BALNEOLOGY is a branch of medicine concerned with the study ofmethods of therapeutic bathing, especially in natural mineral spring water and medicinal peloid.
Mineral-thermal waters have been used as curative agents since Paleolithic times. They were the places at which special rituals were carried out; religious practices helped them to improve their health by drinking water and bathing in it. Apart from the water, they used peloid (medicinal mud) wraps.
Regardless of place, geographical latitude, race, denomination, ethnic background or language, people adapted themselves to the given surroundings drawing only what the nature allows them to take.
However, the use of natural resources increasingly became insufficient and some ailments could not be cured. Therefore, the man had to start looking for other treatment and prevention methods. The path followed brought them to the idea to build spas – medical centers that improved their awareness and showed them the need to maintain their health, prevent diseases and care about their body.
Rain is the major source of water on earth and it travels through the soil slowly and for a long time. The water courses exploited today are thousands and thousands years old and that is why the water in them is higher in quality than that we have at our homes.
According to the research, Serbia is among the richest countries in terms of geothermal resources, whether in the form of hydrothermal (underwater thermal water temperature higher than 1O°C), petrogeothermal (in dry rocks) or magmatic geothermal energy (magma). Serbia has registered 1050 mineral springs, for 264 of them temperature, characteristics and medicinal value have been determined.
Thermomineral water is used in Vojvodina at 23 sites, but the natural treasure is much larger.
Due to geological and morphological structure of Vojvodina the natural springs could not be formed and the spas we find today have medicinal mud (peloid) formed in lakes or ponds and drilled wells.
If we compare Serbia with world leaders in spa tourism, such as Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary or even France, it should be noted that Serbia is among the major ones – the number of spas in France equals that of the springs at Kopaonik!
Apart from water resources, nature very often gives us quality, fresh air that has a positive effect on our body. Such places, particularly dependent on sea level we call climatic or health resorts. Serbia officially has five of them apart from some others offering the conditions to be considered as such.
SPA & WELLNESS
SPA is the abbreviated form of the Latin phrase: Sanus per aquam (health is in water).
Modem, increasingly speedy and urbanized way of life is followed by stress affecting human organism. Consuming such life, human beings are incapable of devoting more time than just few hours to relaxation and refreshment of their vital energy. To spare their time to faraway place, venturesome people started opening Spa&Wellness centers as equivalent substitutes for spa and health centers, that is, for efficient recovery of energy necessary for normal functioning of our body.
These centers are not a novelty for the mankind. They are just reconstructed thermal baths in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece and Rome, used as a part of everyday life.
Everything had a start in ancient civilizations where hot air and steam baths had been known to the Greeks as early as the 5th century BC. Laconicum, a dry steam bath much like a modem sauna, was used at first and then balneum (a private bath) and balnea (public baths) and at last magnificent edifices thermae.
The original thermae were small, hand activated individual sweets called balinae. By the 1st century BC, hypocaust heating allowed for the creation of hot-cold rooms and plunge baths. Bathing quickly became a communal activity.
The term thermae was first applied to the baths built by Aggripa in the I st century BC. Emperors later built gradually grander baths, and the thermae became an Ancient Roman tradition.
The two most well preserved baths of ancient Rome are the baths of Diocletian and Caracalla. In the time of the Roman Empire, the baths were a place of leisure time during many Romans daily routine. People from nearly every class – men, women, and children – could attend the thermae, or public baths, similar to modem day fitness clubs and community centers.
SPA centers can be constructed at different places but often they are within spas and health centers.
Wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind-body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being.
It has been used in the context of alternative medicine since Halbert L. Dunn began using the phrase high level wellness in the fifties.
Dunn defined wellness as an integrated method of functioning which is oriented toward maximizing the potential of which the individual is capable. It requires that the individual maintain a continuum of balance and purposeful direction within the environment where he is functioning.
The term has been defined by the Singapore-based National Wellness Association as an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence. In other words, wellness is a view of health that emphasizes the state of the entire being and its ongoing development.
The phrase can also be seen as an analogue to the medical term homeostasis.
Wellness can also be described as the constant, conscious pursuit of living life to its fullest potential And as a state that combines health and happiness. In order to achieve the state of wellness one has to work on its determinants: better understanding of concepts like destiny, health practices, spirituality, family, environment, work, money and security, health services, social support and leisure, and to bring them into full harmony.
Worldwide there are various promoters and supporters of these ideas and different programs, for example, secular-based programs (providing help to people who wish to improve fitness, stop smoking, or to learn how to manage their weight) or faith-based wellness programs (providing services to residents in need, such as food, shelter, clothing, childcare).
Taken together, Spa & Wellness, as forms of health tourism, have probably the most rising trend nowadays.
The Guide presented to you here will enable you to become familiar with all the spa and health centers of Serbia, with all registered Spa & Wellness Centers, with everything they can offer as to help you find something for your pleasure.
While following the pages in front of you, be sure that their purpose is primarily conceived to inhance Your Cheerful Mood!