Olwynne Goodrich

Summer Swimming ... Naturally

by Olwynne Goodrich At Thyme 10 Jul 19

As the days lengthen and thoughts of slowing down in the summer sun take hold, the desire to seek out water is instinctive; whether it is the deluge of a shower, an impulsive paddle in a country stream or immersing yourself in the salt-saturated waters of the sea, it is an elemental draw that has for centuries been a means of relaxation, rejuvenation and re-energising.

There is a subtle magic at work on a sun-warmed body entering cold water: the contrast increases the heart rate, contracts muscles, constricts breath; before the body eases into the change of temperature and element.  Intriguingly these responses are true of both the intense exercise of swimming or simply the relaxation of being supported by water’s buoyancy, involving no movement at all.

Of course, swimming is the perfect exercise, its low-impact reducing the stress on bones and joints; it stimulates the circulation; reduces blood pressure; improves breathing; tones muscles and burns calories.  Swimming has been used as a physical therapy since Roman times, but in recent years research has turned to the mental effects of immersion in water.  The release of endorphins, the hormones that induce happiness, particularly in association with cold water swimming, prompt a positive mental state that is being used to counter depression; and such benefits are not reserved for the brave who champion ‘wild swimming’ as being in warm or cold water creates responses in the brain that are similar to yoga and meditation. And we should not forget the sense of playfulness associated with swimming; not just the preserve of children, having fun is vital to our well-being and being in water is fun!

Given that water is so good for body and mind, a natural approach to bathing is intuitive.  Sea water has been used as a therapy for centuries and the effect of natural waters on our skin (which is the largest of our organs and deserves special care especially in the summer months) can be surprisingly cleansing, leaving it feeling fresh and soft.  Swimming in pure springs, in rivers, lakes and waterfall pools is nurturing, creating a connection with the natural world that is an entirely different experience to bathing in chlorine treated water.

Having championed green technologies throughout Thyme, we turned to a pioneering filtration system for the Meadow Spa pool. Water is drawn from our own spring, a subterranean river 50 meters down, that filters through the Cotswold limestone. A unique bio-filtration system controls the build-up of organic nutrients, delivering crystal clear, warm water without the use of any chemicals. The result is that guests who stay with us discover an entirely natural swimming experience in the Meadow Spa’s secluded pool, perfect for both body and mind, as they swim in spring water that is pure enough to drink.

Come on in … the water's truly lovely!

The revolutionary filtration system used at Thyme was developed and installed by Clear Water Revival.