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2018.01.05 - What is the ideal medicinal thermal water temperature?

Hot, warm or tepid?

What is the ideal medicinal thermal water temperature?

Did you know that different medicinal thermal water temperatures are ideal for treating different illnesses? Harkány, Hévíz, Budapest – thermal water springs to the surface all over the Carpathian Basin and each one has some kind of healing potential. However, before you decide to go to a spa for treating a health problem, it is useful to be aware of the following considerations.

Before taking a medicinal thermal water treatment in a spa, three factors need to be examined thoroughly: the chemical composition of the water, how much time should be spent in it and water temperature. It is of utmost importance to know the water temperature, because in the case of certain illnesses the same medicinal thermal water can be dangerous if it is of too high temperature, while it can cure the illness if its temperature is lower. In general we can say that lower-temperature waters carry smaller risk. By definition, thermal water must have a temperature above 30°C. Well, in Hungary thermal waters that reach the surface have very often higher temperature, for instance from Budapest spas Széchenyi Bath has the hottest water – the spa’s well No.2 is 1,257 metres deep and gives 77°C water. It is needless to say that in baths visitors aren’t exposed to very hot water as the water is cooled before the pools are filled, this is the reason why it is possible for bathers to choose from waters of different temperatures. There are also places where ‘cooler’ water comes from the springs and the difference between the temperatures of medicinal thermal water in different pools is smaller.     



If the water is too hot, it is those that should be most careful who suffer from arthritis. Inflammation symptoms can worsen because of the hot water and this isn’t something that necessarily comes with the treatment, as it can be avoided if cooler water is used. What is more, very warm water makes it more difficult to do therapeutic gymnastics, which is often used as a treatment for arthritis patients. It is recommended to do physical exercise in cooler water. In the case of certain illnesses the ideal water temperature is so important that balneotherapy specialists prescribe individual bathtub treatment, so that the ideal water temperature can be set precisely.           

Water that is too hot is also a risk factor from a blood temperature perspective. It can easily happen that one’s blood pressure starts fluctuating when sitting in the hot pool, so we must always read the information board that is usually placed next to the pool, in order to learn how many minutes it is recommended to stay in the water. We mustn’t sit in the pool longer or start acting like we know better! As a general rule, we can say that the warmer the water is, the less time we should spend in it – this is especially true for bathers with a heart condition! If for some reason one really wants to spend a lot of time in the hot pool, at least they should get out of it from time to time, move about a little and sit in cooler water for a while before returning to the hot pool a bit later.    

Because it is so pleasant…

Why is it so good to take a bath in warmer, 37-38°C water? We must also keep in mind that – if the person is healthy – one can enjoy the slightly tiring experience without any problem. The beneficial effects of warm water are just as important as its possible risks. In warm water the muscles relax and we can relieve stress, and these two things are very important today, when many people live in a rat race. Thanks to warm water, our metabolism speeds up and this leads to detoxification and makes the circulation of lymph faster. Warmer medicinal thermal water gives off more steam as well, therefore by inhaling this the human body benefits from the minerals which are contained in it another way as well, which means that the water’s curative effect is stronger.       

One should definitely consult their doctor before starting a medicinal thermal water cure, to learn which type of water they recommend and in what version, tepid, warm or hot. Let’s not forget that a healthy person can try any pool in any spa, no matter what their water temperature is, but even they shouldn’t stay in the water longer than it is recommended with the given pool!