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Iceland: Exploring the Therapeutic Effects of Icelandic Thermal Springs

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Course Location:
Program Dates:
Spring Break 2018
Travel Dates: 3/10/2018-3/17/2018
RMS 295 – 3 credits
Karen Westervelt and Sue Kasser
The program fee is $2278. Airfare is additional. Tuition is included in your spring course load, unless you register for more than 18 credits. Most meals included in price. At the time you are admitted, you will be required to submit a $500 non-refundable deposit.
Interest in integrative health, human physiology and health science. Due to the high level of interest in this course, students with majors in the health professions will be given priority. This course is primarily for advanced undergraduates in their junior or senior year. Graduate and continuing education students are also welcome to apply. Instructor permission required for all. Please contact the instructor for further consideration. PHYSICAL PRE-REQUISITES: Ability to hike for 3 hours on uneven winter terrain and ability to swim.

Iceland is famous for its geothermic hot springs and pristine nature. Travel with us to Southern Iceland as we explore thermal springs and the health benefits they offer.  We will spend a week immersed in life at Iceland’s NLFI Holistic Health Clinic world renowned for integrating traditional rehabilitation services including medicine, psychology, physical therapy, and occupational therapy with complementary therapies including yoga, Tai Chi, water/ land exercise, thermal baths, geothermal mud treatments, acupuncture, massage, mindfulness, and the European renowned treatment of Kneipp therapy to promote health.  We will stay at NLFI Integrative Health Clinic in the town of Hveragerdi, known as the hot springs capital of the world where thermal waters and mud are used for to promote health in a natural environment and with healthy lifestyle. During our stay at NLFI we will be served their own organically grown vegetables and fish, observe and experience the therapeutic treatments offered, study the physiological effects of exposure to thermal waters, and take a daily trek through the Icelandic countryside.  A typical day will involve spending the mornings learning from European Medical Doctors and health care providers about the special hydrotherapy treatments used to promote good health and the treatments prescribed for various medical conditions ranging from arthritis to cardiovascular disease.  After learning about each treatment we will experience it first hand with a relaxing soak in the thermal pools, indulging in a geothermic mud treatment or participating in a yoga class.  Our afternoons will be spent trekking across the pristine natural landscape of Southern Iceland often to a natural thermal pool for a relaxing dip. Evenings will be spent in group discussion about the physiology of the day’s treatment.

Highlights of our travel in Iceland include visiting : 1) Visiting/staying in the Hverargedi town, the hot spring capital of the world. 2) Working with clinicians at the NLFI clinic who provide a top quality comprehensive healthcare by integrating traditional and complementary interventions into rehabilitation, 3) visiting the Iceland’s natural geothermal pools (Hrunalaug, Fontana and Blue Lagoon), 4) The Golden Circle of Iceland which includes the Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the geothermally active valley of Haukaladur with Strokkur Geyser and Gullfoss waterfall. If we are lucky we will be treated to a good show of Iceland’s Northern Lights, which are often visible in the spring.

Come explore the geothermic hot springs of Iceland and discover the therapeutic benefits of an Icelandic holistic approach to health.