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Water: The Element of Reconnection

From faraway planets in space to the smallest village on earth, we know where there is water, there is life. Since antiquity, we gather at the well, the river, the sea. We create water-based rituals to cleanse, purify, release and integrate.

Water connects. Water nourishes. Water heals.

Through prayer and dance, we beg the rains to come and bow to the power of this element. We rely on the waters to feed, fuel, transport and hold us. Our deep relationship with water unites us—not only with each other, but with ourselves and all that is alive.

Earth is 71% water. Our bodies, 60%.

Without water, we literally would not exist. The poetic and irreverent Tom Robbins even posits, “Human beings were invented by water as a device for transporting itself from one place to another.”

Perhaps this is why, when we return to water, it’s like coming home to ourselves.

This is our deep intention at Soak Boulder: to create simple, safe and sacred space for deep reconnection—centered around water, self-care and community.  

If you are enlivened and inspired to help make it happen, please reach out to connect and join our tribe!




Copper: The Magical Metal

At Soak Boulder, we provide saltwater soaking in copper tubs.

Why copper? Well, a few reasons…

  1. Its metallic properties conduct heat faster and retain heat longer than traditional bathtubs. This means we can use less energy heating our tubs!
  2. Copper is highly resistant to mold and recognized as antimicrobial. Yay for sanitation!
  3. It is also corrosion resistant, making for more durable and long-lasting tubs.
  4. Once the life of a tub is maximized, being made of copper means it is more easily recycled.

We also happen to think it’s elegant – both from a design perspective and because it has self-healing properties. If the surface gets scratched, then over time, it will “heal” the scratches, making them once again smooth.

This concept of self-healing mirrors our promotion of taking radical responsibility for self-care so, of course we love it!

Salt Water Purification

“It’s a gross thing to think about, but chlorine mixes with all kinds of human output, including saliva and sweat, which turn into other chemicals called chloramines. Chloramines are responsible for the “chlorine smell” of pools, as well as skin and eye irritation. Even though chlorine kills contaminates, the chloramines stay in the water, requiring additional chlorine to remove them. Salt water pools kill chloramines faster than chlorine pools.”

As an alternative to using harsh chlorine chemicals, our water is purified using a salt cell or salt generator. Saltwater purification negates the need for chlorine tablets and shock treatment to disinfect from germs, bacteria and algae. It is a softer and more environmentally friendly process.

Each tub at Soak contains 10-20 pounds of salt!

Sustainability & Water Usage

We are currently investigating this topic. Soak Boulder is committed to limiting the amount of water usage in our facility, and to responsible stewardship of our used water. We are working with consultants, chemists, and Soak creatress, Wren Farris, to ensure we are as environmentally friendly as possible.

Stay tuned for more!

Bathhouse Revival

Water connects. Water nourishes. Water heals.

Humans have long sought relief and renewal – physical, emotional, and even spiritual  – by immersing themselves in water and sweating intensely in heated enclosures. 

Public bathing – in cold or hot water, dry or humid saunas – became a cultural norm in some countries, a community practice most often housed in town centers. As a gathering place, these communal baths were efficient and effective for everything from shared water use to negotiating business deals to spreading relevant news.

In the U.S., we’re commonly taught baths are to be taken privately, secretly, alone – a belief often rooted in bodily shame.

And rarely are the words “medicine” or “healing” associated with bathing and water in mainstream U.S. culture. This is in huge contrast to the early 20th century, where at least two hot springs were commissioned as military hospitals and “ordinary Americans traveled to curative springs” regularly.

For a brief stint in the 1980s-1990s, the word “bathhouse” was uttered more frequently yet surreptitiously. Bathhouses popped up across the nation as spaces for gay and sexually liberated subculture, then many closed during the era of widespread fear around HIV and AIDS.

Today, we are ready for a new story – or perhaps it’s a return to the old wisdom.

Inspired by many ancient traditions, we see the bathhouse as a place for collective nourishment where we can celebrate the naturalness of being together. 

We believe in this shared vulnerability, there’s the opportunity for profound acceptance, safety and—despite the option to wear clothes—modesty. We can find our way back to honoring our bodies and shed the judgment, comparisons and anxiety that typically bubble up.

When you add the emotional benefits to the physical results of feeling buoyant, limber and expansive, there is a sense of being more free. 

