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The benefits of thermal water

in Saint Lary

The benefits of natural mineral waters have been known since the 5th century B.C. Originally used by the Romans to enjoy pleasant moments of relaxation and unwinding, as their therapeutic virtues were discovered, this natural resource was exploited in the treatment of many pathologies.

They are now a care offer that, according to the natural characteristics specific to each thermal water, participates in improving the daily health of many patients.


Discovery of the relaxing benefits of thermal water by the Romans

By the 5th century BC, the Romans had discovered the singular properties of sulfurous water on the body.Bathing in this type of water reduced muscular tension and joint pain and had beneficial effects on the skin.

Beyond these benefits, the first thermal buildings were above all places in which the Romans liked to meet. These thermal baths were composed of three main pools: the “frigidarium”, filled with cold water, the “caldarium”, filled with hot water and the “tepidarium”, filled with warm water. The Romans immersed themselves first in hot water, to dilate the pores of the skin, then in cold water, to tone the muscles and in warm water for a final relaxing effect. Other rooms, such as the sauna or areas reserved for massages, completed a treatment offer that was more akin to relaxation than a therapeutic cure.

Accessible to children
Panorama on 4 mountain lakes
Discovery of the therapeutic benefits of thermal water since the Middle Ages

The thermal baths did not survive the fall of the Roman Empire. It was not until the Middle Ages, with the discovery of new thermal water sources and the development of hydrology, that this natural resource began to be exploited for therapeutic purposes.

The belief that thermal water was able to penetrate the body through the dilated pores of the skin to improve the condition of the sick, however, persisted until the 16th century.

The gradual development of chemistry and physics then made it possible to better identify the real therapeutic virtues of each type of water and to define a broader range of treatments. Numerous thermal establishments were then created and their access, initially reserved for the elite, gradually became more democratic. Today, natural mineral waters are used to treat certain chronic pathologies.

The thermal baths of Saint Lary

Thermal cures have been covered by Social Security since 1947.

Created in 1988,the Saint-Lary Soulan thermal establishment is approved in the treatment of rheumatology and respiratory tract (ENT). The sodium sulfide waters of the springs that feed it have in particular a curative action on the mucous membranes where chronic infections develop.

Hydrotherapy and pelotherapy are the two techniques used in the rheumatology cure. This cure has anti-inflammatory and soothing effects and is recommended to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis, periarticular rheumatic conditions and algodystrophies.

The ENT-respiratory cure has a dual therapeutic action: physical, through the action of the heat of water and steam, and chemical, through the penetration of active principles through the respiratory tract. It is recommended in the treatment of chronic or recurrent ear, rhino-larynx and sinus conditions, chronic tracheobronchitis, asthma and non-disabling respiratory insufficiency.