Spas in Romagna
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
Due to certain physical characteristics (temperature, humidity, ventilation and altitude) and chemical properties of its "products" (water, mud, steam) which influence its features, the thermal environment has always been considered particularly suitable for the treatment of acute, and above all chronic ailments which affect the organs that are normally treated by doctors specialised in "internal" and "external" medicine. Through the experience and the results achieved from spa sojourns, this belief has become a conviction, and programmes have been worked out with precise rules to be followed for an organic and effective treatment. This "empirical" thermal medicine has been transformed into real "scientific" cures, always well tolerated by the patients, considering the vast resources and existing thermal stations spread all over the territory, the almost total absence of undesirable side effects, its low costs owing to the fact that programmes of prevention, cure and rehabilitation can be carried out all in the same place.
These respectively precede and follow the actual therapy during the course of the illness, correcting the environment in which individual diseases tend to develop and conditioning the results. Nowadays in Italy thermal medicine has become a subject for study and the summing-up of the results is now performed with scientific control and check methods, avoiding unnecessary descriptions and bearing in mind the actual "placebo" effects of these treatments. In fact a real "therapeutic specialisation" has come into being. In order to control and confirm these ideas, with a decree of February the 10th 1995, the Ministry of Health has given an ad-hoc commission (made up of experts in those branches of internal and hydro-climatic medicine which can take advantage from thermal treatment) the task of directing and controlling the organisation and activation of the studies on the advantages of thermal therapies (Ministerial Decree of 15/12/94), bearing in mind the ever-present "cost-benefit" principles. This programme could not fail to put the thermal structures of Emilia-Romagna in the "front line": 18 stations with 300,000 patients in all branches of medicine, from gastro-enterology to dermatology, from pneumology to othorino-enterology, from rheumatology to gynaecology, from metabolic to allergic complaints, to the treatment of the most widespread illnesses and syndromes. This is only a part of the information and reflections to be taken into consideration when presenting a catalogue of the thermal centres of Emilia-Romagna, bearing witness to past, present and future activities with the preventive measures and promotion of good health as the principal aim.
Prof. Giovanni Gasbarrini
Specialist in Internal Medicine
Catholic University of the Sacro Cuore