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Have you ever heard of the fascinating benefits of thermotherapy? On this page you will find all the most important information on the topic of thermal therapy its effectiveness, the exciting range of treatments and where to find your perfect thermotherapy spa programme.

What is thermotherapy?

Thermotherapy stems from the words “thermo” for heat and “therapia” for treatment. Thermotherapy is therefore a healing treatment using heat or different temperatures. It can be used to improve a wide range of health issues, from simple relaxation to deep healing of illness.

The word "thermal" is also used in reference to thermal springs, i.e. hot springs, and as such thermotherapy often includes bathing in thermal spring water or at thermal spas. To learn more about this variation of heat treatment, view our page dedicated to thermal bathing.

Thermotherapy's counterpart and another element of our thermal programmes is treatment with cold, called cryotherapy. The interplay between hot and cold can have many benefits on the health. This concept can be found, for example, in the alternating baths and water jets of Kneipp therapy.

Find Your Perfect Thermotherapy or Thermal Spa Programme

If you have clear ideas about where you would like to go on your thermal holiday, use our search bar, which you find below, to book. Here you have direct access to a wide range of spa hotels with thermotherapy around the world. Simply choose the theme of your trip, your destination and the exact dates when you are available to travel.

Benefits of Thermotherapy

How Does Therapy with Heat Work?

                                       In heat treatments, heat energy is given to the body or extracted (via cold) in targeted places.

enjoying a steaming hot sauna as part of thermotherapy

Benefits of Heat Treatments:

When the body gets warm, the metabolism increases. This in turn increases blood circulation, especially in areas of the body where blood circulation is not so good. This has benefits for the skin, connective tissues and muscles, loosening and relaxing them. Muscle pain is reduced and healing can be accelerated. Kidney activity is also increased and the immune system is relieved.

Increasing the body temperature by only about one degree increases the metabolism by 7%. This is also the reason why heat therapy should not be overdone. If the metabolism continues to increase with increasing temperature, this can become too exhausting for the circulation.

The increased heat creates a kind of "artificial fever" in the body, which activates the immune system's defences and promotes healing. However, this must be used correctly and in a controlled manner to ensure that the effect remains positive.

When the body is well warmed-up, it is much easier to move and do sport. Thermal therapy is therefore also directly related to physiotherapy. Warm thermal baths are also very suitable because even water pressure and the reduced gravity have a positive effect on the body. 

Thermotherapy Indications:

Muscle pain, hardening of the muscles, osteoarthritis, rheumatic diseases of the soft tissues, lumbago, recovery of mobility after operations or injuries of the musculoskeletal system, stress.

thermotherapy is great for joints

Benefits of Cold Treatments (Cryotherapy):

Cryotherapy or treatments with cold are the counterpart to thermal therapy.

Treatments with cold usually only last a very short time. The short application of cold to the body primarily affects the tension of the muscles and also causes a narrowing of the blood vessels. This can also relax cramps to a certain extent.

Cold also has an analgesic effect. This is related to the fact that the nerves transmit fewer pain signals when cold and that the small blood vessels (capillaries) are not so permeable and retain less water. For exactly these reasons, we quickly cool burns on the stove or grill with cold water or ice.

Finally, cool temperatures also reduce the metabolism, so certain metabolic disorders such as gout can be treated with cold.

Cryotherapy is the extreme use of cold, with ice or cold gases at temperatures as low as -110°C. It is used in medical procedures as well as spa therapies and has become a favourite therapy of many for its invigorating and energising yet also relaxing effect. Cryotherapy is also part of physiotherapy.

Cryotherapy Indications:

Swelling, joint inflammation, gout, bruising, sprains, severely painful muscle tension, burns and prevention or treatment of rheumatic diseases.

What are the most common treatments in thermal therapy?

There are numerous treatments with heat and cold. We would like to briefly introduce some of them to you here:

Heat Treatments with Baths:

  • Thermal Baths: Bath in warm thermal water, temperature mostly between 34°C and 38°C
  • Thalasso Baths: Therapy bath in sea water (salt water), different temperatures
  • Aromatherapy bath, Kneipp bath: full bath with herbs, essential oils or bath salts
  • Moor mud bath: bath in the moor diluted with medicinal water (usually 46°C - but is not so hot felt) 

Heat Treatments with Partial Baths and Water Jets:

  • Foot baths: sometimes with salts and bath additives
  • Hand baths: sometimes with salts and bath additives
  • Alternating baths: first 5 minutes bath in warm water, then 10 seconds bath in cold water, always alternately

Heat Masks:

  • Fango mud masks or mineral peat mud (peloide) mask with heated mud (mostly for the back, shoulders and knees)
  • Paraffin treatment - bath for the hands in warm wax

Massage Heat Therapy with Hot Stones or Compresses:

  • Hot Stone Massage - Massage with hot volcano stones, which retain heat
  • Hot Compress - Massage with the help of a damp heated towel rolled up and pressed onto the muscles.

