31 October 2010

Bubbly radon baths

Twenty minutes in a hot bath with water bubbling around you like you’re bathing in champagne. Nice! It feels very luxurious, very bubbly and, above all, very relaxing. The smell is not champagne, but more like metal. Still, it’s not a bad smell. It adds to the experience. A long window shows mountains and trees in autumn colours. 

After long months of stress, work and lots of obligations, I was very much looking forward to leave the Netherlands for a two-week holiday of spa therapy, wellness and much needed relaxation. I left early Monday morning for a 10-hour train ride through Germany to a very little town in southern Saxony, Bad Brambach. It’s literally the last village before the border, as Czech borders surround the village. To get there by train, you even have to go through Czech republic in order to arrive at the station of Bad Brambach. It’s a tiny village but it’s well known for its high amounts of radon gas in its waters. Research has shown its levels of radon are even the highest in Europe and among the highest in the world. That said, if you would have these levels of radon in your house or cellar, you had to leave your house immediately because of health risks. Luckily, there's no radon in my hotel room, and I'm only trying out natural radon gas in baths. It supposedly has a good effect on patients suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis. 

After waiting for exactly 2 minutes, a lady picks me up and brings me to a room with ‘CO2 Radonbad’ written on its door. The water is still forcefully splashing into the bath and I can wait in my bathrobe in this warm room until the bath is full. Before I can go in, she puts a little box in the water.
While I'm carefully climbing into the bath, I notice the heat of the water right away. But not only the heat, it’s also something with the water itself. There’s a kind of force in the water, which makes it difficult to first sit, and afterwards lie down. It feels a bit like you’re starting to float. Now, I understand why the little box is put into the water, it helps a smaller girl like me, against floating and makes me lying perfectly under water.

With a little pillow under my head and rays of the sun on the water, it’s perfect. Perfect to relax, to clear my thoughts, to leave my work at home and solely focus on the bubbles. These bubbles come to the surface of the water and then explode. It’s fascinating to see. Because there’s no distraction of music, people, voices or pain, I’m watching the water and the play between the bubbles and the sun. I can see bubbles on my whole body, but as soon as I lift my hand out of the water, they’re gone.

The gas smells, well, healthy. It’s not difficult to get used to. Very silently a clock is ticking the minutes away. And then, a red light bulb indicates that time is up. The lady told me beforehand that after getting out of the bath, I should put my bathrobe on straight away and go then to the Ruheraum, the room to relax. No towels, no drying, just the bathrobe. Although the room itself was warm beforehand, the minute I get out of this bath, I’m freezing. I’m so cold. Putting my bathrobe on in record speed and walk slowly towards to the Ruheraum. I’m a bit out of it.

In the Ruheraum there are thick blankets, which help you getting warm again. The minute I’m lying in one of the extremely comfy chairs with a blanket over me, and socks warming my feet, I close my eyes.
Twenty minutes later, I wake up again and look at the view in front of me. Beautiful. The sun makes the trees shine in their autumn colours and the sky is incredibly blue. As a Dutch girl used to a flat country, I thoroughly enjoy looking at the mountains behind. I decide to treat myself and stay a little longer and start reading a book there. The lady advised me to relax for half an hour after taking this radon bath. I made it 1,5 hours.

05 October 2010

Relaxing with radon spa therapy

My final week before holiday!

This summer I initially wanted to go to Greece, but due to some unforeseen events (a graduation ceremony in my family and a new job for my friend) it would only be October before our holiday could start and the Greek islands would have shut down by that time.

Nonetheless, I still wished to change my office life for some mountain and nature scenery and leave my e-mail inbox unanswered for a little while. The sole question was, where to go by myself?
The answer became: Germany. It will not only include a holiday for me, but also spa therapy for my body.

I'm going to Bad Brambach, a little Saxon village in the south-east of Germany and bordering to the Czech republic. I'll be leaving Monday early morning and travel to Bad Brambach by train, and am looking forward to ten hours of watching changing landscapes and reading books and magazines.

 This spa resort is already famous since the first medical   
 research in 1812 for its natural spring water and since   
 the early 1900s as spa resort with the strongest radon 
 gas in Europe.

 The medical treatments and rehabilitation services in
 Bad Brambach are known by -mainly German- patients
 diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid

 Radon is a gas used since the early 1900s for the
 treatment of rheumatic diseases. Recently, research has
 been conducted on the effect of radon and spa therapy
 on AS patients, hopefully more research will follow.
 This radon gas is found in caves, mines and natural
 spring water. The Austrian village of Bad Gastein is one of the most famous spa resorts in Europe with radon caves. 

I have looked at many websites of spa resorts, offering spa packages for patients diagnosed with rheumatic diseases. In the end, I chose for a 2-week package in Bad Brambach, including 8 radon baths. 
I will try out staying at a spa resort and therapy for the first time, and see for myself if I notice any difference in my body afterwards. I hope my health will benefit from all the physiotherapy, massages and other treatments and I will enjoy the two weeks of fresh air, mountains and baths fully, in addition to all the free time to read, walk, cycle and relax!

I'm very curious to hear any of your experiences and tips regarding spa therapy and health benefits!