Posts Tagged ‘balneotherapy’

What is Balneotherapy?

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


It’s no coincidence that floating ‘round a swimming pool, diving into the ocean, or sitting in the bubbly comfort of a hot tub all evoke in us a wonderful calming sensation, mind and body. Because water, amongst its myriad amazing qualities, is as therapeutic for our outsides as our insides. And when wielded in specific ways, it actually has the power to restore our physiology, from our digestive systems to chronic skin diseases, to our metabolism and blood circulation. So if you’re looking for a unique approach to healing with a spa-slant, why not give balneotherapy a try?

It’s a mouthful, for sure, but once you’re ensconced in a thermal bath, your body invigorated by various minerals and the motion of the water, the name won’t seem like such a bother. Balneotherapy – the treatment of disease by bathing – uses the science of H20 to promote healing and restoration. By harnessing water’s innate qualities and controlling external conditions (time, temperature, motion, and supplemental materials), the spa experience is quickly transformed into a time of both relaxation and rejuvenation.


The Benefits of Mud Baths

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Enjoying Natural Mud Bath

Enjoying Natural Mud Bath

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.

What is Balneotherapy?

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

Healthy WaterThe term balneotherapy refers to any spa treatment that you might get that is associated with water, assuming there is a medical benefit to the treatment. This means that the term “balneotherapy” is generally applied to everything that we usually experience during our spa treatments, since the majority of spa treatments do have mental and physical health benefits.

Everything you do while your at the spa, that has a medical benefit and involves water, from drinking water at the spa, to soaking or taking a steam bath all fall under the umbrella of balneotherapy. It even encompasses various kinds of mud and sand facials that are used in spa treatments. The only time you wouldn’t lump a spa treatment into this category is if the treatment is for entertainment value only or if it does not involve some type of water or liquid. This means that nearly all spa treatments are also known as balneotherapy.

Balneotherapy can be used to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments. The most serious illnesses that use balneotherapy to relieve symptoms include cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, spinal cord injury, spasticity, stroke, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, lichen planus and scleroderma. Other benefits from balneotherapy treatments include the reduction of pain, acceleration of collateral blood circulation, elevation of cellular fluids, relaxation of muscles as well as numerous healing benefits from the absorption of minerals and botanical substances.

Many spas in resort towns base their treatments on their local thermal or mineral water which they use for their treatments as they offer an additional health benefit due to their mineral rich makeups. The belief in the holistic and medical powers of mineral water goes back to prehistoric times and are popular world-wide, but are especially popular in Europe and Japan.

Some typical minerals that can be absorbed through spa treatments include: silica, sulfur, selenium, radium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron, lithium, potassium, manganese, bromine, and iodine. Some typical herbs that are used in balneotherapy include rose buds, lavender, peppermint, strawberry leafs, Clary, tea leafs, rosemary, raspberry leaf, orange petals, orange peels, lemon grass, chamomile, rosemary, sage, rose hips and more.

Balneotherapy isn’t just an age old theory and therapy, but one that focuses on alternative medicine, health and wellness benefits. So next time you go to the spa, take comfort in the fact that while it might be extremely enjoyable, it is also good for you and part of a larger category of therapy known as balneotherapy.

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