ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: MUD THERAPY

Immersing oneself in mud for its medical benefits is a form of hydrotherapy . Mud contains high levels of vitamins and minerals, small amounts of which will be absorbed through otherwise impregnable skin. There is certainly external benefit and mud therapy may be useful for treating skin conditions such as acne, eczema and psoriasis. The internal benefits are suggested but not well documented, and it is probable that the small amounts that are absorbed are dealt with by the efficient liver and kidney before any therapeutic benefit can be experienced. The nerves in the skin may well set up reflex responses through the spinal column.

Mud therapy is an excellent form of treatment, particularly for dermatological conditions, but is not easily available since very few mud spas exist. The Moor in Austria is one highly regarded spa, based beside a boggy lake and marshland which is home to hundreds of unique medicinal herbs whose lipids, enzymes, minerals and vitamins are dissolved in the water and mud of the lake. These have been shown to have many healing properties when applied to the skin, and their antiinflammatory quality makes Moor treatment particularly useful for rheumatism and arthritis. Research into the benefits of mud therapy is currently going on and the results look promising.

Products from the Moor and from other spas are now becoming available for use at home, either in the form of powders or in tubs and tubes. Ideally the mud should be applied to the skin as a soft paste, but since this is an extremely messy procedure it is probably better to use a liquid mud extract in the bath. Follow the instructions on the container and soak in the hot bath for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, take a shower and get into a warm bed. You will sweat as the impurities and toxins in the body are drawn out.

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