Mud Therapy

In the Italian thermal tradition, and not only, mud application is one of the best known and fascinating therapies.


The curative mud of the Terme Euganee is a compound made up of a solid part of clay mixed with a micro-biological component, both of them dissolved in salt-bromine-iodine lithia water. This compound is the result of a maturation process, which lasts 60 days and occurs inside special tanks in which thermal water constantly flows. In this way, through a natural process, microalgae develop, giving mud a specific physical-chemical component and its therapeutic characteristics.


The mud only has an external application, meaning that it is spread on the body to take advantage of a direct effect.  These treatment cycles are carried out on an empty stomach in a single cabin used also for the reaction process; at the Euganean spa, the patient has his/her sweating reaction in his/her own room because each hotel is provided with its own thermal department.


The mud therapy session (it could be better to define it as bath mud therapy) is comprised of 4 therapeutic moments:

1. Smearing: warm mud is applied onto the skin with a layer about 5-10 cm thick and it is kept for about 20 minutes. Mud can be applied on the entire body (the head, the front area of the neck and chest are free as well as the genital areas and often one arm), on “half body” or on one or more limbs.

2. Thermal bath: after the mud application, there is a short rinsing shower with thermal water and then the patient is immersed in a bath of thermal water at a temperature of 37°-38°C for about 10/15 minutes.

3. Sweating reaction: after the bath, the person is dried off with warm towels and then placed in a bed while well wrapped to facilitate the “reaction” brought on by bath mud therapy; this reaction lasts at least a half hour to an hour.

4. Massage with a toning action: it is the last part of the session and it helps relax the muscles while relieving any nervous tension.
It is essential to follow all the phases to guarantee the efficiency of mud bath therapy.
These mud applications must be repeated daily for twelve days with a one day break (different options can be prescribed by the thermal doctor).


Before the study by Punzi and Cozzi (University of Padua) and the scientific works published in 2003 by “Piero d’Abano” Studies Centre, people thought that the benefits of mud therapy were only a consequence of the application of heat on the joints. Instead, in the above-mentioned work, researchers demonstrated that the applications of mud and thermal water have an anti-inflammatory effect, causing a significant improvement in the studied patients with a persistence of results for the following six months, also meaning a reduction in the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.


Mud bath therapy is recommended to those who suffer from arthrosis and osteoporosis. All arthro-rheumatic inflammatory and degenerative forms have a benefit from treatments. The benefit these therapies can obtain generalized extra articular and localized rheumatisms (such as fiber myalgia, muscular rheumatism, periarthritis of the shoulder, bursitis, aponeurositis and fasciitis) is particularly interesting.


These natural therapies have few contra-indications and are limited to particular conditions certainly less dangerous than pharmaceutical drugs. Mud therapy is not recommended in cases of severe or decompensated cardiopathies, epilepsy, thrombophlebitis, respiratory insufficiency, serious chronic nephropathies and pregnancy.It is essential to have a precise prescription from the thermal doctor, who is available at each hotel to follow the guest’s treatment.

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