Mature thermal mud (fango) is a mixture of clay, thermal water and micro-organisms. The maturation process takes place in special basins that, for a period of 2/3 months, is bathed in thermal water flowing over the clay at a temperature of 60°C, constantly exposed to the sun’s rays. In this phase the clay undergoes a metamorphosis and develops a colony of algae and organic microflora and increases its suppleness and heat retention properties. The thermal stress aids the formation of microorganisms (diatoms) which produce anti-inflammatory, analgesic and therapeutic effects.
On the skin’s surface there is an intense vasodilatation and a progressive relaxing of the muscles. On the general level the thermal stress works by releasing hormones- cortisol and endorphins- with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The short term benefits at the end of the therapy cycle are analgesic, muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory with a consequent stimulation and improvement of the joints and surrounding structures. The long term effects, during the course of months after the treatment pertain to the prevention of recurrence and slowing of the progression of degenerative joint ailments such as arthritis .
Fangotherapy is performed in 4 phases:
1) Thermal fango
The thermal mud treatment is done in the morning (from 6am- noon). As per medical instructions, expert personnel distribute mud on the body’s surface in the area to treat with a thickness of 3-10 cm. at a temperature of 42 - 45°C. To reduce heat dispersion the patent is covered with a sheet or blanket. The duration of each application is from 15-20 minutes.
2) Balneotherapy in ozone bath
After the thermal mud treatment, the patient is immersed in a tub of warm thermal water, with a temperature ranging from 36 - 38°C. Balneotherapy relaxes muscles and induces an analgesic effect. Due to the chemical composition of the water, specific hormonal biochemical neurovegetative stimulation is created, completing the therapeutic action.
3) Reactive or resting phase
After the thermal mud and balneotherapy the patient returns to his/her room or to a relaxing area where he remains prone and covered for about 30 minutes. During this time the physical reactions and the therapeutic effects of the mud therapy take place. The effect consists in an intense perspiration that begins during the mud pack and is completed in this phase.
4) Massotherapy (massage)
Massotherapy is a physiotherapeutic treatment that increases the benefits of the mud therapy session. Its scope is to improve the circulatory system of the blood and nourishment of the tissues to help the elimination of metabolic waste and fatty deposits regain mobility in the limbs. Beyond a localised effect, the massage has a general sedative effect and stimulates reflexive actions on internal organs.