hose having treatment in the thermal baths for the first time will be surprised when they notice that the brown , grey and beige coluured fish surround them and begin to clear up the spots on the skin. For patients to be fully accustomed in takes 2-3 days. The fish actually nibble on the area of skin affected and migth cause little pain at first, but then this feeling subsides.For the best results it is recommended that patients spend a total of 8 hours a day in these pools. It is also necessary to drink plenty of thermal spring water on an empty stomach (daily 1,5 lt). This type of teratment has no side effects and medication should not be taken during treatment
This thermal water does not only help in the treatment of psoriasis, but also most types of skin diseases. Thermal water is 36-37°C and is equal to the human body temperature. It is clear and odourless, leaving no sediment. The water, with a pH of about 7.2 is isothermal and maintains a temperature of about 35°C throughout the year. It has features which make it drinkable. The presence of selenium (1.3ppm) has been emphasised for its biological and therapeutic aspects.
It is rich in such ions as calcium, magnesium, selenium and is suitable for the bath. It provides conclusive result in the cure of rheumatism, nervous disorders, dislocations, fructure, calcification in some situations and kidney diseases, especially in ulcer provided the patients should drink a few glasses of water on an empty stomach and do have a bath.The thermal is in a green valley in a rural area. There are two outdoor pools and one indoor pool where women and men enter seperately, with a capacity of serving for 1500 persons in a day.This clears away the scales, causes minor bleeding, and exposes the lesion to water and sunlight.This may also cause drainage of pus in patients with abscesses.The high level of selenium in the water, an element the topical application of which is beneficial in some diseases, is reported to be the most important factor for wound healing. Selenium is a co – factor for glutathion peroxidase, an enzyme protecting cells against the effects of free radicals.This may also explain the beneficial effects of water taken by drinking or by lavage in gastrointestinal and gynaecological disorders. Observers, other than those from Turkey, reported that bathers were enthusiastic about the doctor fish and none expressed disappointment.
The miraculous way of treatment by the fish which are in the thermal waters 36-37°C increases its fame, since this thermal is the last sort of hope for skin diseases which up-to-date science of medicine can not cure today. Skin diseases such as acne, eczema and psoriases are cured by Cyprinion macrostomus (fish) 2-10 cm in length and by Garra rufa.Two types of fish are involved. Both are members of the Cyprinidae family and are adapted to living in a hot milieu. The so-called striker is Cyprinion macrostomus macrostomus.It has a terminal mouth and a length of 15 to 20 cm. It is covered with relatively large scales, and has six to eight irregularly arranged lateral spots of various sizes.The second fish, known locally as a licker, is Garra rufa obtusa. It has a crescent-shaped ventral mouth and a maximum lenght of 19 cm. Its body is also convered with large scales. The so-called jabbers are not a third type of fish but the immature from of the strikers, which lose their lateral spots during maturation.Both fish are omnivorous, a well-known feature of Cyprinidae, and feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton. But only small amounts of plankton have been found in the pools. This is said to retard the growth and development of the fish, making them aggressive and predatory.
In winter when the pools are uncrowded the fish look for food like a flock of hungry sheep. In summer, they assault the human bodies in the pools.They prefer to attack diseased rather then healthy skin simply because it is easier to nibble at it. The effects of these feeding habits and the high temperature of the water on the internal biochemistry of the fish has also been investigated. The role the doctor fish can play in therapeutic medicine deserves proper study.
The water has been reported as being beneficial in rheumatic disease, neurologic disorders (neuralgia, neuritis, paralysis), orthopaedic and traumatological sequelae (fractures, joint trauma, and muscle disease), gynaecological problems (by lavage), skin diseases, urolithiasis (by drinking), and psychosomatic disorders (a report from the Clinic and Institute of Physical Therapy and Hydrology, Faculty of Medicine Ankara University, March 2, 1967.But psoriasis is the disease which has made the spring so popular as a therapeutic aid. The fish strike and lick the psoriatic plaque – or plaques of other skin diseases – which have been softened by the water. Wide interest in the doctor fish encourages people with neurological and rheumatic diseases to visit the hotspring to immerse themselves in its pools. A school of fish surround the body and strike and lick it.The initial pleasant sensation and relaxation of “micro-massage” is replaced by a tingling sensation over the skin. This massage is given particularly by the younger fish, which need many more nutrients for their rapid growth. It may be that, in addition to the benefits of hydrotherapy from the hotspring, there is a psychological component to this massage which generates a feeling of wellbeing in patients with neurologic and rheumatic diseases, and with traumatic diseases, and with traumatic sequalae.The faith of desperate patients in these sacred fish, and the experience of being in a different environment may also contribute to this feeling of wellbeing. Not only the ill, but also the healthy, visit the spring to consult the doctor fish. People with healthy skin probably benefit by the fish clearing away hyperkeratinized portions of their skin.
Drink at least 3 glasses of healing water before breakfast.* Enter in the pool after breakfast.* Therapy starts through healing water rich in minerals and healing fishes.* The healing fish, unique in the world, live at a water temprature of 37°C (scientifically no fish can live in water with temprature exceeding 28°C). There are 2 different types of this fish.* Along with the healing water containing the element selenium (known to be most effective in curing dermatological diseases) the healing fish start the healing proces.* Enter the pool twice a day, staying in the water for eight hours in total.* No alcohol should be taken during the therapy.* No medicine against psoriasis should be taken during the cure.* The therapy must continue for 21 days; a stay of 8 hours per day in the pool must be observed.* Psoriasis affected patients observing these rules leave the spring with total healing.* Note: The concertration of selenium, the most friendly element for the skin, is 1 gr per liter.
There are flights from Istanbul and Ankara to Sivas. There is special service for guests coming with tour from Sivas airport to spring. 13 km from Kangal, 96 km from Sivas and 450 km from Ankara. Road and train connections are possible to this thermal. You may find a bus running every hour everyday. Transportation between Kangal and the thermal is provided through busses and minibusses. The Sivas – Malatya railway, 5 km away from the thermal, is preferred, it is necessary to get off at Kangal station which is within the village, Karanlık.
The ownership of this thermal belongs to a private Governing Body of Sivas and is hired out to specific persons through adjudication. The springs contain hotel facilities in 4 buildings. It is present 147 rooms (144 normal, 3 suit). The springs have 300 bed in 2 motels and one hotel. A suitable area for 50 tents for camping tourism.There are 16 special bath. In winter there is a tube way between bath and hotel. The springs contain 5 pools one being in half olympic size. All seasons open. During summer, live music and amusement are present. There is a tv room, a restaurant (200 person), a market (food, vegetable, fruit, newspaper, cigarette, drink), a coffee shop and a playground for children.
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