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external treatment of the human body with mineral waters. Some authors sometimes erroneously include in balneotherapy mud therapy, sea baths, and bathing in estuaries and in the natural brine of salt lakes (brine baths). Mineral waters affect the body by means of temperature, chemical composition, and hydrostatic pressure. In addition, nerve receptors are subject to stimulation by gases (CO2, H2S, and NO2) and radioactive substances (radon) that reach the blood through the skin, mucous membranes, and respiratory passages. Mineral waters are used in baths to treat diseases of the cardiovascular system and other internal organs, of the nervous system, of the organs of motion and support, and of the skin. Contraindications for balneotherapy are blood circulation disturbances more serious than those of the first or second stage, the acute stages of infectious diseases, malignant tumors, the active stage of tuberculosis, cirrhoses of the liver, chronic kidney disease, the acute stages of blood diseases, and severe general cachexia.
REFERENCESOsnovy kurortologii, vol. 2. Edited by V. A. Aleksandrov. Moscow, 1959. Pages 60–113.
Osnovy kurortologii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958. Pages 11–202.
L. G. GOL’DFAIL