Each of us can name a few, if not a dozen or even several dozen medical fields - from surgery, allergology, dermatology, endocrinology, internal medicine, neurology to psychiatry and many others. One of the names that rarely appear in the press and the internet is Balneology.
The name Balneology comes from two words - the Latin "balneum" meaning bath and the Greek "logos" meaning word or science. It is one of the oldest fields of spa medicine dealing with the study of healing news of groundwater and peat. It also examines the use of these substances in treatment, especially in the treatment of chronic diseases. The mentioned mud is a kind of peat, after processing a valuable raw material for the production of medicines and cosmetics. Opinions about its healing properties are divided and the same can be said about the whole balneology.
The development of this branch began as early as in antiquity - in Greece, Egypt and Rome, hydrotherapy baths were already used. Over the years, this science has been called by different names and has also been accepted to varying degrees by both doctors and societies. The terms for this discipline also include natural medicine, physical medicine, spa medicine or even physiotherapy. In the nineteenth century it was considered to be an effective and equal-educated branch of medicine, but later, due to the development of civilization, especially radio and chemotherapy lost some of its importance.
The opponents of spa medicine argue that it is difficult to scientifically confirm the effectiveness of its methods. It is mainly about long-term effects and constant improvement of the patient's condition, because of course no one doubts that a healing bath or inhalation can improve the patient's temporary well-being. The ineffectiveness of balneology is not entirely true. The basic assumption of the methods used within its framework is to initiate and improve processes naturally occurring in the body. Most doctors dealing with this discipline have a double specialization and often treat it as a supplement to parallel therapies.
On the one hand, all healing processes proposed by balneologists need time. In the busy society of the 21st century this is a disadvantage. On the other hand, the calm pace and the use of natural means almost guarantee the absence of side effects, which are caused by most pharmacological therapies, especially the intensive ones. It is also a much cheaper method than using any drugs.
When deciding to use the so-called spa medicine, one should remember that the treatment should be carried out by a doctor of this specialty. Otherwise, we expose ourselves to the effects, if not harmful, then fruitless and waste time that we could devote to effective treatment with another method. When treating diseases that are particularly serious, you should approach the bath with caution and consult your doctor. Regardless of that, bathing in the spa can be a good form of relaxation and well-being for everyone.