO TOURIST BOARD.

Yes, the wild flamingos are a sight to behold, but they don't hold a candle to the transformation alleged to take place at these storied salt flats.

Guests will find that it's almost impossible to sink to the bottom of these natural mineral pools (much like the Dead Sea) due to the high mineral concentration and rejoice in these invigorating waters on the Eastern end of the island.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Visitors have come to Saratoga Springs to "take the cure" since the 1700s.



Photo: SARATOGA COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.

Geyser Island Spouter? Hayes Well Spring? Charlie Spring? There are so many mineral waters to see in this ever-charming town named after its famed spring waters.

In Saratoga Spa State Park, bike or walk your way around the verdant acres to sample the many springs, which contain iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and more.

Spotted Lake, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Each circle or "spot" in the water is alleged to have its own set of medicinal and healing properties



The town of Osoyoos is home to the mineral-rich Spotted Lake, which is known to the First Nations People of the Osoyoos area as Kliluk, a sacred spot that's been used for healing for centuries.

The shimmering, shifting blue-green-yellow lake is simply otherworldly (the spotted surface changes in the hot, summer months as the minerals in the water evaporate).

Ibusuki Sand Bath, Kagoshima, Japan

What's a sand bath, you ask? Kagoshima Prefecture's Ibusuki sand bath onsen is the only natural sand bath in the world.



Photo: KYUSHU TOURISM PROMOTION ORGANIZATION.

On this idyllic strip of Ibusuki's coastline, people from Japan and beyond have traveled for more than 300 years to lie in a shallow hole on the beach.

Since volcanic hot springs line the shore, the sand is warmed to a toasty 122-131°F.

This unique style of TLC has some science backing it up. The Faculty of Medicine department at Kagoshima University have found that these sand baths improve blood circulation and decrease bodily inflammation.

No wonder so many locals visit regularly for a Japanese-style sauna treatment. We're feeling refreshed just reading about it.

Niagara Falls, New York

It's believed that waterfalls are a natural source of negative ions



Photo: NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF PARKS.

As anyone who has visited these towering falls can attest to, the views are stop-you-in-your-tracks spectacular.

But did you know that it's believed that waterfalls are a natural source of negative ions, and Niagara Falls is considered one of the world's largest sources? For those who aren't well-versed in their earthly particles, negative ions are molecules in the air charged with electricity that may have positive physiological effects on mood and stress levels.

Translation: the cascading avalanche of water at Niagara Falls releases negative ions into the air, and perhaps a feel-good feeling into your heart and soul.

Lithia Fountain, Ashland, Oregon

You'll find a fountain filled with Lithia water, named for the natural lithium oxide deposits in the spring.



Photo: LITHIA SPRINGS RESORT & WINE GARDEN.

Journey to Lithia Park, nestled along Ashland Creek in Southern Oregon, and you'll find a fountain filled with Lithia water, named for the natural lithium oxide deposits in the spring.

These waters have been revered as health-supportive since the late 19th century, and in 1911, Ashland personnel discovered it was situated next to the second most lithium-loaded spring water.

Officials decided to pipe the spring water into town with a multi-spouted drinking fountain near the city center.

Since 1982, it's been designated a landmark by the American Water Works Association.

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