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use of climatic and weather factors for the treatment and prevention of diseases. Medical climatology is the theoretical basis of climatotherapy and climatoprophylaxis (that is, strengthening health by exposure to climatic factors).
The elements of the climatic and weather complex are the active principle in climatotherapy; they include the location of a place above sea level, barometric pressure, air temperature, amount of precipitation, humidity, force and direction of the wind, cloudiness, and intensity of solar radiation. The effect of the radiation properties of the soil, distinctive characteristics of the landscape, and similar factors are also taken into account in carrying out climatotherapy. The diversity of climates permits differentiation of climatotherapy and conditioning of the body under various climatic conditions. A steppe climate combined with koumiss is used in the treatment of tuberculosis; a semidesert climate is favorable for the treatment of kidney diseases. A marine climate is indicated for the treatment of respiratory diseases, functional diseases of the nervous system, metabolic disorders, and so forth; a mountain climate has a powerful effect on the respiratory and vascular systems and stimulates metabolism.
The principal methods of climatotherapy include aerotherapy (air baths, remaining in the open air), heliotherapy, and thalassotherapy (combined use of aerotherapy, heliotherapy, and saltwater bathing). In addition to oxygen and ozone, the air along the banks of mountain rivers, near the sea, in mountains, and amid vegetation contains a substantial amount of aeroions. Sunlight increases the excitability of the nervous system and stimulates metabolism and the production by the organism of vitamin D. A low barometric pressure stimulates the respiratory and circulatory functions, promotes the formation of red blood cells, and improves metabolism.
Climatotherapy is widely used at all health resorts, especially at climatic ones—mountain, plains (forest, steppe, those with a semidesert climate), and sea resorts—as well as in sanatoriums, rest homes, holiday hotels, Pioneer camps, tourist centers, and the like. In carrying out climatotherapeutic and climatoprophylactic treatment, use is made of special areas set aside for sun and air baths (aerosolaria), of beaches, paths for walking therapy, places for active games, verandas and galleries where people can stay outdoors in bad weather, and, during the winter, of roofed, glass-enclosed, and heated verandas (climate pavilions).
REFERENCESOsnovnye printsipy i metodiki klimatolecheniia. Edited by A. S. Vishnevskii. Moscow, 1965.
Vishnevskii, A. S., and G. A. Nevraev. Metodicheskie ukazaniia po organizatsii klimatoterapii na kurortakh, v sanatoriiakh i domakh otdykha. Moscow, 1960.
Parfenov, A. P. “Klimatoterapiia.” In Osnovy kurortologii: Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo, vol. 2, part 2. Moscow, 1959.
L. G. GOL’DFAIL’