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Can Japanese Toji Water Therapy Help You Live Longer?

A doctor breaks down the benefits of this soothing practice.

Most people dream of living a long, healthy, and happy life. Several factors can contribute to longevity, including family history, wellness practices, physical activity, a healthy diet, and overall lifestyle habits. Japanese Toji water therapy, for instance, could be an extraordinary addition to your self-care routine.

What is Toji water therapy? This traditional bathing practice, also known as "onsen," has been enjoyed for centuries in Japan. The method involves relaxing and soaking in a hot spring to obtain a variety of healing benefits.

We chatted with a medical professional to learn how this "fountain of youth" can help extend your lifespan, and are here to share the news.

What are the benefits of Toji water therapy?

woman in hot springs spa

According to Dr. Shivani Amin, a functional medicine physician based in Los Angeles, there is much goodness to enjoy by incorporating Toji water therapy into your regular routine.

The first benefit is relaxation. Dr. Amin tells us, "The warm waters of onsens relax the muscles, reduce stress, and can help promote better sleep." Healthy skin is another advantage of this therapeutic activity, as the water you soak in is typically rich in minerals. "Water cleanses and rejuvenates the skin, improving its texture and overall health," Dr. Amin adds.

Toji water therapy can boost your heart health as well. "The heat from the water improves blood circulation, which is essential for detoxification and nutrient distribution throughout the body," explains Dr. Amin.

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In addition, research shows that bathing in hot springs, or "hot-spa bathing" can be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. According to a 2023 study published in Heliyon, individuals in Japan who engaged in hot-spa bathing experienced a positive impact on their overall mental health and well-being.

More research found that, for individuals requiring health assistance in their daily care, practicing hot spring-like bathing at home can be incredibly beneficial in improving their overall care, which in turn can prevent or prolong "long-term care" and deterioration.

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How can Toji water therapy help extend your life?

As you may have put together, all of these amazing benefits of Toji water therapy can help lengthen your lifespan.

"It reduces stress levels, supports heart health, and boosts overall well-being," explains Dr. Amin. "Most importantly, the reduction in chronic stress and improved circulatory health can potentially extend [your] life and health span."

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How often should you engage in warm water therapy?

woman soaking in hot water therapy bath

If you're ready to jump into a hot spring or practice warm water therapy, you may be wondering how often you should do it to soak up its benefits.

Dr. Amin tells us, "Engaging in onsen therapy once a week would be beneficial. Much like with other wellness practices, consistency is key to experiencing its therapeutic effects, including stress relief and improved cardiovascular health. I will note, however, that more scientific research is still needed to understand Toji water therapy's full impact on the body."

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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