Abstract
BALENOTHERAPY EMBRACES HORMESIS TO SUPPORT HEALTH DISORDER BY NATURAL HARMONY THROUGH HYDROTHERMAL TREATMENT

Surjya Toran Maiti*, Dibya Dey and Dr. Dhrubo Jyoti Sen

ABSTRACT

Balneotherapy is a clinically effective complementary approach in the treatment of low-grade inflammation- and stress-related pathologies. The biological mechanisms by which immersion in mineral-medicinal water and the application of mud alleviate symptoms of several pathologies are still not completely understood, but it is known that neuroendocrine and immunological responses—including both humoral and cell-mediated immunity—to balneotherapy are involved in these mechanisms of effectiveness; leading to anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, chondroprotective, and anabolic effects together with neuroendocrine-immune regulation in different conditions. Hormesis can play a critical role in all these biological effects and mechanisms of effectiveness. Hormesis is a characteristic of many biological processes, namely a biphasic or triphasic response to exposure to increasing amounts of a substance or condition. Within the hormetic zone, the biological response to low exposures to toxins and other stressors is generally favorable. The term "hormesis" comes from Greek hórmēsis "rapid motion, eagerness", itself from ancient Greek hormáein "to set in motion, impel, urge on", the same Greek root as the word hormone. The term 'hormetics' has been proposed for the study and science of hormesis. The hormetic effects of balneotherapy can be related to non-specific factors such as heat—which induces the heat shock response, and therefore the synthesis and release of heat shock proteins—and also to specific biochemical components such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in sulfurous water and radon in radioactive water. Results from several investigations suggest that the beneficial effects of balneotherapy and hydrotherapy are consistent with the concept of hormesis, and thus support a role for hormesis in hydrothermal treatments.

Keywords: Spa therapy, Mud therapy, Hydrotherapy, Hormesis, Immune response, Inflammation, Oxidative stress, Heat shock proteins, Pain, Rheumatic diseases.


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