Balneotherapy — what is it, indications and contraindications

In Russian cities you can also take a course of balneotherapy and benefit from it both in terms of physical health, and in terms of the normalization of the nervous system, relieve stress, improve health. This may be mineral water or a mixture of water and sea salt.

The mechanism of action of

On the patient’s body, receiving a balneotherapy procedure is affected by several factors: mechanical action of water, temperature of water and its composition.

But the main effect of the use of water treatment largely depends on the composition of the water used during the session.

As a result of treatment in the human body, there are changes in metabolism, the immune, cardiovascular and other body systems. Normal sessions to improve the adaptation to the environment and contribute to the formation of a greater resistance to diseases and stresses.

If the result of the treatment the health of the person is violated, at the discretion of the physician, the physical therapist treatment may be interrupted for a certain period or discontinued.

In this case, the patient may need to undergo treatment for the underlying disease, and only then return to the procedures.

Principal applied water is:

  • chloride;
  • iodobromide;
  • sulfide.

Can also be applied radon and carbon-dioxide mineral water.

Effects on the body:

  • when breathing through the lungs during bathing;
  • through the skin during bathing;
  • through the gastrointestinal tract when the intake of mineral water inside.

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Sulfide mineral water

The main effects of the treatments with sulphide in mineral waters determined by high content of hydrogen sulfide. On the skin during immersion, with a bath with hydrogen sulfide water appears marked redness, tingling sensation. Gradually, the patient may feel a significant relaxation and easy drowsiness. It is the first effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body.

Under the influence of hydrogen sulfide reveals the capillaries of the skin and deeper located tissues, such as tendons, joints, muscles. Because hydrogen sulfide baths are useful for those who suffer from skin diseases and musculoskeletal system.

Improvement in the movement of blood through the blood vessels, the effect of hydrogen sulfide on metabolic processes leads to a slow heart rate, reduce heart load, increases the duration of the periods of rest of the heart muscle.

Effect of hydrogen sulfide baths on the functioning of the nervous system: inhibition processes predominate over the processes of excitation. This leads to the fact that the person is normalized mood and sleep, reduced anxiety, are symptoms of autonomic dysfunction.

Normalization of the cardiovascular and nervous system often lead to normalization of blood pressure.

Acceptance of hydrogen sulfide mineral water inside helps to normalize the gastrointestinal tract and has a laxative effect and improves the discharge of bile.

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Video: Therapeutic baths


Salt baths have a main effect on the skin is dehydration (dehydration) and the formation of «salt cloak», which is long-lasting on the skin and affects the nervous system and vascular tone.

Dehydration leads to better blood circulation, opening the capillaries, the activation of the anticoagulation system of blood.

In such conditions it is rapidly absorbed inflammatory foci, improves blood circulation and internal organs. At the same time increases the tone of veins, which helps to normalize blood circulation and the entire cardiovascular system in General.

Also receiving chloride bath leads to a decrease in the excitability of nerve endings, reducing pain and tactile sensitivity. The effect of salt baths on the nervous system is twofold. If the salt concentration is less than 30 g/l, these baths reduce the excitability of the nervous system and promote relaxation. If the concentration of salt up to 60 g/l, the bath will have a pronounced tonic effect. This will be especially helpful to people suffering from low blood pressure.

The combined influence of water composition, its temperature and physical effects (the higher the salt concentration, the stronger the water pushes the body) leads to a decrease in skeletal muscle tone, increase joint mobility, which is used for the treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Drinking treatment with mineral water chloride leads to the activation of the gastrointestinal tract: increases the secretion of gastric juice, increases the number of digestive enzymes, improves peristalsis of the intestines, normal stool.

In some countries, balneotherapy resorts have their own towers – special structures that were used for the evaporation of salt, and now serve to create a climate resembling the climate of the sea coast.

Cooling towers salt water by falling from a height breaks into small droplets. This spray extends approximately 500 metres around the building.

It is a kind of natural inhalation, which can undergo the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with diseases of the respiratory system, bronchial asthma.

Video: Contrast baths


Main effects of treatments using bromine water is defined as concentration of iodine and bromine and salt content. The more in water of sodium chloride, the more of iodine and bromine enters the bloodstream through the skin in a single treatment.

Iodine selectively accumulates in the thyroid gland, cartilage structures and ligaments, the bromine in the structures of the brain. Normalizes thyroid function, reduces vascular tone, and bromine and restores the right balance of processes of excitation and inhibition in the brain.

