A thermal bath (also called short- Therme ) is a bathing facility, in the natural, mostly mineralized groundwater comes with a source outlet temperature of over 20 ° C are used. These thermal waters can come from a natural source ( eg Aachen ) or have been developed (eg Erding ) through a deep hole. The thermal water has a relaxing effect on the muscles, stimulating the circulation and soothes with its mineral constituents chronic diseases of the joints, as well as rheumatism and allergies.
The groundwaters with an outlet temperature of about 20 ° C are designated according to the definitions of the German Spas Association as thermal water. The majority of the thermal waters contain numerous dissolved salts, often carbonated and in some cases, radioactive constituents. Carbonated thermal waters are called Thermalsäuerlinge if they contain at least 1,000 mg / l of free carbon dioxide. Depending on the chemical composition of the thermal water the mineralized waters are referred to as thermal mineral waters, wherein, in the naming of a differentiation is performed in the main and minor components. For example, the Aachen thermal spring water as fluoride and sulfur -containing sodium - chloride - defined thermal water - hydrogen carbonate. In accordance with statutory provisions for swimming and bathing pool water the natural thermal waters as a rule must be treated before it can be discharged into the public swimming areas.
The therapeutic efficacy ( Head -Out Water Immersion ) of the thermal water is mainly due to the Hydrostase, that is on the hydrostatic pressure acting on all sides in the water and the temperature of the water. To the physiological effects of the hydrostatic pressure include, among others Improve venous function, tissue dehydration, metabolic activation and the kidney. The positive effect of the warm water for example, causes a muscle relaxation, joint relief, a reduction in edema, suppression of stress hormones and increase blood circulation. This allows a number of indications, such as arthritis, edema, diseases of the rheumatic, hypertension and psychosomatic disorders are positively influenced.
Open outcropping, natural thermal springs are used for millennia for bathing and medicinal purposes ( balneotherapy). Since the 5th century BC ancient bathing facilities for the use of thermal springs are detectable. In ancient times there was a distinct bathing culture developed under the Romans in the large baths, thermal baths (Latin thermae ).
Thermal baths are used for therapeutic purposes and are often spas attached. For a thermal spa pools with different temperature levels, brine baths, saunas can belong with various saunas and steam baths and a massage service.
The largest thermal spa in the world is the Hungarian capital Budapest with more than 120 different sources, and more than 21 public, sometimes up to 450 year old baths (see also: Budapest thermal baths ). Across Germany, represents the Rottaler Bäderdreieck with the three spa towns Bad Fussing, Bad Griesbach, Bad Birnbach, the largest provider of cures and nights while Europe will find the famous thermal baths in Italy, in the Pannonian Basin, in the area of Egergrabens and the Rhine Graben. In Japan and Taiwan have a long tradition of thermal baths (onsen ).
In recent decades, especially many new spas originated in the so-called thermal region Eastern Styria, Burgenland and West Hungary. These new spas, the emphasis is on wellness and entertainment as on medicinal baths.