Unique to the Western Hemisphere, the mineral concentration of the Manitou Springs Mineral Spa is astounding. The minerals possess natural therapeutic skin and body care properties found only at a few places in the world (Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, and The Dead Sea of Israel).
Manitou Springs Mineral Spa has a specific gravity 10% higher than regular water due to a higher concentration of dissolved salts and minerals. The added density greatly enhances buoyancy and make it impossible for people to sink - even when motionless. Unless you leave earth's atmosphere, this is one of the few places in the world where you can experience the sensation of weightlessness.
The minerals in the water are therapeutic in a variety of ways. Dependent upon mineral deficiencies, the body draws minerals right through the skin itself. Conversely, the water draws minerals within the body to the surface of the skin. This in combination with weightlessness and a heated spa/bath experience work at relieving pressure from muscles and joints, cleanse and heal the skin, relieves stress and generally work in a holistic way to heal the body. This is why mineral spas are such an important part of European health care as both preventative medicine and as treatment.
This legend is told by Dan Kennedy of Saskatchewan's Assiniboine Reserve. "In the pre-reservation days, at the turn of the last century, severe epidemics of smallpox almost wiped out large tribes of the Crees. When we first broke sod in the district where the Assiniboia Reserve is now located, it was not unusual to turn over several skulls each day. They were the skulls of smallpox victims. The Crees were winter-bound when this epidemic raged among the tribesmen, but as soon as spring broke, the survivors headed for the Saskatchewan River.
On their way, three of the braves became ill. When the tribe camped at Manitou Lake they were too weak to go any further. They built shelters for the sick men and left them while the tribe moved on. Crazed by fever, one of the men managed to crawl to the shore of the lake to appease his burning thirst and cool his fever. He lay along the shore and drank deeply of the waters, bathed his face and body, but was too weak to crawl back to the shelter. He lay there until the next morning.
To his surprise he found that the fever had left him. He told the good news to his fellow companions and dragged them to the lakeshore. There he told them to drink and bathe themselves until they too were cured. A few days later they caught up with their fellow tribesmen who could not believe that these were the men they had left behind. It took a lot of convincing to make them believe that they were not seeing the ghosts of the three braves."
(Taken from 'Prairie Reflections')