Health spas in France: practical info

  • © Atout France / Phovoir

    © Atout France / Phovoir

Health spas in France: practical info

Hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy and balneotherapy

The major difference between these three technics is the use of three different waters. Thalassotherapy uses seawater, spa treatments spring water and balneotherapy uses fresh water.
The seawater and spring water provide benefits to the body (iodine, trace elements, minerals, etc.). These elements favor the welfare and have therapeutic properties that can prevent some specific illnesses. Balneotherapy has beneficial effects on the entire body, it regulates blood flow in particular.

Health spas: a tradition and a French know-how

The Hydrotherapy, inspired by Ancient Rome, has been revived in France in the early days of the nineteenth century. It has the primary purpose to prevent or cure some diseases such as rheumatism or overweight. The spas are located near sources, often at the foot of volcanoes, or mountains.

France has a long experience in thalassotherapy. In our country thalassotherapy centers are located throughout the coast and are known worldwide. Balneotherapy was invented more recently in order to develop fitness.

The rigor of care, Equipment at the forefront of technology and competent staff guarantee to patients a real improvements of their physical condition. Doctors, dieticians, physiotherapists, beauticians and hydrotherapists are regularly trained on latest techniques and will procure to you a specialized follow up.

Sanitation facilities and water quality are regularly inspected by state organization (Thalasso France).

Focus on spa

The word spa comes from the Latin "sanitus per aqua", which means "health through water".
A spa is a place of well-being, where visitors can relax both body and mind using water-based treatments, as well as providing beauty treatments. The atmosphere of a spa (its ambience, scent, colours and welcome) is of great importance.

There are spas in some thalasso or thermal centers. Depending on the institution water is used differently. From sea water in marine spas and to hot mineral water spas. Some institutions also have a spa with fresh water.

Spas can be located everywhere in France. There are "day spa" in town where people come for the day (no accommodation on site). There are also spa resorts, where lodging (hotel generally) is integrated into the spa and where you can stay several days.

Treatments – detailed informations

To be effective it is recommended that a water-treatment lasts at least six days to rebuild the body to really feel the benefits of fitness. But it is possible to make a short stay (weekend) for an initiation to water-treatments.

A course of thalasso usually include four to five treatments per day. Treatments are often concentrated on a half day. Each treatment of hard water lasts about twenty minutes. However, some specific treatments (massage, shiatsu) may last longer.

As explained, water-treatments use many different kinds of hydrotherapic cares (affusion shower, submarine jets, hydromassaging, etc.) but they are also dry cares practiced out of water (massage, relaxation, shiatsu, mud applications, etc.).

In addition to cares institutions allow you to enjoy their facilities (swimming pool, sauna, steam room, etc.) but also to relax or play sport (cycling, golf, tennis, etc.) and discover the area.

HAND MASSAGES

The difference between modelage and massage: The modelage is care that touch the skin almost superficially while massage is a deep practiceof skin (epidermis) and must be practiced by physiotherapists.

Relaxation massage: in addition to a breathing work, this treatment provides maximum relaxation by optimizing the loosening effect in the body.

Affusion massage: practiced two or four hands, massage has appeasing and relaxing effects, reinforced by a thin spray of hot water. This treatment takes away all the body's tension and improves the quality of sleep.

Lymphatic drainage: this massage works on the lymphatic system. Slow, gentle and fair pressure actively removes infiltrates, and is particularly effective in the case of edema and cellulitis.

Reflexology: This massage of reflexology areas of the foot helps to rebalance energies. This technique has therapeutic vertues on some ailments such as migraine or back pain.

SPECIFIC CARES

Swimming pool psychotherapy : Some exercises in a pool allow muscles, tendons and joints to regain flexibility and mobility and prevent physical dysfunctions. The body then regains its supple, active and painless of movement.

Pressure therapy: The legs benefit from alternative pressure and relaxations to improve venous return and make the legs feel lighter.

Endermology: This treatment combines the principle of "pinch-roll" massage with an aspiration technique. Particularly effective in the treatment of cellulite, it is also used for the treatment of the skin and of scars.