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Special Issue "Health Resort Medicine: Resources and Applications in Environmental Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2022 | Viewed by 10245

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Francisco Maraver Eyzaguirre
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Radiology, Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: health resort medicine; mineral water; peloid; balneotherapy; hydrotherapy and aquatic therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of medicinal and natural mineral water and its derived products, mud or peloid, and gases has recently been developed due to evidence-based practice.

Health resort medicine uses these resources in health promotion, prevention, rehabilitation, and therapy of numerous chronic disorders such as rheumatic, respiratory, neurological, vascular, dermatological, digestive, metabolic, in extreme ages of life, and others.

This Special Issue welcomes original studies that consider and apply these resources, the mechanisms of action, application techniques, current indications, and contraindications, as well as clinical efficacy, safety, quality of life, cost/effectiveness, cell biology, animal models, biomarkers, and physical-chemical and microbiological control analytical techniques.

This Special Issue will highlight the most recent advances in all aspects relevant to health resort medicine.

Dr. Francisco Maraver Eizaguirre
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • mineral waters, gases, and peloids
  • balneotherapy
  • hydrotherapy and aquatic therapy
  • climatotherapy
  • thalassotherapy
  • mud therapy
  • drinking cure
  • product analysis
  • in vitro techniques

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
A Preliminary Study of SARS-CoV-2’s Permanence and Potential Infective Capacity in Mineromedicinal Waters of Copahue, Neuquén, Argentina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(10), 5923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19105923 - 13 May 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Copahue Thermal Center is characterized by the presence of mineromedicinal acidic waters with high temperatures, therapeutic peloids, and relevant consortia of extremophiles species, distributed in small natural pools which cannot be disinfected. The objective of this research was to investigate the survival of [...] Read more.
Copahue Thermal Center is characterized by the presence of mineromedicinal acidic waters with high temperatures, therapeutic peloids, and relevant consortia of extremophiles species, distributed in small natural pools which cannot be disinfected. The objective of this research was to investigate the survival of SARS-CoV-2 in Copahue’s waters and its remaining infective capacity. In a first assay, a decrease of more than 50% of the initially viral load compared to the initially inoculated positive sample was detected for all the water samples analyzed. After that, two of the Copahue springs, which are used as an immersion bath in closed environments without going through any disinfection treatment, was selected to determine the viral viability. VERO cell infections were performed, with no cytopathic effect detected, but a strikingly high resistance of the virus, detecting its genome by real time PCR, during the seven days of study under laboratory conditions. SARS-CoV-2 survival in acid media was reaffirmed, which is a peculiarity for a covered virus. A decrease in the detectable viral load of the positive sample was found as the infection time passed, becoming completely negative in the subsequent blind passages. More research is needed to further study the feasibility of SARS-CoV-2 in mineromedicinal waters, especially natural acidic waters that cannot disinfected, in order to expand information about the risk to populations that are exposed to them. Full article
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Article
Analysis of Massaciuccoli Peat after Maturation in Sodium Chloride Water of Undulna Thermae
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042169 - 15 Feb 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
In Italy, peat extracted from the peat bogs of Lake Massaciuccoli is the only peat used for therapeutic purposes. Massaciuccoli peat (M-peat) soaked in the salty bromine–iodine water of Undulna Thermae has given positive results in various pathological situations, mainly in dermatological, rheumatological, [...] Read more.
In Italy, peat extracted from the peat bogs of Lake Massaciuccoli is the only peat used for therapeutic purposes. Massaciuccoli peat (M-peat) soaked in the salty bromine–iodine water of Undulna Thermae has given positive results in various pathological situations, mainly in dermatological, rheumatological, and traumatological conditions. Morphological and biochemical analysis were performed using base M-peat samples matured in the salty bromine–iodine water of the Undulna Thermae for different times, to evaluate whether maturation time modifies peat chemico-physical properties. The maturation process induced particle aggregation, with an increase in the fractions with larger particle size. The presence of a high number of proteins derived from organic degradation was observed; after 6 months of maturation, a significant increase in proteins was found, suggesting that salty bromine–iodine water plays a role in the clinical action of the peat. The presence of lipids in M-peat was also confirmed, allowing us to draw important considerations on its therapeutic properties possibly deriving from the relevant interactions between lipids and humic acids. Finally, from our observations, it could be reasonably argued that longer periods of maturation do not result in additional advantages regarding clinical activity. Full article
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Article
Patient Education in Spa Resorts: Experience from a French National Program for Patients with Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031176 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 563
Abstract
The prognosis of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is greatly depending upon the ability of the patients to optimize their health-related behaviors (mainly compliance to compression stockings, physical activity and diet). As this is usually challenging for the patients, we developed a therapeutic education [...] Read more.
The prognosis of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is greatly depending upon the ability of the patients to optimize their health-related behaviors (mainly compliance to compression stockings, physical activity and diet). As this is usually challenging for the patients, we developed a therapeutic education program (TEP) aiming at helping them to achieve these optimizations. We report here the preliminary results obtained with this program. This structured TEP was developed by a working group of 15 health professionals to be used during the regular French spa 3-week treatment course for CVI patients. The program included three interactive workshops aiming at improving the patients’ knowledge, skills and motivation, two educational consultations allowing to set and follow-up their personal action plans and a built-in evaluation. It was implemented in spa resorts specialized in CVI. Among the first 150 patients (116 women and 34 men, mean age 69 years old (SD 8 years), 49% had post-thrombotic disease. Compliance to the education workshops was 98%. After a 3-month follow-up, 83% of the patients fully achieved at least one behavioral objective. Quality of life, as assessed by the CIVIQ 2 auto-questionnaire, improved at 3 months (p = 0.0024) and 9 months (p = 0.018). These results demonstrate the feasibility of a TEP for CVI patients and its ability to improve their health-related behaviors, opening the way for the development of similar programs for other chronic diseases in the setting of spa resorts. Full article