Heat Therapy with Hot Air and Steam:

  • Sauna
  • Steamroom or Hammam
  • Warm air blower
hot stones for a hot stone massage as part of a thermotherapy programme
lady enjoys a steam room session as part of her thermotherapy programme
thermal bath as part of a thermotherapy programme




Cold Therapy with Masks:

  • Cold Fango mud mask
  • Masks with soft cold pillows or ice

Cold Therapy with Gas and Air:

  • Cold gas therapy, cold chambers - when in the cryo chamber, since the air itself is dry and only cooled via a cold gas, you will find that you tolerate the ca. -110°C very well.
  • Cold air therapy - cooling by cold air

Cold Therapy with Baths:

  • Ice immersion bath - very short immersion in very cold water (for example, straight after the sauna)
  • Kneipp alternating baths and water jets - after several minutes of heating with warm water a short cooling down in very cold water takes place (usually only 10 seconds).

View all hotels with cryotherapy here.

Therapy Trinity

Therapy Trinity

Holiday with Thermal Treatments - The Most Beautiful Destinations

Europe, Asia and Natural Paradises Around the World

Wondering where to find your tranquil spa retreat, where you can relax in beautiful surroundings under the sun and enjoy thermotherapy treatments? Well, most of our thermal treatments can be enjoyed as part of a health spa therapy programme.

These programmes offer a great variety of treatments from thermal baths and warm hydro-massages, to sauna, jacuzzis and steam baths. There are also fango and medicinal mud treatments in certain spas. Here the focus is on warm mud packs together with massage and thermal baths.

If you only want a few thermotherapy treatments on holiday, you can also simply book a holiday in a hotel with sauna, steam bath and thermal bath, which in themselves are very beneficial for muscles and relaxation.

Here you can find our recommendations of the best destinations to go on your holiday with thermotherapy:

Health Spa Therapy in Slovenia Health Spa Therapy in Slovenia
Health Spa Therapy in Hungary Health Spa Therapy in Hungary
Health Spa Therapy in Europe Health Spa Therapy in Europe
Health Spa Therapy in the Czech Republic Health Spa Therapy in the Czech Republic
Hot Springs in Europe Health Spa Therapy Hot Springs in Europe
Health Spa Therapy in Germany Health Spa Therapy in Germany

Booking Your Thermotherapy Spa Hotel

Everywhere that you find hot springs and thermal baths, you can also find thermal therapy. So if you are flexible about your destination, you will always be able to find exciting and affordable offers.

When to Go: the most popular time to go on a holiday with thermal therapy is when the seasons are not so warm, especially in autumn and winter, warm baths, heat compresses and saunas are simply delightful and so beneficial for the body. Particularly popular are the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, especially in the traditional German and Eastern European thermal resorts, where a winterly, cheerful Christmas atmosphere and traditional celebrations are to be found. Early Spring is also very popular for thermal holidays and thermal spa treatments, after all one wants to start the new year vital and fit especially in spring. But beware - if you want to use the free Easter days for travelling, you should book already in January/February.

Other Activities: your thermotherapy holiday can be combined with other activities such as hiking, cycling, climbing or simply taking a walk in nature. Most resorts are also historically or architecturally interesting and offer a varied cultural programme with concerts, museums, theatres and other events. 

Savings Tips

Book Early: in principle, early booking always makes sense and many hotels offer staggered early booking discounts up to 90, 60 or 45 days before departure - the earlier you book, the more you can save.

Holiday Duration: programmes for at least one week (7 nights) offer the best value for money and are perfect for holiday planning from Saturday to Saturday or Sunday to Sunday.

Board: book with half board - with two big meals at the start and end of the day you don't need to worry about lunch. Start the day with a sumptuous breakfast, enjoy the day either with thermal treatments or with beautiful activities and round it all off with a delicious dinner. Most of our guests are perfectly satisfied with two large meals a day (and perhaps a piece of fruit or a small ice-cream sundae in the café around the corner for the small hunger in between).

Rental car: rental car instead of airport transfer: Depending on the location of the health resorts, it may be worth taking a rental car at the airport and not booking the private transfer. Weekly offers for rental cars are often also cheap and with your own vehicle you are free and flexible to explore the surrounding countryside and make a few sight-seeing trips.

With SpaDreams, you can experience this luxurious treatment at an affordable price. Book your thermal therapy escape with SpaDreams today and discover the power of the heat.

  • Browse the hotels below
  • Fill out the hotel booking form
  • Or contact us for more personalised assistance from one of our travel experts.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Thermotherapy in winter
thermotherapy pool

Our Most Popular Spa Hotels with Thermotherapy

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