In an article called “Effect of a French Mineral Water on Serum Cholesterol,”1 Drs. Korenyi, Harkavy and Whittier reported on the experiments they conducted with 34 patients’ with high cholestrol levels at the Creedmoor State Hospital in New York. These patients, whose serum cholesterol levels were above 240 mg. percent, did not receive any other type of treatment known to have any effect on serum cholesterol, except 301/2 fluid ounces of mineral water daily in three divided doses. The treatment continued for 30 days.

At the end of two weeks the average decrease of serum cholesterol was 9.9 mg. percent. At the conclusion of the study, the average decrease was 23.8 mg. percent.

A Hungarian doctor, O. Schulhof, M.D., made a study of the spa therapies and reported that “beside the psychological effects produced by the changed environment, and the complex effect of combined drug, electro- and mechano-therapeutic treatments, we still attribute importance to the specific effect of the mineral water.” Dr. Schulhof said that it has been demonstrated that mineral water is actually absorbed through the skin. Mineral waters have been shown to have a beneficial effect on the connective tissues as well as on the immunological and healing powers of the body.’

The doctors in Hungary have discovered that patients taking cortisone can do as well without it after taking the spa treatment. “By spa hospital treatment it is often possible for patients who have taken corticosteroids for years to do without them; one might say that by means of spa therapy we can carry out ‘corticosteroid withdrawal’ treatment.”

In Russia, there are several research centers where balneology, the medical science of curing and preventing sickness by the use of water, is studied. Russia has hundreds of government-operated spas and bathing clinics. Over six million people go to these spas and bathing resorts each year and take “the cure.” Russian scientists believe that the best way to prevent disease is to stimulate the body’s own defensive and resistant forces. “Among these stimulating agencies the first place belongs to spa treatment and rest,” said the Russian Academy of Sciences, Soviet’s highest scientific institution.

People have been using mineral springs and various kinds of water baths for ages, long before civilization. In the Caucasus Mountains you can see ancient bathing places where cave dwellers carried their sick to bathe in natural hot springs. Mexican Indians used natural hot springs and mineral waters for the healing of the sick long before the white man stepped on this continent. Man throughout his history has instinctively appreciated the invigorating and rejuvenating effect of hot and cold baths in springs, rivers, lakes, and oceans.

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