Did spring waters really heal people?
The characters in my novel series encounter a world where many, many people seem to be healed by the spring waters of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Doctors of the time certified the claims; they were spoken of in newspaper accounts and books of the time.
Healing waters were a trend in the United States and Europe at a time when modern medicine through the scientific method was just finding its legs.
People seeking relief who abandoned the pollution and pour sanitation of cities and traveled to burgeoning “healing spring” towns undoubtedly benefited from fresh air and water and sunshine — and exercise, getting from one spring to another.
And there is some thought that belief in the waters — the placebo effect — may have had a positive influence as well.
On the other hand, if those waters had a healing “virtue,” variously ascribed to electricity and radioactivity and other factors, it may have been erased over time as people moved into those areas and established water and sewer systems, contaminating the water tables.
Whether actual healing took place is anyone’s guess these days. But the testimonials of the time will genuinely make you wonder!
Here’s an article about the healing springs communities in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas.