Hydrotherapy is a therapy technique using natural mineral spring water underground

ORIGIN OF HYDROTHERAPY

Hydrotherapy The word comes from the Greek thermos meaning “hot”.From the ancient Greeks had the idea to build public baths of hot water on or near hot springs, to meet hygiene and relaxation gymnasts’ imperatives. However, it is the popularity of these facilities to the Romans, who were known as “baths”. In particular, they develop a new system of floor heating: hypocaust.

After a long period of neglect, hydrotherapy regained its reputation. In 1604, under the leadership of Henry IV, the first “Charter of mineral water” is written. The baths quickly become privileged places of resort and cultural life. But it was not until the end of World War II to see a genuine democratization of the baths with the repayment of cures by Social Security.

PRINCIPLE OF HYDROTHERAPY

Hydrotherapy is a therapy technique that uses a mineral spring water natural underground, whose chemical composition is always constant. It contains minerals, salts, gases and slurries.

From one region to another, mineral waters are very different. That is why each center has established one or more specializations.

WHY UNDERTAKE A SPA?

Practitioners recommend the spa to treat various diseases:

– Urinary tract infections, kidney stones, mild renal impairment;

– Neurological diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis;

– Cardio-arterial: arteritis, Raynaud’s syndrome;

– Depression and anxiety stress and sleep disorders;

– Developmental disorders in children: enuresis;

– Diseases and dermatological disorders: atopic eczema, psoriasis, burns;

– Venous insufficiency (varicose ulcers), sequelae of phlebitis, lymphedema;

– Respiratory and ENT disorders such as rhinitis, asthma, allergies or sinusitis;

– Rheumatic disorders, osteoarthritis, chronic low back pain, rheumatoid and postoperative sequelae.

CONS-INDICATIONS TO THE SPA

There are several cons-indications to the spa:

– Severe heart failure, high blood pressure not stabilized;

– Unhealed skin lesions: wounds, bedsores;

– Contagious or progressive diseases or cancer undergoing changes;

– Inflammatory diseases during an outbreak.

HOW IS A SPA?

The spa always begins with a consultation with the spa doctor. It establishes a customized prescription, accompanied by a schedule for your spa with various treatments, dates and times. However, some changes are possible during your stay.

The spring water can be used in different ways. It is necessary to distinguish internal and external cure.

Internal curing can take two aspects:

– The intake of water according to well determined with respect to the time taken and the amount of water for each protocol.

This method is used for gastrointestinal diseases, urinary tract, etc.

– The water in the form of sprays (nasal, nasopharyngeal …) or intestinal administration showers.

These methods allow to put water in direct contact with the mucous membranes to treat.

External treatment includes three types of care: showers, baths and thermal mud, each with multiple techniques appropriate to the pathology of curist.

There are also complementary techniques, the main ones: massage in thermal water ramp mobilization thermal pool, thermal gas injection (treatment of arteritis).

The total duration of treatment is about two to three hours a day for eighteen days.

The curist been monitored by the spa doctor in the middle and at the end of cure, or, with the initial consultation, a total of three systematic consultations. A report is sent to cure doctor prescribing the spa doctor.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SPA?

A spa treatment prescribed by the attending physician or a specialist. He fills out a form detailing the therapeutic orientations and spa.

DURATION AND COST OF A SPA

A spa treatment lasts mandatory eighteen days at a rate of four to six treatments per day, delivered six days a week. It costs between 250 and 450 euros depending on the chosen package (only hydrotherapy or accompanied by a number of physiotherapy) and therapeutic application (see “Why undertake a spa?”).

Care and spa packages physicians are supported by Social Security to the tune of 65% to 100% depending on the prescription. Mutual generally complement the 100% refund. However, the travel and accommodation are in most cases at the expense of the patient.

BOOKS ON HYDROTHERAPY

– “Spa and wellness: fitness of curative care,” Michel Jaltel, ed. Chiron, 2011: a complete work to understand the benefits of thermal medicine and differentiate the therapeutic thermal waters for each application.

– “What you need to know about spas,” Astrid Chalery, ed. Jacob Duvernet, 2006: a health guide that explains how to choose and organize their spa.

– “Thermal Medicine: Facts and evidence,” Patrice Queneau, ed. Masson, 2000: A manual that contains information on the therapeutic applications of hydrotherapy.

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