The use of mud baths to cure ailments has gone out of fashion of late. But since antiquity, the soil of the earth has been used to remedy all sorts of health problems. The use of mud was considered humankind’s first attempt to cure disease. Many cultures throughout history have used mud baths to refresh, invigorate and heal. The theory behind the curative powers of mud is that it is nature’s true natural “bandage” for wounds and skin diseases. When you have a mud bath treatment, advocates say, you are essentially trying to repair what is wrong with the same minerals and substances that you are made of.
When you experience a mud bath, warm mud is applied all over your body, which is then wrapped in a sheet and covered with blankets. During the next 20 to 30 minutes, you will notice your skin tingling and tightening as the mud dries and your body’s temperature rises. As your body heats up, circulation increases and endorphins (your body’s natural painkillers) are released. This could help to ease the aches and pains of muscular tension and joint problems such as arthritis and rheumatism. Studies have shown that mud therapy reduces water retention around areas of tissue damage and could help speed recovery after a major injury or surgery.
In one clinical trial, researchers wanted to find out if mud baths could relieve any of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a challenging condition to heal, as it does not respond well to conventional drug therapy. Eighty patients with primary fibromyalgia were divided into two groups. Forty patients received a cycle of 12 mud packs and thermal baths, while the other 40 acted as the control group. After 16 weeks, the patients were evaluated for symptoms. The mud bath group reported significant improvement in symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
In another clinical trial, Italian researchers studied the effects of mud bath treatments on patients suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints. The onset of the disease is usually gradual, with pain, functional difficulties, and joint rigidity accompanied by depression. Fifty-one patients with osteoarthritis were given 12 consecutive days of sulfur mud bath treatments. At the beginning and the end of treatments, clinical symptoms and quality of life for each patient were measured. The researchers reported at the end of the study that there was a significant reduction of symptoms and an improved quality of life in the participants after the mud bath treatments.