The healing power of nature
The healing power of nature
The healing power of nature
We rightly call our Earth the “blue planet”, since two-thirds of its surface is covered by water. Besides the air and nutrients, water is essential to life. We can use this wonderful treasure not just to quench our thirst or for our personal hygiene; there are also waters which possess extraordinary healing powers that mankind has been successfully using for centuries to naturally alleviate many complaints and symptoms.
Where does the healing force of water reside?
In ancient times, there were hot-water springs to which people attributed miraculous powers, yet it became clear only a few decades ago that these healing powers are due to special mineral substances dissolved in the water.
Water, soaking through the crevices of the soil, dissolves the mineral salts of rocks and carries these dissolved minerals to the bowels of the Earth. Aqueous vapour released from the bubbling rocks becomes saturated with various important elements. These waters, once they resurface through the form of hot springs, possess a special “magic power”.
Hungary is extremely fortunate in the quantities of medicinal water it possesses. In the area of the Carpathian Basin, where Hungary is situated, the crust of the Earth is some 10km thinner than average and a huge underground water quarry is located underneath. Thanks to this, warm medicinal water, extremely rich in mineral substances, arises from natural springs or shallow wells to the surface. Budapest is rightfully called “the spa capital of the world”, since 70% of all Hungarian medicinal waters can be found in basins underneath the capital. This fact has been known since the Middle Ages. Budapest still has a number of spas that were established back then, and despite renovations, they operate to this day while retaining much of their original feel.
We should clarify a few descriptions – for example, what exactly are medicinal water, thermal water and mineral water?
Mineral water, as the name suggests, is very rich in dissolved mineral substances: 1 litre of it contains more than 1,000mg of different mineral salts. Thermal water is water – rising from its origin to surface – which has a temperature exceeding 26ºC. Hot mineral waters whose healing power has been confirmed by medical tests and clinical trials can bear the denomination of medicinal water. The medicinal water qualification has many specific criteria, and its quality is checked annually.
The frequently-mentioned mineral substances of sulphur, sodium, potassium and calcium are of primary importance to our constitution. It is a well-known fact how important calcium is in building up our bones, that sulphur is one of the important materials in articular cartilage, that potassium is indispensable to the proper operation of our muscles, and that every cell of our body contains common salt (i.e. sodium chloride solution).
The “magic power” of medicinal water resides in the fact that while bathing, these dissolved substances are absorbed into the skin, and once inside the organism they can exert their beneficial effects. The fact that our skin is capable of letting a number of materials pass through, in addition to protecting the interior of our body, is evidenced by various medicated plasters: consider, for example, the nicotine-substitute or vasodilator plasters, and even the cross-cutaneous modes of hormone replacement.
The mineral substances alone do not convey a healing power, since the physical benefits of the water – such as the massaging effect of currents and the buoyancy of water – are also necessary.
Spa cities and sanatoria have been established in the vicinity of medicinal springs for centuries, and these – complemented with further treatments and therapies – greatly increase the number of complaints that can be treated and the success of the spa visit.
We use medicinal waters primarily to treat so-called locomotive disorders, including diseases of mobility (such as arthritis and rheumatism), the spine, back pain and many muscular complaints. Some waters also have an excellent effect upon certain skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. When drunk at certain doses, medicinal water also has beneficial effects on irregularities and diseases of the digestive organs.
Europe’s largest chain of spa hotels, Danubius Health Spa Resorts – with many situated in the Carpathian Basin – use this water to wonderful effect in restoring health. In these spa hotels, medicinal waters are applied under medical supervision. Upon arrival, the guest is given a medical consultation with a doctor, a check up, where a personal programme of treatments is generated in view of his current complaints, health condition and previous diseases. This spa programme consists of baths, massage, physiotherapy and various packs.
The optimum duration of the treatment is 2–3 weeks, during which the guest receives 2–3 different treatments daily, as well as bathing for 15–20 minutes a day in pools filled with medicinal water. The guest has regular check ups with the doctor so that the impact of the treatments can be continuously checked. The physiotherapists and therapeutic masseurs who provide treatment have had full professional training, and benefit from many years’ experience; they also participate regularly in continuing education, year after year, and take exams as proof that their knowledge is up to date.
Some who have not experienced it are sceptical that this miracle of nature can work! As a hospital doctor, I was also sceptical of the real medical value of therapeutic cures. Prescribing a few pills seemed a lot more straightforward and a faster solution: one to alleviate pain, another to relax the muscles, and a third to protect the stomach (because – as we know well – every medication has its own side effect).
Yet the 17 years I have spent at Danubius Hotels have provided eloquent testimony of how fantastic the results are – achievable with the power of nature... To this day, I recall a Dutch patient suffering from a serious inflammation of her shoulder joint, who, upon her arrival, complained to me in tears that she was unable to embrace her little daughter when she said goodbye to her before travelling to Budapest. Upon her departure three weeks later, she bade farewell to Budapest, and to pain as well, with sweeping gestures – and an even broader smile! Naturally, I am not the only one to have witnessed such an outcome – all my colleagues working at spas have experience this miracle, and have heard the many, many grateful words of patients who have recovered at the Budapest spas...
Finally, I would like to call your attention to the fact that the spa programme does not merely bring relief to existing sufferers, but equally plays a tremendous role in preventing the development of diseases! A week spent at a spa revitalises body and mind, giving us the energy to return to the world’s stresses and problems with renewed vigour.
See you at one of the Danubius Health Spa Resort Hotels!
Dr Márta Mogyorósi
Internal specialist, Kneipp therapist, Homeopath
Director, Head Physician of Danubius Hotels Health Spa Resort Margaret Island