People have always believed that certain springs hold healing powers. And now the thermal water in the Thermen- und Vulkanland has undergone some scientific research. The findings? That it’s easy to relax in thermal water.
Exercise, bathe, unwind: What are the best strategies for reducing stress, and for whom? The Medical University of Graz has examined this very question in one of its studies.
You may remember the 2010 study that researched to what extent a 25-minute bathe in Styrian thermal water could influence a person’s stress levels… The results hit the local media: as an intervention to combat everyday stress, bathing in thermal water proved more effective (within the framework of the selected study design) than one of the best-known and best-established methods of relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation.
Lead by Dr. Babak Bahadori and Dr. Christian Fazekas, the deputy head of the University Clinic Department of Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy, scientists (project lead in the second study: Dr. Franziska Matzer) conducted a study at the Therme Loipersdorf and found that bathing greatly reduces perceived mental tension, as well as lowering physical stress indicators such as salivary cortisol. In other words: everything feels lighter. Or: you can ground yourself even when you’re in the water. In Styrian thermal water, at any rate.
Which brings us to the follow-up study, which is also the most current. It dates back to 2013 and questions whether exercise or passive relaxation can “offer more”. And: What is best for whom? You’ll have noticed that it’s not quite that simple. But that’s okay. Scientific findings are usually complex, but they carry more weight than myths and claims.
The study delivered one clear result: that cortisol measured in saliva drops significantly after bathing in thermal water for 25 minutes!
Psychological self-evaluations reveal an even clearer picture: subjective feelings of relaxation were more pronounced, i.e., people subjectively viewed thermal water as more relaxing than other relaxation methods.
Between 2012 and 2013, a follow-up study was conducted at the Parktherme Bad Radkersburg as part of the Regio Vitalis project. The Medical University of Graz analysed different methods of relaxation at the Parktherme Bad Radkersburg to find out what impact they had on reducing stress: bathing in thermal water, walking, relaxing in a quiet room, as well as a combination of walking followed by relaxing in thermal water.
The Thermen- & Vulkanland is Austria’s oldest and most traditional spa region. True Styrian thermal water is not only a special source of energy and power for body and soul, it is, more importantly, a source of health, peace, and wellbeing. The thermal water meets the prerequisites of Styria’s Thermal and Medicinal Waters and Health Resort Law. Its temperature and special mineral composition exhibit health-promoting and life-prolonging effects. The salutary power of the thermal water helps people unwind and has been shown to reduce stress.
The quality seal certifies that Styria’s thermal water has been quality-tested, thus serving as a guide and assurance. Besides this, the seal certifies that resource-saving measures have been put in place, and that a range of regional and local products are used.
The results provide important insights. The relaxing effect of Styria’s thermal water has the highest impact on those suffering from a great deal of stress. Systolic blood pressure drops after having practised some moderate exercise followed by a relaxing bathe in thermal water. For all methods, the subjects felt considerably more relaxed and revived after just 20 minutes.
All six spas in the Thermen- und Vulkanland are well-versed in helping people put the brakes on. They provide medical treatment, relaxation training, massages and comprehensive stress management coaching to prevent burnout. The region offers the ideal conditions for helping you recharge your batteries before returning to everyday life: a mild climate, lots of options for exercising in nature, and wholesome food.
General information about Styrian thermal water:
Its medicinal water meets the requirements of Styria’s Thermal and Medicinal Waters and Health Resort Law. Its main mineral components are calcium, magnesium, sodium and hydrogen carbonate. The springs emerge from a depth of 3,000 m at temperatures of between 90 and 110 °C. The wells were drilled after the Second World War, in the search for crude oil. Nobody knew just how important this water would become; it was only in the late 1980s that scientists discovered the salutary power of the water. Not only is the water important for use at home, it is also extremely helpful for illnesses such as kidney inflammation, stones in the urinary tract, stomach problems and hyperacidity. People suffering from liver disease or high blood pressure will also benefit from thermal water treatments.