Climate therapy is one of the earliest and most effective treatments of various ailments based on a range of climate and natural givens. Evidence about the use of this method of healing the human system dates back to the times of Hippocrates. The foremost authority of ancient Greek medicine believed that disease stemmed from affected homeostasis – the balance between several fluids, and hence this could be mended using another fluid – like water, for instance.
Offering a great diversity of thermal mineral springs and therapeutic mud deposits Bulgaria is among the leading tourist destinations in Europe. The country enjoys four-season weather and the summer is quite suitable for sun bathing.
Dermatologist and venereologist Dr Ivan Bogdanov who specializes in climate therapy points to Bulgaria’s remarkable wealth of mineral waters: “We have more than 350 springs in more than 200 fields. Since the Classical Antiquity this land has been famed for its mineral water. Many of the country’s cities emerged close to such springs – Sofia, Kyustendil, Hissar and many others.”
Today Bulgaria has 48 climate mountain resorts, 15 climate sea resorts and 38 balneo resorts. The water in their mineral springs varies widely in terms of chemical composition, temperature and properties.
Dr Ivan Bogdanov tells us that the Bulgarian dermatologists were among the first to begin using organized climate therapy to relieve the symptoms of patients with the severe skin condition psoriasis. The beginning was in the 1950s, on the Black Sea coast. The results of treatment were very promising.
Some time ago a preferred place for organized climate therapy used to be Tuzlata, near the town of Balchik on the Northern Black Sea coast. Today patients go for
self-treatment without any support from the state. “Tuzlata us a unique place,” claims Dr Ivan Bogdanov based on his experience. “Apart from the sun and the sea there is a mineral spring there with water suitable for relieving psoriasis, plus a therapeutic mud center, and salty firth water.”
The doctor explains that the sea provides great benefits for patients with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis and adds that Bulgaria’s nature abounds in diverse options for mountain climate therapy – one such place is in Mount Rila, at Belmeken. Currently groups of children are recruited for climate therapy there. In Belmeken, at 2000 m above sea level, the human system begins to release hormones in a natural way which have an expressed anti-inflammatory effect and are powerful in relieving atopic dermatitis, nettle-rush and other conditions,
Dr Ivan Bogdanov would readily practice group climate therapy again – for instance, at Tuzlata. He however believes that this requires some support from the state – via the National Social Security Institute or by including climate therapy in the clinical pathways paid for by the National Health Insurance Fund.
Edited and translated by Daniela Konstantinova