A thermal bath (also known as a thermal bath for short ) is a bathing facility in which natural, mostly mineralized groundwater with a spring outlet temperature of over 20 ° C is used. These thermal waters can come from a natural source (e.g. Aachen ) or have been developed through a deep borehole (e.g. Erding ). The thermal water has a relaxing effect on the muscles, stimulates the circulation and, with its mineral components, alleviates chronic diseases of the joints, but also rheumatism and allergies .
The groundwater with an outlet temperature of over 20 ° C is referred to as thermal water according to the definitions of the German Spas Association . The majority of the thermal waters contain numerous dissolved salts, often carbonic acid and in some cases radioactive components. Carbonated thermal water is called thermal acid if it contains at least 1000 mg / l of free dissolved carbon dioxide . Depending on the chemical composition of the thermal waters, the mineralized waters are referred to as mineral thermal waters, whereby a differentiation is made between main and secondary components when naming them. For example, the Aachen thermal water is defined as fluoride and sulfur-containing sodium chloride-hydrogen carbonate thermal water . In accordance with the legal regulations for swimming and bathing pool water, the natural thermal water usually has to be treated before it can be discharged into public bathing areas.
The therapeutic effectiveness (head-out water immersion) of the thermal water is based primarily on the hydrostasis, i.e. on the hydrostatic pressure in the water and the temperature of the water. The physiological effects of hydrostatic pressure include: a. Improvement of venous function, tissue drainage, activation of the metabolism and the kidneys. The positive effect of the warm water causes, for example, muscle relaxation, joint relief , edema reduction , suppression of stress hormones and increased blood flow. A number of indications such as osteoarthritis , edema, diseases of the rheumatic type , hypertension and psychosomatic disorders can be positively influenced.
Open, natural thermal springs have been used for bathing and healing purposes for thousands of years ( balneotherapy ). Since the 5th century BC There is evidence of ancient bathing facilities for the use of thermal springs. In ancient times, a real bathing culture developed under the Romans in the large bathing facilities, the thermal baths ( Latin : thermae ).
Thermal baths serve therapeutic purposes and are often affiliated with spa facilities . A thermal bath can include swimming pools with different temperature levels , brine baths , saunas with several saunas and steam baths and massage treatments .
The largest thermal spa in the world is the Hungarian capital Budapest with over 120 different springs and more than 21 public baths, some of which are up to 450 years old (see also: Budapest thermal baths ). Throughout Germany, the Rottaler spa triangle with the three health resorts Bad Füssing , Bad Griesbach and Bad Birnbach is the largest provider of cures and overnight stays. Numerous new thermal baths have also been built in southern Bavaria in recent decades. The best known are in Berchtesgaden , Bad Reichenhall , Bad Endorf , Bad Aibling and Erding . The largest thermal baths in Austria are Therme Loipersdorf (1975), Rogner Bad Blumau (1997) and Aqua Dome (2010). In Europe, the most famous thermal baths are in Italy , in the Pannonian Basin , in the area of the Egergraben and the Rhine Graben . Thermal baths ( onsen ) also have a long tradition in Japan and Taiwan .
In the last few decades many new thermal baths have been built in the so-called thermal region of Eastern Styria , Burgenland and Western Hungary as well as in the Podhale region at the foot of the High Tatras . With these new thermal baths, the focus is more on wellness and entertainment than on spa bathing.
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- Vladimír Křížek: Cultural history of the spa , Leipzig, 1990, 240 p., ISBN 3-17-010589-2
- German Spa Association e. V .: Definitions: Quality standards for the rating of health resorts, recreational areas and wells . 12th edition, Bonn, 2005
- Carolus Thermen . Carolus Thermen Aachen. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Therme Erding . Therme Erding. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
- Andrea Herch: Bad Aachen . In: Deutsches Bäderbuch, E. Schweitzerbartsche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Nägele and Obermiller), 2nd edition, 2008, Stuttgart, p. 204, ISBN 978-3-510-65241-9
- DIN 19643: Treatment and disinfection of swimming and bathing pool water ; Beuth-Verlag, 1997, Berlin
- Bernd Hartmann & Margarete Hartmann: The thermal baths: factors, effects, effectiveness : In: Deutsches Bäderbuch, E. Schweitzerbartsche Verlagbuchhandlung (Nägele and Obermiller), 2nd edition, 2008, Stuttgart, pp. 84–91, ISBN 978- 3-510-65241-9
- Vladimír Křížek: Kulturgeschichte des Heilbades , Leipzig, 1990, p. 34, ISBN 3-17-010589-2
- History of the Rottaler spa triangle