Whether it’s urban bathhouses featuring hydro-thermal experiences (like saunas, steam rooms and pools) or open-space public parks where nature meets art and wellness, there’s a great revival happening in cities around the globe. Let's find out why historical bathing culture is back and what we can expect from this upgraded and ever-growing wellness trend.
When we think of bathhouses, it's not hard to instantly be transported back to ancient Rome or think of the countless architectural landmarks in Budapest, also known as the city of baths. Bathhouses and public playgrounds are some of the latest trending wellness trends and are set to continue to expand through 2025 according to the 2022 Wellness Trends report from Global Wellness Summit, a comprehensive report that reveals what consumers are demanding from the future of wellness.
Offering open-to-the-public and accessible wellness, these public offerings deliver a range of benefits and make ‘wellness breaks’ more affordable, welcoming and inclusive. We’re not surprised by its significant growth, with thermal and mineral springs highly sought after, with population density one of the main reasons why this wellness trend will be here to stay.
So what can we expect from bathhouses and public wellness playgrounds?
1. Accessible and open to the public: free wellbeing
When it comes to wellness trends, it usually means exclusivity and comes with a hefty price tag. What makes this trend so unique and welcoming is the inclusivity, with most bathhouses or public playground experiences being affordable or completely free.
Some of our favourite free and open to the public wellness activities include a walk in the park, free open-air yoga, tai chi, dance classes or public art shows. There’s an abundance of options to experience locally and in your city that's good for the soul and will give you the opportunity to engage in physical activity and some rest and recovery without breaking the bank.
2. Ancient rituals for the modern being
With ancient bathing dating back to 2500 B.C, bathing became an experience and tradition that was open to all. The rich and poor would flock into the great Roman baths to cleanse and relax. Greek soldiers would take steam baths to ease aching muscles after battle.
Designed as a way to socialise, it was a way to rinse off a week’s work, with different baths that had water that were hot, warm and cold. With bathers moving from one bath to the next, they were also encouraged to exercise with the popularity travelling all over the ancient world.
Now in our modern day, urban bathhouses are still just as popular and in demand, evolving into wellness destinations such as Melbourne's Peninsula Hot Springs and Queenstown's Onsen Hot Pools, offering more modernised urban bathhouse traditions designed to transport visitors to experience the ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman traditions.
3. The power of water and heat
One of the most incredible benefits of bathhouses and bathing culture are the benefits of hot and cold therapy. A 2018 study out of Japan reported that regular submersion in 40°C water had significant benefits for helping to reduce stress, fatigue, and pain, as well as improving skin conditions.
For thousands of years, people harnessed the healing power of water and heat, with natural hot springs containing sulfur used to enhance blood circulation with hot springs water including minerals and alkalinity with a range of different attributes making each hot spring different from the rest.
4. Stronger connections
If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it was to appreciate the significance of our connections with people. It’s through this realisation that it developed the strong need for these easy to access wellness breaks, often incorporating nature and encouraging more time spent outdoors.
Whether friends, family or even strangers gathering together to experience a shared activity, socialising is one of the crucial elements to our overall health and wellness and something that bathing and outdoor wellness playgrounds facilitate in with switching off and re-c0nnection.
Even though some of these ancient wellness trends have been re-energised following the pandemic, the fact that so many people are exploring and growing to appreciate the mental and spiritual effects in connecting with nature and one another, is likely to result in more accessible and local wellness sanctuaries to continue to pop up in our residential lives.
Have you recently visited a bathhouse or are you excited to explore this new wellness trend? We would love to know your experience.
To learn more about the latest wellness trends we’re loving or to find out more about how you can incorporate Sunlighten’s Infrared sauna therapy into your wellness routine, visit our websitefor more information.