James Clark-Kennedy

Hot Spring Bathers Around the World

James Clark-Kennedy

James had a career in journalism before a mid-career that saw him undertake an honours degree to look at the characteristics, motivations and experiences of hot spring bathers. His honours year hit a snag when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and had to undergo major surgery to have his knee replaced. He went on to make a full recovery and publish the results of a survey of over 4000 hot spring bathers that found a quarter of bathers had medical condition and that those most people with back pain, chronic pain, musculoskeletal pain, stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia received significant benefits from their hot spring bathing experience.

James is now doing his PhD on hot springs and is conducting research that aims to answer the question; What are the motivations, characteristics and experiences of hot spring bathers around the world? To answer this, James is conducting the Global Hot Springs Survey (currently live) in a dozen languages and he is also working on research into the Wim Hof Method (WHM). The WHM, which involves breathing, mental focus and cold exposure, is currently practiced by tens of thousands of people around the world and James will be helping to conduct the Wim Hof Method Survey (currently live), which explores the characteristics, motivations and experiences of people practising the WHM and aims to answer the question; What are the health effects of the WHM?

In addition to surveys into hot springs and WHM practitioners, James plans to perform clinical research looking at the short-term effects of hot spring bathing that aims to answer the question: What are the short-term cardiovascular, cognitive and metabolic effects of hot springs bathing? This research, which involves taking measures of cognitive, psychological, physiological and metabolic function before-and-after hot springs bathing is being supported by donations from the Peninsula Hot springs (Australia) and Glen Ivy Hot Springs (US), which is the largest hot springs in the US operated by GOCO Hospitality. James is seeking additional support from other bathing industry operators to be able to continue his research.