Balneotherapy


Balneotherapy

Balneotherapy (from Latin: balneum, "bath") the treatment of disease by bathing. It may involve hot or cold water, massage via moving water, relaxation or stimulation. Many mineral waters at spas are rich in particular minerals (silica, sulfur, selenium, radium) which can be absorbed via the skin.

Definition and characteristics

The term "balneotherapy" is generally applied to everything relating to spa treatment, including the drinking of waters and the use of hot baths and natural vapor baths, as well as of the various kinds of mud and sand used for hot applications. Balneotherapy is refers to the medical use of these spas, as opposed to recreational use. Common minerals found in spa waters are are sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron, as well as arsenic, lithium, potassium, manganese, bromine, and iodine. Resorts may also add minerals or essential oils to naturally-occurring hot springs. Though balneotherapy commonly refers to mineral baths, the term may also apply to water treatments using regular hot or cold tap water.

Mud baths are also included in balneotherapy, and the dirt and water used to mix mud baths may also contain minerals which are thought to have beneficial properties.

Treatment of diseases

Balneotherapy may be recommended for wide range of illnesses, including arthritis [cite journal
author=Sukenik S |title=Balneotherapy at the Dead Sea area for knee osteoarthritis
journal=IMAJ |volume= 1
issue= 2|pages= 83-85
year= 1999|month=
pmid= 10731301
pmc=
doi=
url=
] , skin conditions and fibromyalgia [cite journal
author=Deniz Evcik |title=The effects of balneotherapy on fibromyalgia patients
journal=Rheumatology International |volume= 22
issue= 2|pages= 56-59
year= 2002|month=June
pmid=
pmc=
doi= 10.1007/s00296-002-0189-8
url=
] . As with any medical treatment, balneotherapy should be discussed with a physician before beginning treatment, since a number of conditions, like heart disease and pregnancy, can result in a serious adverse reaction.

Scientific studies into the effectiveness of balneotherapy tend to be neutral or positive, finding that balneotherapy provides no effect or a placebo effect, or that there is a positive effect. However, many of these studies suffer from methodological flaws, and so may not be entirely reliable. [cite journal
author=Verhagen AP |title=Balneotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
journal=Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews |volume=
issue= |pages=
year=2004 |month=Jan
pmid= 10796385
pmc=
doi= 10.1002/14651858.CD000518
url=
] [cite journal
author=Verhagen AP |title=Taking baths: the efficacy of balneotherapy in patients with arthritis. A systematic review.

journal=J Rheumatol |volume= 24
issue= 10|pages= 1964-71
year= 1997|month= Oct
pmid= 9330940
pmc=
doi=
url=
]

ee also

*Aromatherapy
*Destination spa
*Hydrotherapy
*Electrotherapy
*Dead Sea
*Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa) in Iceland
*Băile Govora (Spa town) in Vâlcea County, Romania
*Onsen
*Warm Springs, Georgia, USA

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • balneotherapy — al ne*o*ther a*py, n. [L. balneum bath + Gr. qerapey ein to heal.] The treatment of disease by baths. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balneotherapy — balneoterapija statusas T sritis Kūno kultūra ir sportas apibrėžtis Gydymas mineraliniu vandeniu, mineralinio vandens vartojimas profilaktikos tikslams. kilmė lot. balneum – maudyklė + terapija atitikmenys: angl. balneotherapy vok. Balneotherapie …   Sporto terminų žodynas

  • balneotherapy — balneoterapija statusas T sritis Kūno kultūra ir sportas apibrėžtis Mokslas apie mineralinių šaltinių vandens vartojimą gydymo reikalams. kilmė lot. balneum – maudyklė + terapija atitikmenys: angl. balneotherapy vok. Balneotherapie, f rus.… …   Sporto terminų žodynas

  • balneotherapy — /bal nee oh ther euh pee/, n. the treatment of diseases, injuries, and other physical ailments with baths and bathing, esp. in natural mineral waters. [1880 85; balne (see BALNEAL) + O + THERAPY] * * * …   Universalium

  • balneotherapy — noun The treatment of disease by bathing …   Wiktionary

  • balneotherapy — bal·neo·ther·a·py ther ə pē n, pl pies the treatment of disease by baths * * * n. the treatment of disease by bathing, usually in the mineral containing waters of hot springs. The once fashionable water cures , taken at spas, certainly had a more …   Medical dictionary

  • balneotherapy — [ˌbalnɪə(ʊ) θɛrəpi] noun the treatment of disease by bathing in mineral springs …   English new terms dictionary

  • balneotherapy — bal·neo·therapy …   English syllables

  • balneotherapy — n. the treatment of disease by bathing, usually in the mineral containing waters of hot springs. The once fashionable ‘water cures’, taken at spas, certainly had a more psychological than physical effect. Today, specialized remedial treatment in… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • balneotherapy —   n. treatment by natural waters.    ♦ balneotherapeutic, a.    ♦ balneotherapeutics, n …   Dictionary of difficult words


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