Some have it, many use it: the healing climate. However, only about 50 of the more than 6, 000 German health resorts and resorts have been given the title of "Healthy Climate Spa". The seal of quality awarded by the German Spas Association DHV and the German Tourism Association DTV is bound by strict criteria. A "healthy climate" is therefore only the place whose air quality is regularly checked and qualified, among other things by a report by the German Weather Service. For the other spas, resorts, climatic resorts and seaside resorts, there are also controlled criteria in their categories, with the aim of ensuring structure and quality on site.
Spas with tradition
Baths and cures have a long tradition in Germany. Whether mineral or mud baths, Kneipp cures or spa treatment in the Seeheilbad: for hundreds of years, people use the healing powers of mineral-rich warm water and fresh unused air at the lake and in the woods for recreation and health promotion.
Bioclimate in the city
The majority of people live in densely built-up cities where there is a stressful bioclimate. The development of the cities prevents air currents with which pollutants and irritants can be removed and, for example, filtered through the foliage of surrounding forests.
It is no coincidence that so-called "green lungs", ie generously invested green belts in inner-city areas, are now playing a major role in urban planning. The haze over the cities reduces the biologically effective and important UV radiation in winter and often causes respiratory problems and circulatory problems in the summer due to smog and high ozone levels.
Recreation in the countryside
No wonder, then, that many people can be helped with targeted movement in fresh, clean air. The climatic effect depends on:
- the purity, humidity, movement and warming of the air
- the strength and duration of solar radiation
- the weather and weather conditions
- the season
The differences between the different climates are used to specifically improve health through the interaction of sun, air, water and mineral content.
The characteristics of a climate are subdivided into protective, stimulus and stress factors. Gentle stimuli include, for example, the purity of the air and the increased water vapor content, the so-called aerosol, which has a positive effect on the sea, especially due to the higher salt content.
In spa resorts that do not benefit from the maritime climate, spa guests often find so-called graduation towers, where mineral-containing water is trickled over a brushwood. Natural evaporation significantly increases the salinity of the air. The paths around the graduation yards, which are often falsely referred to as "salines", serve as inhalatories.
In contrast, wind and air temperatures are among the irritating factors. The task of the caring bath doctor during a spa stay is to individually harmonize the individual protective, stimulatory and stress factors for the respective patient and thus to develop a balanced and health-promoting treatment. For this, the doctor must be qualified as a "bath doctor" and consolidate his qualification through further education measures.
Sunlight therapy in the high mountains
Because the sunlight in the high mountains at relatively low temperatures is stronger than in the plane, one can perform here a sunlight therapy (heliotherapy) particularly well.
A stay in the high mountains is especially useful for allergic asthma, because there are hardly any pollen and the good air quality has a favorable effect on the respiratory system. The lower oxygen content of the air improves breathing. Together with the good air quality, this has a positive effect on the nose, lungs and bronchi. That is why there are several pulmonary sanatoriums and pulmonary specialist clinics in these areas.
A high mountain cure is also suitable for cardiovascular diseases and skin diseases.
Forest climate with brine-soda
The spa climate in the low mountain ranges, forest and hill landscapes is particularly irritating and mild. Especially the special forest climate offers a more balanced temperature spectrum, because it is cooler there during the day and warmer during the night than in forest-free areas. The forest provides cool, clean air and also provides suitable wind protection. Many health resorts are not only scenically embedded in large forest areas, but also have natural sources of brine, which are used therapeutically.
The spa climate of the low mountain ranges and forest areas is particularly suitable for general health care, rehabilitation after serious illness, cardiovascular, respiratory and rheumatic diseases.
Healing coastal fog
On the coast, the sea salt and pure air makes the healthy climate. In addition, the intensity of solar radiation is amplified by the sea. During a spa stay on the coast, climate therapy and bath therapy are combined. Patients with chronic mucosal inflammations, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases as well as skin diseases benefit from the marine climate.
The healing effect of the North Sea comes not only from the weather, but also from the iodine and other vital minerals that are contained in the tidal flats. At low tide, the pollen-free sea breeze sweeps over these areas and carries the valuable minerals to the mainland. The high waves create a strong surf that swirls the anti-inflammatory aerosols into the air.
When walking along the sea, you can easily relieve your breathing difficulties: just inhale the aerosol. Combined with exercise, the right posture and improved breathing techniques, a cure effect often sets in astonishingly fast.
Low-stimulus Baltic Sea
At the Baltic Sea, the climate is reduced and allow a slower familiarization and a more careful conversion of the organism. The maximum and minimum air temperatures differ less than at the North Sea. The other stimulus climate factors appear weaker at the Baltic Sea. The share of aerosol in the air at the Baltic Sea is significantly lower than at the North Sea (32 g / l), because the salinity of the Baltic Sea is only about 12 g / l.
For the health resorts in Germany, the meteorological-medical department of the German Weather Service (DWD) compiles bioclimatic and air-hygienic reports according to the quality standards for spas and spas. The reports serve the competent authorities of the Länder as a decision-making aid for the awarding or confirmation of the health resort predicates. The requirements for the recognition as a climatic health resort by the German Weather Service are particularly strict.
- Two-year measurements of an automatic climate station
- Annual measurement of air quality at at least 3 locations
- Climate assessment with extended climate analysis and bioclimatological assessment
- Expertise on air quality
- Bioclimatological assessment of the paths used for outdoor walking
- Continuous measurements of an automatic climate station for monitoring the climate on site
Periodic review every 5 years:
- Site visit with assessment of the air hygiene conditions
Periodic review every 10 years:
- site visit
- One-year control measurements of the air quality
- Confirmation of the climate assessment
- Expertise on air quality
In addition, at least one certified health practitioner with experience in medical climatology must be employed at a health resort, as well as professionals with training in medical climate therapy. Communication and training centers or facilities for health promotion events are also compulsory according to the guidelines of the German Spas Association. Game and sports facilities may not be missing as well as a spa park and extensive forest areas.