What Exactly is Balneotherapy?
Balneotherapy (gotten from the Latin word “balneum” meaning bathing/bath and “therapia” meaning treatment) is a method of medical remedy, recovery of human’s health after sickness, and also as an effective technique of prevention of several diseases by several non-medicinal methods – enjoyable and direct outdoor use of mineral waters (dipping in baths), hand or foot baths, showers, alongside a variety of therapeutic mud or gas. Perhaps this is possibly among the oldest method of healing by several natural means.
Balneotherapy is another alternative treatment of health care medicine. What is it made of? What benefits does it offer? We shall find out!
Balneotherapy is an alternative medical remedy that has gained much recognition in current years. Due to its effect on various types of ailments and sicknesses, balneology is well used and recommended by medical practitioners.
So Why is Balneotherapy Very Popular?
It has some medical approaches from hydrotherapy, but they are, of course, not the same. This practice is performed in spas, using mineral and water salts through inhalings, immersions, and massages for remedial purposes. Balneotherapy also involves treatment with a lot of curative muds.
An Israeli Medical Journal study published indicated that the process of balneotherapy has a positive effect that lowers pain and improves motor functions in elder people suffering from chronic lower back pain or knee arthritis.
In some European countries (like Hungary and Romania), the therapy has even been inculcated in their public health system as well. So, let us delve into discovering what else balneology has to offer.
Balneotherapy in a Layman’s Understanding
Balneotherapy has been widely exploited for centuries, mainly for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal and skin conditions. It experienced a fail in popularity in the last century due to the surfacing of new pharmacological substances but is currently regaining interest as a complementary or an alternative treatment option with minimal side effects.
It can be combined with some other treatments like therapy or physical exercise and mud packs. When combined with ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure (phototherapy), the treatment is regarded as balneophototherapy.
Who Uses Balneotherapy?
How is Balneotherapy Done?
Natural balneotherapy includes bathing in waters of natural mineral leaps; well-known areas are the Kangal Hot Springs in Turkey, the Dead Sea in Jordan and Israel, and the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. Balneotherapy is also given by spas centers or treatment using naturally-fetched mineral water or artificial salt solutions. A simple form of balneotherapy may also be done at home by simply melting minerals or salts in baths, like the Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) and sea.
The practice of this therapy (balneotherapy) is very specific, with no regular form of a treatment regimen. The waters utilized for balneotherapy vary in temperature (basically from 30–40C) and mineral and chemical constituents (bicarbonate, sulfide, sulfate, magnesium, chloride, and other metals and minerals). There is no normal duration or rate of immersion and variable treatment cycles of months, weeks, or days.
Balneophototherapy combines both bathings with sun exposure or UVB phototherapy.
Balneophotochemotherapy (bathwater PUVA) combines both bathings in a psoralen solution succeeded by exposure to an artificial source of UVA.
Some Common Practices in Balneology
Balneotherapy uses wide types of methods for curative purposes. Often, the spas where they are done have waters high in minerals like silica, selenium, sulfur, and radium. These, in addition, often vary in temperature. Also, therapeutic clays are often used, and it is a method known as mud treatment.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Hot & Cold Therapy is among the spas’ most popular techniques. Various temperatures are used through it, which all vary with the therapeutic purpose, which must be achieved. While the use of chilled water improves skin and eradicates pain and muscle spasms, hot water dilates blood vessels, relaxes, and boosts metabolic processes.
The mineralization method uses a variety of particular salts to combat and cure various ailments. Immersion in saline water solution may significantly aid the overall health of the respiratory and cardiovascular. When it gets assimilated into the body, it aids the removal of toxins and facilitates kidney and metabolic activity.
Deep Skin Hydration and Marine Mineralization Treatment
Marine mineralization treatment exploits the use of marine minerals in high concentrations; these treatment methods combat cardiovascular issues and skin conditions (acne and psoriasis).
Health Benefits of Balneotherapy
As a result of balneotherapeutic actions in the human body, there are modifications in the body’s immune, cardiovascular, metabolic, nervous, and other systems. Typically, sessions boost specific organs’ work and add to the formation of higher resistance to stress and disease.
When compared to standard medical therapeutic approaches, there are minimal side effects to this therapy (balneotherapy). If balneotherapy is efficient in symptom control, it can lower the need for medications and thus the side effects of these drugs.
Balneotherapy can be utilized together with conventional medical curing and other therapies, like phototherapy or physical therapy. Physical and psychological benefits include stress management, relaxation, and improvements in mood and sleep.
- Low Back Pain
Mineral baths may be fairly helpful for folks with osteoarthritis, as per a 2008 review published in the Journal of Rheumatology. Analyzing 7 trials (with a total of 498 patients), researchers found evidence that balneotherapy was more helpful than no treatment at all. Nevertheless, the authors of the review warn that this evidence is not strong due to the poor class of the trials.
Also, a 2003 review from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews studied six trials (with a total of 355 participants) and got some evidence that balneotherapy may help cure rheumatoid arthritis. Due to major limitations in the studies, however, the authors of the review caution that the finding is inconclusive.
Balneotherapy may aid treat fibromyalgia, as per a 2002 small study published in Rheumatology International. For the study, about 42 fibromyalgia folks were assigned to either a control group or 3 (three) weeks of half-an-hour bathing sessions (administered once every day, five times weekly).
Study findings showed that those cured with balneotherapy showed appreciable improvements in some fibromyalgia signs and depression (a common issue among folks with fibromyalgia).
In general, folks who undergo the balneotherapy process notice an upgrade in their mood. All its methods help to lessen the effects of anxiety and stress.
Low Back Pain
In a 2005 research study in Complementary and Natural Classical Medicine, scientists discovered that having a bath in sulfurous mineral water may aid in alleviating low back pain.
Compared to 30 patients with back pain who underwent a tap-water-based water treatment, the 30 folks in the balneotherapy group showed an appreciable improvement in muscle tenderness, spasms, and flexibility.
What are the Side Consequences and Risks Involved in Balneotherapy?
Despite the highlighted benefits of balneotherapy, it should be overemphasized that it is contraindicated in some aspects. In particular, professionals in the field recommend not to use the therapy in patients with late pregnancy or severe cardiovascular disease.
Nor is it advised in folks with epilepsy or diseases like tuberculosis and chronic diabetes mellitus. It is fair just to say that these types of therapy ought to be considered an addition to other recognized types of treatment and not as a substitute for them instead.
Balneotherapy is usually safe with minimal side effects. Its side effects may include:
- Skin itching and irritation
- Infections like Pseudomonas folliculitis (spa pool folliculitis)
- Hypotension and fainting with prolonged immersion
- Exfoliative dermatitis
- Burns and scaldsif done at unsuitably high temperatures
- Thermal reaction: fatigue and exacerbation of joint pain.
- Balneophototherapy may result in exacerbation of photodermatoses or even sunburn.
As the best advice to give you, in case of any doubts, you should consult with a doctor or health professional in the field. A professional will surely assess whether or not it is right to undergo the type of practice.
You may not attain the highest points of your potentials in life until you realize the need for you to be healthy and sound. There is always a direct relationship between the amount of attention you give to your health and the resulting height you may reach in life. So should you desire sound health and long life, you should consider going for a balneotherapeutic session.
I believe your mind is healthily educated by this enriching article. The next is to reflect your mind into action and be healthier.