Health-Resort Science

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Health-Resort Science


the branch of medicine that studies the therapeutic properties of natural factors, their mechanisms of action on the human body, and their use for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes; and the branch that works out social and hygienic conditions for the sanatorium and health resort system. Health resort science embraces the sciences of balneology, balneotherapy, balneotechnics, and pelotherapy; the sciences of resort climatology and climatotherapy (aerotherapy, heliotherapy and thalassotherapy); and the study of the problems of the organization, design, and construction of health resorts. Health resort science is closely associated with physical therapy, climatology, physiology, hygienics, and other clinical disciplines.

Health resort science arose as an independent field in the USSR after the Great October Socialist Revolution. In 1926, the Central Institute of Health Resort Science was organized in Moscow on the initiative of N. A. Semashko. There were 14 research institutes of health resort science and physical therapy functioning as of 1971. The tasks of the institutes include searching out health resort resources; studying the properties of these resources and their mechanisms of action on the body; elaborating methods of treatment and evaluating the effectiveness of these methods against various diseases; compiling the indications and contraindications for sanatorium and health resort treatment; studying the population’s requirements for sanatorium and health resort treatment; planning the development of health resorts in the USSR and working out the form and methods of organizing health resorts and similar institutions; and compiling principles and norms for the construction and improvement of health resorts. Research has broadened the hydromineral base of operating health resorts and uncovered large reserves of mineral waters and natural beds of therapeutic muds in various regions of the country, thanks to which new health resorts have arisen and effective multiple-approach methods of treatment for various diseases have been developed and introduced into practice.

The problems of health resort science are also studied by other institutes and laboratories of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the Academies of Sciences of the Soviet republics, the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, the subdepartments of a number of medical institutes and advanced-training institutes for physicians, and, at large health resorts, special laboratories of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions.

Coordination of the scientific activity in the field is carried out by the Central Institute of Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy, the All-Union Scientific Medical Society of Health Resort Scientists and Physical Therapists, and the All-Union Problems Commission of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR, which periodically convene all-Union conferences. In order to coordinate the research on health resort science and physical therapy in the socialist countries of Europe, the Central Institute of Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy in Moscow summons representatives of the institutes of these countries every two years to discuss plans and the results of scientific research.

In France, the National Institute of Hydrology and Balneology was created in 1914 through the efforts of a balneological society in Paris. In Italy, a great contribution to health resort science was made by the hydrobalneological division of the Institute of Experimental Therapy in Milan. The Austrian Academy of Sciences established the Balneological Research Institute at the health resort of Gastein. The USA has an institute of medical climatology in Philadelphia. The Institute of Balneotherapy operates at the health resort of Beppu in Japan. The International Society of Medical Hydrology (founded in London in 1921), which embraces the scientific societies and scientists of a number of countries, studies the problems of health resort science and has published the international journal Archives of Medical Hydrology since 1922. International congresses convene periodically.

In the USSR, various problems of health resort science are aired in the journals Kurortnoe delo (Health Resort Affairs; since 1923) and Voprosy kurortologii, fizioterapii i lechebnoi fizicheskoi kul’tury (Problems of Health Resort Science, Physical Therapy, and Therapeutic Physical Education; since 1923); in the transactions of research institutes of Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy; and in textbooks, handbooks, and methodological manuals.

The journal Kurortologiia i fizioterapiia (Health Resort Science and Physical Therapy) has been published in Sofia since 1964. Rheumatologia, balneologia, allergologia has been published in Budapest since 1960. Archiv für physikalische Therapie, Balneologie und Klimatologie has been published in Leipzig since 1949. Fysiatrický a reumatologick ýv ě stnik has been published in Prague since 1923.

The societies of health resort physicians of the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria jointly publish Zeitschrift für angewandte Bäder- und Klimaheilkunde (Stuttgart, since 1954). The journal La Presse thermale et climatique has been published in Paris since 1920. The Japanese balneological society issues the Journal of the Balneological Society of Japan (Tokyo, since 1941). In the USA, the journal Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association has been published in Philadelphia since 1884.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?