It should come as no surprise, then that people are increasingly seeking out mineral baths, hot springs and other water-centric experiences/treatments, according to the Global Wellness Institute’s report from January 2017. In fact, the industry just began collecting data specifically about mineral/thermal bathing in 2014 because of the surge in interest and, now with three years of data, the industry is projecting solid growth into the future.

Though conclusions still vary significantly, the study of balneotherapy—bathing in mineral water to treat disease—has also advanced, lending support beyond the feel-good vibes to the validity of these practices. As Dr Bruce Becker, a clinical professor of rehabilitation medicine at Washington State University, puts it: “warm-water immersion balances our autonomic nervous system, allowing the brain to make free-form associations, improve working memory, and foster creative thinking.”

In other words, bathing increases our capacity physically and cognitively, in large part because it is relaxing.

Soak Boulder is our contribution to the “bathhouse revival.” Riding a huge wave of interest in the incredible health benefits of traditional soak and sauna practices, we also bring a fresh, innovative and contemporary approach to public bathing spaces and rituals. 

We are thrilled to be a part of this resurgence. It’s time for the bathhouse, steeped in ancient wisdom, to nourish North America.

We hope you’ll join us. See you at Soak!


Note: Quotes throughout this article are cited from the article “The Healing Power of Water” (Spirituality & Health, Dec 2013) found here.

Social Sweats: What We Can Learn From Europe’s Old and New Ways

As entwined as bathhouse culture has become with many modern day societies, the seemingly omnipresent practice of using heat to release toxins is actually tens of thousands of years old, dating back to the Neolithic Age.

Every culture has its ancient sweat tradition: the Arabic hamman, Japanese onsen, Russian banya, Native American sweat lodge, the Mesoamerican temezcal – and, of course, the most globally ubiquitous…the European sauna.

Here in the U.S., we can learn a lot from bathing/sauna culture.

In countries like Finland (where saunas were born 2,000 years ago), Italy, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, etc., the rituals and facilities are often creative, deeply social and fabulous.

Plus, they have perfected the art of contrast therapy (taking a cold/snow plunge after, and repeating and repeating), recognizing this approach as key to getting the health benefits, and to make those endorphins pump.

The most recent industry surveys predict European saunas will continue to set a high bar for sauna spaces and experiences, with sweating only getting more spectacular and social in years ahead!

The most powerful trend? Sauna as the new social, community-creating “hangout” (a healthy and hot alternative to bars and restaurants).

Another irresistible and fascinating recent trend is taking the tradition of “sauna meisters” to a whole new level. Those trained to administer “aufguss sessions” – where water or ice with essential oils are poured over the hot stones to increase humidity then actively circulated with billowing towels – are now touting unique, themed experiences and participating in competitions to identify the true masters! (see video below)

Sauna is simply a way of life in many communities and cultures. And while the act is taken seriously, it’s also a source of fun, entertainment, connection and communal ritual; we look forward to seeding these possibilities here via Soak Boulder.



Health Benefits of Sauna Bathing


Sauna Bathing:

  • Detoxifies blood and skin (from toxins absorbed in our daily environment!)
  • Increases metabolism
  • Stimulates immune system
  • Cleanses the cells
  • Reduces excess weight/water retention
  • Relaxes the muscles
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Increases the production of white blood cells (!)
  • Releases endorphins
  • Tones the cardiovascular system
  • Promotes deep/healthy sleep


A recently published longitudinal study conducted by the University of Eastern Finland (2015) revealed “people who visited a sauna 2-3 times a week had a 24% lower risk of [cardiovascular related] death”and a 40% reduction in mortality rate with a sauna use rate of 4-7 times per week (click here for source).

Nutrients and minerals in sweat are essential to maintaining the collagen structure of the skin. Give yourself the gift of replenishing!

Health Benefits of Saltwater Soaking


Soaking in a pure salt solution:

  • Stimulates circulation
  • Promotes cell regeneration
  • Detoxifies, hydrates and regenerates the skin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Increases moisture retention
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Relieves pain and soreness
  • Releases toxins
  • Restores the body’s mineral balance
  • Balances the nervous system
  • Helps heal dry or irritated skin
  • Supports the immune system
  • Promotes mental relaxation
  • Relieves stress

Saltwater soaking leaves your hair and skin silky-soft (never dried-out or pruny), your body melted into a state of deep relaxation, and your cells re-mineralized.