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Mineral-Rich Geothermal Waters Beget a Long History of Healers in Truth or Consequences / Hot Springs New Mexico

Fun Facts & FYIs

Healing Waters

Writer Charles Bennett, in an article published in the February 2005 New Mexico Magazine, describes how early 20th Century Hot Springs New Mexico was “gaining recognition as a health center with its sodium-potassium-chloride-rich water.”

The hot springs aquifer that sits underneath modern-day downtown Truth or Consequences has for thousands of years produced 2.5 million gallons per day of piping hot mineral water, known for its abundance, clarity and lack of odor, and high mineral content. To experience these waters for yourself, visit any of T or C’s hot spring spas.

Health Practitioners of the Past

As far as healers that practiced during the City of Health’s heyday, one name is mentioned above all others: Magnolia Ellis (pictured at right).

Her renown may be due to the sheer numbers of people she treated (lines out the door), her healing via a “magic spark,” or the fact that the office still bearing her name is located prominently on Broadway in downtown T or C.

Magnolia Ellis directed her patients to soak daily while they were undergoing her treatments, and frequently prescribed a 21 day soaking program as part of her treatment package.

Meanwhile Edna White M.D. saw patients out of her office at the corner of Mims & Austin, in the heart of the hot springs district, beginning in the late 1940s. Dr. White is mentioned (and pictured) in a book on Truth or Consequences by Sherry Fletcher and Cindy Carpenter.

Dr. White is said to have used a “myriad of science fiction machines” according to this online source that lists a few healers in Hot Springs / T or C’s history.

hot springs nm healing practitioners office of edna white

Charles Bennett’s 2005 story goes into some detail about one interesting local health advocate, Newton “Jack” Keas, who came to town to join the many who “attended to the needs of health seekers in Hot Springs.”

The fact that Keas is rarely mentioned among other healers of T or C’s past cannot be blamed on a lack of interesting developments in his childhood and early adulthood. Keas’ story includes some fascinating twists and turns, such as his role as a 2-year-old kidnappee in a crime that was solved years later thanks to an El Paso movie-house newsreel. And though he nearly smoked and drank himself into an early grave as a young man, he managed to turn things around in a big way, becoming  a spokesperson for health and vitality.

jack keas and sara keas hot springs new mexico health practitioners

Keas settled in Hot Springs some time after 1938, and lived here for a few years with his suitably nimble and athletic wife, Sara (she’s pictured at left in what some might call “plow pose” but what we are calling “Turtle Mountain” pose).

Jack Keas’ business card read “Conditioner of Men,” and he worked as a hot pool therapist at the Carrie Tingley Hospital for Crippled Children (the modern-day State Veterans Home), as well as being a spa / sports masseur, wrestling promoter, and as journalist for various periodicals including the Hot Springs Health City News (“A Clean, Independent Newspaper, Published Every Friday”).

Bennett’s article describes the 21 Day Soaking Regimen (as touted by Keas in the monthly New Health): “21 baths were generally sufficient for rheumatism and other ailments. Ten minutes in the hot water was considered adequate” and each soak was followed up with a 30 minute blanket wrap to continue the sweat.

Modern Day Holistic Health Practitioners

Through the years, Truth or Consequences has continued to attract healers of all kinds who explore and dispense numerous modes of treatment. (Explore the options in our section on massage and spa treatments)

The benefits of bathing in geothermal hot springs such as those found in Truth or Consequences have been studied extensively and are shown to improve joint issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, low back pain, and sciatica; skin disorders including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, rosacea; and other conditions like low thyroid, gynecological problems, auto-immune deficiency, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and hormone imbalances.

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