Sources of thermal water are the places where warm and hot underground waters come out onto the earth’s surface. Water is considered thermal if its temperature is above 20 degrees Celsius, or above the average temperature in the area. Due to the fact that the water is heated by processes that take place deep underground, the water temperature does not depend on the season. This property of thermal water made it possible to create year-round recreation complexes near thermal springs.
Where are the thermal springs
Geothermal springs are most often found in mountainous areas – for example, in the Caucasus, the Himalayas, the Alps, etc. They are less common in flat areas. An example of such unusual springs are thermal springs in Western Siberia, in particular in the Tyumen region. Also in our country, popular sources are discovered in the Krasnodar Territory and Adygea. The Far Eastern regions of Russia – Kamchatka, Chukotka, Kuriles, Primorsky Territory – also have large geothermal resources.
In Europe, thermal pools are common in France, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. This type of recreation is also developing in Poland. There are many sources in America and Southeast Asia, where they are mainly of volcanic origin.
Thermal springs appear either due to the activity of volcanoes or due to the natural circulation of water, when groundwater flows down through layers of earth rich in salt or minerals, then heats up at great depths and then comes to the surface.
Types of thermal waters
Because heated water can contain more dissolved solids than cold water, warm and especially hot springs are often high in minerals, ranging from simple calcium to lithium and even radium. Therefore, since ancient times, hot springs have been used to treat patients (Roman, Tbilisi baths), the corresponding branch of medicine is called balneology. Balneotherapy is taking baths in thermal water, various showers, the use of mineral water for drinking, for inhalation, as well as mud therapy. You can find many reviews about the beneficial effect of balneotherapy. Even the author of this text has personally experienced the positive effects of bathing in thermal water. However, modern evidence-based medicine does not have enough data to make an unambiguous conclusion about the benefits of thermal waters.
Sulphated thermal waters
These are waters in which sulfur is the predominant element. Sulfates are sulfate salts of various metals. Water is called sulfate water if the sulfate content exceeds 200 mg / l. The most commonly used sulphate waters at thermal resorts: sulphate-sodium, sulphate bicarbonate and sulphate alkaline earth. Hot sulphate springs relieve joint pain, help with rheumatic diseases, infringement of the spinal muscles and alleviate the condition of patients suffering from psychosomatic diseases. Sulfate waters are used to treat all respiratory diseases, as well as to regulate the digestive process.
In Russia, there are such waters in Buryatia. Abroad, waters of this type are found in Bulgaria (Hisar springs), Armenia (Jermuk recreation area), Slovakia (Turchianske Teplice resort, Piestany), Italy (Ischia island), Austria (Bad Ischl), England (Bath) and etc. The world famous Hungarian Széchenyi Baths in Budapest also contain sulphate waters.
Salt or sodium chloride waters are waters in which sodium or chlorine content prevails. Sodium chloride water is the most common type of mineral water, sourced from seas, estuaries, salt lakes and underground springs. They make up the bulk of ground mineral waters and occupy more than 70% of the world’s territory. Some contain sodium sulfate or sodium bicarbonate, calcium or magnesium, and sulfates are often present. The health effect is similar to that of sulfate waters. It is believed that saline solutions are good for the condition of the musculoskeletal system, respiratory tract, skin and reproductive organs. Their positive effect on vascular tone was also noted.
Sodium chloride baths have a regulatory effect on the functional state of the central nervous system, cause immunological restructuring in the body, and significantly alter the course of metabolic processes. Revealed analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects.
There are many resorts in the world with salt thermal water. They are found throughout Russia and Europe. In particular, on our website you can read about the experience of visiting the Obermain salt baths in Germany.
Salt waters of underground sources – the basis of the resorts Usolye-Sibirskoye, Angara in the Irkutsk region, the sanatoriums “Obolsunovo” and “Zeleny Gorodok” in the Ivanovo region, “Big Salts” in the Yaroslavl region, as well as sanatoriums of the Zeleny Gorodok near Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod region) and dr.