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Article
Effects of Sodium Chloride-Rich Mineral Water on Intestinal Epithelium. Experimental Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063261 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Since knowledge concerning the cellular and tissue substrate that explains the therapeutic action of mineral waters is generally very scarce, we address the different effects that Lanjarón-Capuchina mineral water exerts on the intestinal epithelium in an experimental model as a prototype of the [...] Read more.
Since knowledge concerning the cellular and tissue substrate that explains the therapeutic action of mineral waters is generally very scarce, we address the different effects that Lanjarón-Capuchina mineral water exerts on the intestinal epithelium in an experimental model as a prototype of the sodium chloride-rich mineral waters used in digestive disorders. In the experimental protocol, two groups of five adult Wistar rats received unrestricted mineral water in their diet or mineral water directly into the gastrointestinal tract through a catheter. A third control group was given a standard diet and water ad libitum. Intestinal samples for scanning electron microscopy were analyzed according to standardized methods. The observations carried out by microscope after the administration of the sodium chloride-rich mineral water clearly indicate that the hypertonic action of this mineral water affects the structure of the intestinal epithelium. It modifies the microvilli absorption in terms of the groups of enterocytes and the secretion of goblet cells, but it particularly affects the epithelial renewal process, accelerating and stimulating cell extrusion. The type of extrusion mechanism observed by microscope allows us to affirm that, although this increased after direct administration, it does not generate an epithelial disruption as it occurs in other circumstances with other extrusion modalities. Full article
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Article
Peloids as Thermotherapeutic Agents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041965 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
The use of peloids as heat-providing therapeutic systems dates back to antiquity. Such systems consist of a liquid phase and an organic or inorganic solid phase. The latter facilitates the handling, preparation and stability of the solid–liquid system, modifying its organoleptic and phy-sicochemical [...] Read more.
The use of peloids as heat-providing therapeutic systems dates back to antiquity. Such systems consist of a liquid phase and an organic or inorganic solid phase. The latter facilitates the handling, preparation and stability of the solid–liquid system, modifying its organoleptic and phy-sicochemical properties, and improves its efficacy and tolerance. Peloids enable the application of heat to very specific zones and the release of heat at a given rate. The aims of this work are to study 16 reference peloids used in medical spa centers as thermo-therapeutic agents as well as to propose nine raw materials as a solid phase for the preparation of peloids. The physical properties studied are the centesimal composition, the instrumental texture and the thermal parameters. In conclusion, the peloids of the medical spas studied are used as thermotherapeutic agents in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, especially in knee osteoarthritis and to a lesser extent in back pain and psoriatic arthropathy. The clinical experience in these centers shows that the main effects of the application of their peloids are the reduction of pain, an increase in the joint’s functional capacity and an improvement in the quality of life. As thermotherapeutic agents, all the peloids of the me-dical spas studied and the pastes (raw materials with distilled water) examined showed a heat flow rate of up to four times lower than that shown by the same amount of water. The raw materials studied can be used as solid phases for the preparation of peloids with mineral waters. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Use of Sterilized and Non-Sterilized Peruibe Black Mud in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041666 - 09 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of treatment with Peruíbe Black Mud (PBM) on the clinical parameters and quality of life of patients with knee osteoarthritis and to compare the effects of PBM samples simply matured in seawater and PBM sterilized by [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of treatment with Peruíbe Black Mud (PBM) on the clinical parameters and quality of life of patients with knee osteoarthritis and to compare the effects of PBM samples simply matured in seawater and PBM sterilized by gamma radiation. A controlled, double-blind trial was conducted with 41 patients divided into two treatment groups composed of 20 and 21 patients: one group was treated with matured PBM and the other with sterilized PBM. Evaluations were done using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires, the Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) radiographic scale, and the quantification of the serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers. An improvement in pain, physical functions, and quality of life was observed in all of the patients who underwent treatment with both simply matured and sterilized PBM. Nine patients showed remission in the KL radiographic scale, but no statistically significant differences were observed in the serum levels of inflammatory mediators before or after treatment. Peruíbe Black Mud proves to be a useful tool as an adjuvant treatment for knee osteoarthritis (OA), as shown by the results of the WOMAC and SF-36 questionnaires and by the remission of the radiographic grade of some patients on the Kellgren and Lawrence scale. Full article
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Article
Comparison between Three Therapeutic Options for the Treatment of Balance and Gait in Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(2), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020426 - 07 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3459
Abstract
Stroke patients are more likely to be at risk of falling, which leads to limitation in their abilities to perform daily living activities and participate in society. The aim was to compare the relative effectiveness of three different treatment groups for improvements in [...] Read more.
Stroke patients are more likely to be at risk of falling, which leads to limitation in their abilities to perform daily living activities and participate in society. The aim was to compare the relative effectiveness of three different treatment groups for improvements in postural control and for improvements in balance. Forty-five participants diagnosed with acquired brain injury, with over one year’s evolution, were divided into a dry land therapy group (control group), an experimental group (Ai Chi aquatic therapy), and a combined group (therapy on dry land and aquatic therapy with Ai Chi). The Berg balance scale, tandem stance, the timed up and go test, and the five times sit-to-stand test were used. After twelve weeks of treatment, the results improved significantly for the combined therapy group (p < 0.01), and were significantly higher compared to the dry land therapy group (p < 0.01). In addition, improvements were also found in the aquatic Ai Chi therapy group. In conclusion, aquatic Ai Chi and/or the combination of aquatic therapy with dry land therapy is effective for the improvement of static and dynamic balance and for enhancing functional capacity, therefore, increasing the quality of life of acquired brain injury patients. Full article
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