Researchers now believe that the well-known Japanese macaques that bathe in hot springs might do so for more than just warmth on a cold day. A recent study is now suggesting that bathing in the hot springs reduced cold-related stress in the monkeys, and could have lasting health benefits.
Monkey’s fecal samples were studied to observe different hormone levels. The researchers found that the dominant females, who had priority access to the hot springs, had lower levels of stress hormones, and therefore were most likely expending less energy during the coldest times of the year.
There’s still a lot of work to be done to draw final conclusions, but it’s interesting to consider that these monkeys might have inadvertently discovered the last benefits of soaking in hot water. Humans could learn a thing or two, and hot tub companies should use this study to move to some product! The New York Times made the interesting video below to explain the research.
It’s well worth a watch. Fascinating stuff.