Balneotherapy is a type of alternative therapy that has gained much popularity in recent years. In fact, due to its effects on various types of ailments and conditions, it is being used and recommended by health professionals. Why is it so popular?
It has some similarities with hydrotherapy, but they are not the same. This practice is usually done in spas, using water and mineral salts through submersions, inhalations, and massage for therapeutic purposes. Also, it can be done with medicinal mud.
Such has been its acceptance, that only in Spain some 700,000 people follow balneotherapy programs every year. Even in several European countries, this therapy has been included within the public health system. We invite you to discover more about it.
What is balneotherapy?
The balneotherapy refers to a set of alternative treatments that are part of traditional medicine. Although the use of water with therapeutic uses dates back to Hippocrates, the fame of balneotherapy occurred between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the first spas began to appear.
Since then and to date, it was found that water, mud, stones and mineral salts can help promote the relief of various diseases. In addition, in general, the application of its different techniques promotes physical and mental well-being.
In the practice of balneotherapy, several techniques are used for therapeutic purposes. Often, the spas where they are made have waters rich in minerals such as silica, sulfur, selenium, radium, among others. These, in addition, usually vary in their temperatures. Also, medicinal clays are often used, whose technique is known as mud therapy.
Cold and hot therapy
It is the most popular technique in all spas. Through this, several temperatures are applied, depending on the therapeutic purpose. While the application of cold water improves the health of the skin, it relieves muscle spasms and pains; hot waters dilate blood vessels, relax and help the metabolic system.
In the technique of mineralization, special salts are used to fight and treat various diseases. Through the submergence in water with these salts, cardiovascular and respiratory health can be improved. In addition, ingested, it supports the elimination of toxins and promotes renal and metabolic functioning.
This method is based on the use of minerals of high marine concentration to support the treatment of cardiovascular problems or skin conditions such as, for example, psoriasis and acne.
Benefits of balneotherapy
In balneotherapy, techniques are used to improve blood flow and the ability to transport oxygen to each part of the body. Therefore, its practice has benefits both at heart and brain level. Similarly, it helps regulate the nervous system and is beneficial for treating muscle ailments and skin disorders.
On the other hand, when using methods such as mineralized water inhalations, it is advisable to prevent and treat various diseases of the respiratory system. This also improves skin health, as it helps detoxify your tissues while fighting infections and acne. Other benefits that deserve to be highlighted are:
- It supports the treatment of arthritis: while it is not a cure for the disease, it can help to some extent to reduce pain. This was evidenced in an investigation published in the Journal of Rheumatology.
- It helps patients with fibromyalgia: although more studies are needed to support this benefit, balneotherapy seems to help patients with fibromyalgia to calm pain and improve their mood.
Calm low back pain: bathing in waters with mineral and sulfurous salts contributes to the relief of back pain, especially in the lower back.
- Improves mood: in general, people who undergo sessions of balneotherapy notice an improvement in their mood. All their techniques help to alleviate the effects of stress and anxiety.