“Group forming to reaffirm healing waters urge research and education on mineral waters use.”
[March 2012] The Calistoga Tribune discusses Balneology and the creation of BANA in their Mud City Weekender.
Although the practice of “taking the waters” has been a part of human culture for thousands of years, it has slowly started to evaporate in the United States.
A new, national organization named Balneotherapy Association of North America (BANA)
is hoping to inspire collaboration between health practitioners, mineral water spa owners, media, and the public to reeducate Americans on its restorative effects.
The BANA board of directors held its first formal meeting in Calistoga this month because, across the national landscape, Northern California has the highest concentration of mineral water resorts and spas, said board member Cynthia Josayma of Earthly Waters Travel.
Speakers shared their theories of what happened to erode the tradition of soaking in natural mineral waters among Americans and how advocates can collectively reinvigorate not only the debate on bathing’s positive out physical effects, but how to educate new supporters on its health benefits as well.
Download the full article here.
In February of 2013, the Balneology Association of North America (BANA) visited Truth or Consequences to commune, take in the waters, and talk about…what else? Balneology!
“Balneology” is the practice of utilizing mineral and thermal mineral waters, as well as natural gases and peliods (muds) through bathing, steaming, drinking and inhalation. In Balneology, the classification of medicinal mineral waters also includes the study of the geology, geography, climate, chemical and therapeutic actions.
Balneology is used for numerous health benefits. Maintaining wellness is the primary goal; mineral waters revitalize the skin, calm nerves, detoxify the body system and refresh oxygen levels. For those with health issues, mineral water can have a positive effect on conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, skin ailments, and respiratory illnesses including asthma, locomotor and circulatory diseases.
The BANA periodical provides in-depth discussions and information on Balneology in North America. Articles from the first periodical were written by several BANA Board Members and feature both an introduction to Balneology, an overview of some of the health benefits of natural mineral waters, and proper etiquette for bathing.
Download your copy of the BANA Periodical Issue 1.
- Introducing Balneology by Prof. J. Paul De Vierville, PHD
- Balneology Education by Cynthia Josayma, MA
- Seeking the Waters for Wellness by Janet Abbott, TLMT
- Six Geothermal Spa Towns in the U.S. by Cynthia Josayma, MA
- Geology and Health Benefits of Natural Mineral Waters by Janet Abbott, TLMT
- A Rustic-Wild Hot Spring Soaker’s Guide to Proper Bathing Etiquette by Dr. Marcus Coplin, ND
If you’d like to learn about the basics of balneology, “the study of therapeutic bathing and medicinal springs,” you’ll be pleased to discover the premier issue of BANA Periodical. The Fall 2014 issue, published by the non-profit Balneology Association of North America (BANA), is a treasure trove for those who revere the waters.
Within its pages, you’ll learn about the ancient art and modern science of taking the waters for health and healing. From the playful “Introducing Balneology” by Professor J. Paul De Vierville to “Seeking the Waters for Wellness” by Janet Abbot to “A Rustic Soaker’s Guide to Bathing Etiquette” by Dr. Marcus Coplin, ND, BANA Periodical takes you on a very pleasant and practical journey.
And for those of you who may be feeling adventurous and would like to experience balneology firsthand, “Six Geothermal Spa Towns,” by Cynthia Josayma, identifies six major spa towns in the United States that have played huge historical roles in the story of spas and mineral-water bathing. (Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, is an old favorite of ours.)
Josayma, BANA’s Founder and Executive Director, first started to research balneology back in 2006, after a trip to Portugal piqued her interest in the field. “To discover here was a whole field of medical mineral waters was fascinating to me, and I wanted to know more,” she explained. Her hope is that BANA reawakens the knowledge about different kinds of waters, as well as the care of those waters—sorely lacking in the United States, a country so rich in natural mineral waters.
“Balneotherapy Research in France” by Christian François Roques, focuses on new research on the beneficial use of natural mineral waters for a number of chronic diseases.
There are currently 100 natural mineral water resorts in France that are overseen by the Public Health Authorities. In 2011, these spas treated 520,000 patients for an equivalent of 9,360,000 days of treatment and as well as an additional 491,000 using the waters for “Well Being Care”.
In the article “Balneotherapy Research in France “ C. Roques outlines the 100 natural mineral water resorts in France that cover a range of health uses including: 66 spas specializing in rheumatic diseases–immune disease affecting joints and soft tissues; 31 spas specializing in respiratory tract diseases; 23 spas serve metabolic conditions; 8 spas help with neurological and stress related disorders and 11 spas specialize in dermatological diseases.
It also introduces a new organization, the French Association of Thermal Research, which was established in 2005 to provide scientific and economic opportunities. This article discusses the origin, transformation & results of current research in the use of Balneotherapy. Finally, the article surveys the improvement of the patients using natural mineral waters and concludes that larger international cooperation to set up new research & methods would be beneficial.