Mud baths are ancient treatments that are rooted in tradition dating all the way back to the days of Cleopatra, who used mud from the Dead Sea to absorb the natural ingredients from the mud. While these treatments are fun and are used today more for a relaxing and luxurious experience, the practice has actually been used for centuries throughout Europe to treat rheumatism and various skin conditions. The use of natural occurring mud baths to help with these ailments is known as fangotherapy, which belongs to the wider spectrum of balneotherapy.
Recently (2007) a study found that mud baths followed by hot baths can reduce pain and other symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. This was actually a fairly important breakthrough for people suffering with this disease, yet has not been widely reported due to the stigma of many medicinal, natural and herbal treatments in the medical community. People are also using mud baths to treat ailments such as arthritis, muscle fatigue, nervous diseases, painful joint diseases, kidney diseases and as treatments for the urinary system.
While mud baths are an excellent form of therapeutic treatment for a variety of ailments and diseases, their most popular benefit is the one that they have on the skin. Many people throughout the world swear by mud baths as their fountain of youth, and this is not an unfounded claim as the mud does contain sulfur, chloride, fluoride and other natural occurring chemicals which help the complexion. In addition, when the mud dries, it also stretches the skin and helps with wrinkles.
These days you can find all types of mud therapy in nearly any day spa, as well as natural occurring hot mud baths. Natural mud baths can be found anywhere that there are hot springs or volcanoes which will also contain volcanic ash. Some of the more popular natural mud bath locations include the Zorritos mud bath in Peru, the volcanoes Miravalles and Tabacon in Costa Rica, the volcanic mud bath in Cartagena Spain, the Dalyan channels of Turkey, the thermal mud baths of Rotorua in New Zealand and of course the volcanic ash laden mud baths of Calistoga, California where Mt. Konocti erupted and where you will find the most famous geyser, Old Faithful.
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