What is balneotherapy?

Balneotherapy is a type of alternative therapy that has gained much popularity in recent years. In fact, due to its effects on various types of ailments and conditions, is being used and recommended by health professionals. Why is it so popular?

It has some similarities with hydrotherapy, but they are not the same. This practice is usually done in spas, using water and mineral salts through submersions, inhalations and massage for therapeutic purposes. Also, it can be done with medicinal mud.

Such has been his acceptance, that In Spain alone, some 700,000 people follow balneotherapy programs every year. Even in several European countries this therapy has been included within the public health system. We invite you to discover more about it.

What is balneotherapy?

The balneotherapy refers to a set of alternative treatments that are part of traditional medicine. Although the use of water with therapeutic uses dates back to Hippocrates, the fame of balneotherapy was given between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when the first spas began to appear.

Since then and to date, It was found that water, mud, stones and mineral salts can help promote the relief of various diseases. In addition, in general, the application of its different techniques promotes physical and mental well-being.

Balneotherapy is a type of alternative therapy whose objective is to help treat various types of ailments and diseases with techniques based on the use of water and mineral salts.

Popular techniques

In the practice of balneotherapy several techniques are used for therapeutic purposes. Often, spas where they are performed They have water rich in minerals such as silica, sulfur, selenium, radio, among others. These, in addition, usually vary in their temperatures. Also, medicinal clays are often used, whose technique is known as mud therapy.

Do not stop reading: Therapies to reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia

Cold and hot therapy

It is the most popular technique in all spas. Through this, Several temperatures are applied, depending on the therapeutic purpose. While the application of cold water improves the health of the skin, it relieves muscle spasms and pains; hot waters dilate blood vessels, relax and help the metabolic system.


In the technique of mineralization, special salts are used to fight and treat various diseases. Through immersion in water with these salts, it can improve cardiovascular and respiratory health. In addition, ingested, it supports the elimination of toxins and promotes renal and metabolic functioning.

Marine mineralization

This method is based on the use of minerals of high marine concentration to support the treatment of cardiovascular problems or skin conditions such as, for example, psoriasis and acne.

Benefits of balneotherapy

Balneotherapy can help treat various types of musculoskeletal conditions, including those that cause arthritis and fibromyalgia.

In balneotherapy, techniques are used that they allow to improve the sanguineous flow and the capacity to transport the oxygen towards each part of the body. Therefore, its practice has benefits both at heart and brain level. Similarly, it helps regulate the nervous system and is beneficial for treating muscle ailments and skin disorders.

On the other hand, when using methods such as mineralized water inhalations, It is advisable to prevent and treat various diseases of the respiratory system. This also improves skin health, as it helps detoxify your tissues while fighting infections and acne. Other benefits that deserve to be highlighted are:

  • Supports the treatment of arthritis: While it is not a cure for the disease, it can help to some extent reduce pain. This was evidenced in an investigation that was published in the magazine Journal of Rheumatology.
  • Help patients with fibromyalgia: While more studies are needed to support this benefit, balneotherapy seems to help patients with fibromyalgia soothe pain and improve their mood.
  • Calm low back pain: Bathing in waters with mineral salts and sulphurses contributes to the relief of back pain, especially in the lower back.
  • Improves mood: In general, people who undergo balneotherapy sessions notice an improvement in their mood. All their techniques help to alleviate the effects of stress and anxiety.

Discover: Aromatherapy, what is it?


Despite the mentioned benefits of balneotherapy, It should not be overlooked that in some cases it is contraindicated. Specifically, the professionals in these therapies advise against its use in patients with serious cardiovascular diseases or advanced pregnancy.

It is also not recommended in people with epilepsies or diseases such as tuberculosis and severe diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, it is important to clarify that This type of therapies should be considered as an aid to other established treatments, but not a replacement of them.

In case of doubt, it is best to consult a doctor or expert in the field. The professional will be the one who evaluates whether it is convenient or not to submit to this type of practice.