Heliotherapy

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Heliotherapy

 

the use of the sun’s rays for therapeutic and preventive medical purposes; a form of phototherapy. The body is affected by the sun’s visible light rays and invisible rays— infrared and the more biologically active ultraviolet rays.

Heliotherapeutic treatment consists in the use of sun baths, as a result of which the skin acquires a tan, metabolic processes and immunity are activated, and hematopoiesis, tissue nutrition, general health, appetite, and sleep improve. Heliotherapy has an antirachitic effect and increases the body’s resistance. Sunbaths are taken in special areas removed or protected (by plantings) from sources of dust and noise. During the winter, they are taken on special verandas, which are covered with materials permitting the passage of ultraviolet rays.

Excessive exposure to the sun’s rays may lead to burns, sunstroke, cardiovascular and nervous disorders, and the exacerbation of chronic inflammatory processes. Heliotherapy is contrain-dicated in cases of neoplasms, active forms of tuberculosis of the lungs, pronounced heart failure, hyperactivity of the thyroid gland, and certain other diseases.

REFERENCE

Parfenov, A. P. Solnechnoe golodanie cheloveka. Leningrad, 1963.

T. M. KAMENETSKAIA

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