Curative Mud Bath Treatment
Bulgaria boasts about 2,000 natural mineral water springs, along with mud-curing deposits in a few of these locations. Of these, there are said to be about 500 mineral water springs that have unique curing qualities. No other place in Europe has such diversity and uniqueness when it comes to mineral water and peloid (mud) treatment. The mud that is used in the treatment center in Banya comes from a 7.5 acre plot of ground near the facility. The boggy area where the mud is extracted is high in vegetative, organic mud that is constantly drenched in mineral water. The mud has a creamy consistency to it, almost like a light pudding or creamy sauce. There are two mud pools that are open to the public. One is a hot thermal pool and the other is a pool with warm water. There is also a clear water mineral pool and showers for those using the mud treatments.
People from all over come to this unique place and enjoy the benefits of mud while basking in the healing rays of Bulgaria's summer sun. The mud is brown in color and warm to the touch with little or no smell. The therapeutic mud is composed of a complex, biologically active mixture of both organic and inorganic substances, that exert a physical, chemical and thermal effect on a person's body. It stimulates blood circulation, breathing and body metabolism. Rheumatic and skin diseases benefit from the mud treatment. The procedure combines the effects of hot mineral water, healing mud, air and sun.
Hot Mud Pool
From antiquity, the soil of the earth has been used for curative purposes. Emanuel Felke, a German pastor, became famous in the last century and was called the "Clay Pastor," because of his work with mud. He believed that the effects of mud on the body are refreshing, invigorating and vitalising and that earth is nature's true natural bandage for wounds and skin diseases. His premise was that the body repairs itself with what it is essential made of and that's soil from the earth.
The American Indians were known to put great stock in the healing powers of leaves, herbs, air and the earth. They would often bury sufferers of various diseases in the earth up to their necks and leave them there for hours before removing them. They believed that the human body has the capacity to draw from the ground all kinds of healing minerals and some of what can be called the earth's magnetism. Many people who practice natural health remedies believe in the power of mud packs and the use of mud in treating chronic inflammations caused by internal diseases, bruises, sprains, boils, wounds and rheumatological problems.
The use of the mud was considered man's first attempt at curing himself. The thermal baths date from ancient Rome and were centers for social life, as well as for treatment of ailments and hygiene. Therapeutic mud exists in a mushy state and is divided into three distinct compounds: clay and mineral salts, liquid from the thermal water and organic matter and bacteria.
During a visit to the mud bath in Banya, a Bulgarian man, who lives in Norway, described for us the effects of the mud on his aches and pains. He was there due to an acident suffered earlier while attempting to stop a falling speaker box with his body. He was injured and could not raise his arm above his waist level. However, following therapy treatment in Banya at the Rehabilitation Center and daily regiments of fresh air, sunshine and thermal mud bath procedures, he was able to raise his arm above his head in a normal full range of motion. And he went on to tell us about how his skin was subject to extreme sunburn when in Norway while attempting to tan. However, after hours in the sun while taking the mud bath procedures and allowing the mud to dry on his body in the warm Bulgarian sun and fresh air, there was no sign of redness or sunburn. People in this part of the world try to spend every available moment out in the sun, building their supply of Vitamin D and adding color to their skin because the winters are long and almost sunless. Nowhere at any time did we witness any person in the mud bath treatment area with a sunburn or redness of skin.
It is not recommended that you stay in the thermal mud bath pools more than 10 minutes at a time, gradually increasing this to about 18 to 20 minutes over 10 to 12 visits. The mud can be applied while in the bath or while standing near the pool. The procedure involves allowing the mud and mineral water to dry on the skin in the fresh air and sunshine. You are then advised to shower in fresh mineral water, without soap if at all possible. A dip in the clear water mineral pool after the shower is advised, along with some time spent drying in the sun on one of the benches or lying on a mat.
||Hours of Operation: May to September, 7 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
||Hours of Operation are divided into two parts: men mornings, women afternoon. Each week the schedule changes and women go in the mornings, men in the afternoon.
||Price for Entrance: 1.80 BGN Leva
||Ticket for the Mud Bath Treatment must be purchased at the cashier's window at the Central Bath Facility
Warm Mud Pool
Mud and Sun
Men and Women Go to the Mud Treatment at Separate Times of the Day