Interesting Notes on Balneology & Balneotherapy
Severe Chronic Illness: The Three Stages of Spa Therapy Response
Researchers and Balneotherapists in Poland have identified three possible response stages to hot springs therapy, where chronic illness spa programs lasting three to four weeks are utilized for a wide variety of conditions.
1. Spa Adaptation
A period of 3 to 7 days of environmental adjustment. This is both a psychological and physiological stage where the mind and body go through a period of adjustment to the external environment, including a physiological response to hot spring therapy.
2. Spa Crisis
A possible spa crisis has been observed approximately two weeks into therapy. Symptoms include malaise, fever, tachycardia, headache, fatigue, insomnia and pain. An acute flare-up of a dormant condition may occur. In some cases, medication may be required to control symptoms, and traditionally, spa treatment is reduced or temporarily suspended during this period. This response is similar to a herxheimer reaction, or the "externalization of symptoms" extremely common as a part of natural healing in natural medicine.
Balneotherapists have noted that the final stage of spa therapy results in an overall improvement in the indicated condition, and those beneficial results may not be noticeable by the individual for many weeks after the treatment program has been completed. Balneotherapists have noted that benefits derived from spa therapy can be extended for up to 10 to 12 months after treatment.
Mineral & Water Adsorption - Toxic Waste / Metabolic By-Product Elimination
The movement of minerals into the body as the result of mineral water therapy is dependent upon:
- The fat/water solubility due to the structure of the skin membrane. The movement of water into and out of the body during mineral water therapy is dependent upon:
- The osmolality of the bath and the fluid condition of the individual.
Depending upon the osmolality of the bath, water is either adsorbed into the body or pulled from the body. Mineral absorption via hot springs soaking is extremely small, and the amount absorbed into the body is concentration-dependent and varies depending on the mineral and its chemical form. Even so, medical balneotherapists have noted that even minute amounts of therapeutic minerals adsorbed into the body via the skin have a significant therapeutic value.
The ion exchange capacity of hot springs mineral waters also influences mineral and water adsorption, and is defined by the ionic dissociation of the minerals in the water. A higher free-ion content equates to a greater ion exchange capacity. In short, the osmotic qualities, the mineral concentration, the PH level, and the mineral form affect the transdermal carrier effects of any mineral waters, as well as the fluid conditions of the individual soaking.