For a long time, people noticed the healing properties of silicon water – vessels for drinking were made from silicon, and they also put silicon at the bottom of wells. In nature, water sources with a high silicon content are rare.
Silicon water is believed to be:
- promotes rapid healing of wounds, burns, cuts
- stimulates the processes of skin and hair regeneration
- improves skin condition, relieving inflammation and reducing their consequences; strengthens connective tissue
- promotes calcium absorption and bone growth, prevents osteoporosis
Baths with nitrogen-siliceous thermal waters are used for skin diseases.
Water with a silicon content of up to 10 mg per 1 liter can be taken orally. With a higher silicon content, only baths. For example, the thermal water of Paratunsky springs contains 70-80 mg of silicon per liter.
The most famous hot springs with a silicic acid content of more than 50 mg / l: Kuldur and Annenskie waters of the Khabarovsk Territory, Jermuk (Armenia), “Paratunka” (Kamchatka), “Old Baths” (Tbilisi), Termy Olimye (Slovakia). Fresh nitrogen baths, rich in silicic acid – Belokurikha in Altai, Kuldur in Khabarovsk Territory.
Do not forget about contraindications. Bathing in silicon water is undesirable in case of a genetic predisposition to cancer, as well as in serious disorders of the cardiovascular system or people with heart pathologies.
Carbonic thermal waters
Water with a high content of carbon dioxide (up to 1000 ml / l) is useful primarily for hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. This water is believed to increase arterial blood flow and improve oxygen supply to the body. One of the effects of bathing in carbonic water baths is to turn pinkish skin.
The beneficial effects of carbon dioxide baths differ depending on the temperature of the water: the high high temperature of the water tones the cardiovascular system, and the moderate water temperature has a calming effect on the heart. In addition, carbon dioxide baths help to combat cell stagnation that causes cellulite.
Carbonic thermal waters are found in the resorts of the Caucasian Mineral Waters (Pyatigorsk, Zheleznovodsk, Essentuki), in Armenia and many other countries.
Hydrogen sulfide waters (or sulphite waters)
Hydrogen sulfide or sulphite waters contain hydrosulfuric acid. The concentration of hydrogen sulphide as a result of dissolution exceeds 10 mg / l. Sulfur-containing sources have a beneficial effect on the condition of the skin with neurodermatitis and psoriasis, as it has an antibacterial and soothing effect. Baths with hydrogen sulphide thermal water often help with skin diseases. It is also believed that hydrogen sulfide water normalizes blood viscosity and blood pressure, stimulates the function of the pituitary gland, normalizes the thyroid gland, and has a positive effect on the adrenal glands.
But be prepared for the unpleasant smell of this water – it is similar to the smell of rotten eggs.
Among the resorts with hydrogen sulfide water, the Matsesta resort in Sochi is widely known. Many such resorts operate in Italy and England.
Radon thermal waters
Radon thermal waters have a weak radioactive background, but it is safe for humans. Radon baths are not recommended for pregnant women, as well as for people with leukemia and radiation sickness.
The effect of radon baths: small vessels of the skin are narrowed, and the skin turns pale. Radon baths are used in the treatment of gynecological and urological problems, cardiovascular diseases, and ailments of the musculoskeletal system.
There are about 30 sources of radon waters in Russia and the CIS countries. The most famous are in Pyatigorsk, in the Altai Territory (Belokurikha), in the Voronezh Region (Liski), in the Jewish Autonomous Region (Kuldur), in the Chelyabinsk Region (Uvildy), in Bashkortostan (Yangan-Tau).
Abroad, there are resorts with radon sources in China (Hainan Island), Hungary (Lake Heviz, Eger), Poland (Lendek Zdroj, Swieradow Zdroj resorts), Greece (Loutraki), Czech Republic (the world’s first radon resort Jachymov, Germany (Bad Kreuznach, Baden-Baden), Romania (Baile Felix resort).