Both substances reduce the activity of the endocrine glands, which is manifested by decrease in the activity of the inflammatory reaction in the body, reduces the severity of autoimmune disorders.

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These baths help to reduce the ability of blood to clot, reduces the ability of erythrocytes to aggregation (adhesion), which has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, and facilitates the course of atherosclerosis. During the course of treatment is markedly reduced heart rate, normal blood pressure, excess fluid better output the urinary system.

The types of balneotherapy

Currently, we have developed dozens of water treatments that can be universal or, on the contrary is designed for a certain kind of mineral waters. Consider the main ones.

  • Shared bath.

Depending on the type of mineral water and its mineralization procedure time can vary from 10 to 40 minutes. The biggest effect will be from those baths where there is water movement during the procedure, or the patient can do slow rhythmic movement.

  • Local baths.

Applied in the form of local baths for hands and legs in cases when patients can not tolerate shared bath.

  • Contrast baths.

In this case, used for one procedure two baths with different temperatures of water. The patient is alternately transferred into each of the tubs and stays in it for a while. Suitable for people with vascular diseases of legs, some skin diseases, hypotension.

  • Irrigation.

This is one of the types of showers, in which mineral water is applied to the skin of the face and scalp, genitals, or other limited areas of the body.

  • Ascending shower.

It is used to treat diseases of the male and female genitalia, skin diseases, manifestations of which are localized in the hips and crotch.

  • Shower-massage.

In this case, a shower mineral water. Jets of water are served to the patient’s body with different strengths, which potentiates the action of mineral water on the body and further stimulates the nervous, the circulatory system, improves skin tone.

  • Underwater shower-massage.

Used in bathroom for improvement of blood microcirculation in a patient and simultaneously improve the flow of water, the speed of which determines the amount of nutrients that penetrate through the skin.

  • Drink water.

Intake of water inside a bigger impact on the activity of the gastrointestinal tract and urinary system, but also has systemic effects.

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Hydrogen sulfide mineral water is prescribed in the following diseases:

  • hypertension, myocardial, valvular heart disease, sclerotic changes of the heart muscle;
  • occlusive disease, atherosclerosis of vessels of heart, brain, legs;
  • chronic post-traumatic arthritis, polyarthritis of different origin, spondiloartrite;
  • osteochondrosis of the spine, Bechterew’s disease;
  • the consequences of traumatic brain injury, meningoencephalitis;
  • neuralgia, neuritis, radiculitis;
  • chronic nonspecific diseases of the urinary system, male and female sexual sphere;
  • an underactive thyroid gland;
  • impaired fat metabolism;
  • diabetes.

The indications for treatment of chloride mineral water are:

  • neurocirculatory dystonia;
  • arterial hypertension;
  • chronic venous insufficiency;
  • polyarthritis;
  • the effects of trauma of the tendons, ligaments, bones;
  • plexitis, radiculitis, traumas of the spinal cord;
  • obesity;
  • psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, scleroderma;
  • diseases of the respiratory system;
  • vibration disease.

Indications for treatment is iodine-bromine mineral water are:

  • coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, cardiosclerosis, low or high blood pressure;
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • irritability, sleep disorder;
  • polyneuropathy, dorsopathy;
  • Raynaud’s disease;
  • diseases of the endocrine system;
  • periodontal disease.


Sulphide bath

Hydrogen sulfide baths are the most «severe» for the effect they have on the body.

Because of contraindications for their use a large number of:

  • violations of rhythm and conductivity of heart;
  • diseases accompanied by circulatory failure 2nd degree and above;
  • the high activity of the inflammatory process in rheumatoid arthritis;
  • tuberculosis of the bones;
  • the presence of ankylosis and irreversible changes of the spine, which interfere with self-care and movement;
  • increase thyroid function (hyperthyroidism);
  • bronchial asthma;
  • repeated heart attacks of a myocardium;
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • gastric ulcer and 12perstnoy intestine.

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  • the aggravation of inflammatory diseases;
  • disorders of the kidney and urinary tract.


  • radiation sickness;
  • hyperthyroidism;
  • pregnancy;
  • urticaria;
  • intolerance to iodine;
  • hemorrhagic diathesis.


The name of the procedure Cost, rubles
bath with mineral water from 300 to 1200
underwater shower-massage from 600 to 2500
underwater shower massage with additional humidification and spray salt 2800
therapeutic shower 450
ascending shower 350
power shower 950
circular shower 750