Dimitra Tsantidou: “From my lecture “Healing Waters” at Cidesco’s International “World Congress 2018”, in Stockholm.
The existence of mineral springs as well as the use of their waters for medicinal purposes date back to ancient times. Our own ancestors believed in their ‘magic’ waters, considering them as a symbol of health, strength and sociability. They used them not only to their own benefit, but also as a means of treating physically and mentally ill patients.
The characterization of waters as ‘healing’ derives from their scientific analysis and various therapeutic results in terms of physical and mental health and well-being through their applications. The healing value of hydrotherapy has been acknowledged and accepted by the medical community throughout the world, where mineral therapies are applied to the prevention, well-being as well as the treatment for medical conditions and illnesses.
What is a mineral spring and why are its waters considered healing?
A mineral spring is the natural gush of a healing natural resource: water, gas, healing argil with moderate or high temperature. It contains elements that do not occur in the waters of common springs e.g. dissolved salts, sulphur hydrogen, iodine, radioactive substances etc. Their waters may be underground or from natural mineral springs and maintain medicinal properties because of their physico-chemical characteristics.
Categories of healing mineral springs
The key factors that determine the kind of a mineral spring are:
- The temperature of the water
- The origin of the water
- Its chemical composition
- Its radioactive content
Mineral Springs are subcategorised according to the following parameters:
Temperature: Temperature determines the hydrodynamics and solvent quality of the water. Mineral waters whose temperature is higher than the average temperature of the environment where they gush from are characterised as ‘hot’. The temperature of hot springs is almost unchanging throughout the year.
Colour, smell, taste: They are determined by the dissolved substances and gases existing in the water.
Active acidity pH: Clear water (salt-free) is pH 7. Alkaline waters are sulphurous and the acid ones are carbonic.
Radioactivity: The radioactive content of water results from its contact with rocks on the subsoil that contain certain quantities of radioactive substances (radium, radon).
Total of dissolved salts (TDS): Index of mineral quality.
During a healing hydrotherapy, the human body receives several stimuli that are diversified according to the healing natural resource used to the categories below:
The Effects of Hot Baths on the human body
- Diastole of skin pores – osmosis – facilitation of substance exchange body/ water.
- Vascular diastole – rise in blood circulation – improved topical nourishment.
- Facilitation of absorption of oedemas – rise in urination.
- Increased combustion – elimination of toxins and salts through perspiration and urine.
- Beneficial effects on skin, respiration, blood and organs.
- General or topical perspiration.
- Relaxation and increased functionality of muscles, decrease of fatigue, sense of overall well-being.
The Effects of Frigid Baths on the human body
- Increased tension of cardiac systole and breadth of breathing movements.
- Increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Systole of skin blood vessels.
Benefits of natural mineral resources in terms of Beauty
- Elimination of keratinocytes
- Skin invigoration and regeneration
- Oily skin balance
- Increased muscular tone
- Activation of fat decomposition– weight loss –treatment for cellulite
- Treatment for phlebitis
- Increased absorption of substances e.g. for the elimination of toxins.
It is defined as the therapeutic application which is based on the use of healing water, taking full advantage of its natural and chemical properties aiming at the prevention, preservation or improvement of health and achieving well-being. Its results are determined by the form, way, duration and frequency of the therapy.
Healing Baths- Balneotherapy
Application of total or partial immersion of the body in a single wash basin (bathtub) or in a pool with healing water for medicinal purposes.
Application – Effects
- Dermal absorption of elements of the mineral water.
- Effects of natural properties of the water (upthrust, osmotic pressure, temperature).
- Bubbles of CO2 settle on the skin causing vascular diastole resulting in the regulation and improvement of several bodily functions.
Application of hydro pressures of hot mineral water on an immersed body in a single wash basin or pool. The therapy lasts 20’ and it is applied to a different set of muscles. Body relaxation in neutral to hot water.
Application of jet showers on the body for a definite time with thermal & mineral water of various temperatures, with high or low pressure depending on the physical condition or illness. The thermal ones last 2-3’ and the hypo- thermal ones 30-60’’. The duration depends on the water temperature, its form, way of application and the existing illness.
A combination of baths and kinesitherapy in the healing water. Improves body mobility and its parts with the co-operation of all three factors of healing water (chemical, thermal and mechanical). Indicated for rheumatic illnesses and illnesses of the muscular and skeletal system. The total duration of the therapy depends on the kind of illness (5’-30’). It is applied under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
Healing natural resources in Cosmetology
The natural resources used in creams, mists etc. maintain valuable properties for the skin and can:
- Treat dermatological ailments such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis etc.
- Deeply hydrate and refresh the skin.
- Regulate oily skin and help ease acne symptoms.
- Eliminate free radicals – antioxidant effect.
- Illnesses of the muscular and skeletal system: arthropathy, arthritis, ailments in joints: knee, ischium etc., rheumatism, muscular stiffness, myalgia, atrophy.
- Dermatological illnesses: eczema, psoriasis, rosacea acne and acne, pruritus etc.
- Gynaecological illnesses: chronic, inflammatory, infertility, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, hormonal disorders, disorders of the thyroid gland and ovaries, inflammation.
- Cardiovascular illnesses: arteries, hypertension, venous, varices etc.
Cancer, hyperthyroid, tuberculosis, diabetes, febrile illness, anaemia, haemorrhage, infectious diseases, serious heart failure, kidney disorder, liver disorder, recent cerebral haemorrhage and vein thrombosis, serious nervous and mental illnesses, acute dermatological and gynaecological illnesses, pregnancy, menstruation.
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