CHEPELARE – THE GREEN HEART OF BULGARIA

Everything that the human spirit and body need to be healthy, Chepelare offers it as a climate. The strategy "Chepelare - the green heart of Bulgaria" aims to revive the region as a center for climate treatment, due to the negative ionization of the air.

Climate therapy here has centuries-old traditions. As early as 1911, the first hospital for treatment of lung diseases was opened in Chepelare, and then in 1933 in Pamporovo was opened the first boarding house by Nikola Chichovski, which marked the beginning of the development of the resort. Later in 1937, Chepelare began to develop as a summer resort.

The presence of conifers in the area increases the ionization of the air. High phytoncide saturation is a type of natural antibiotic, when pines bloom (when pines make love), their tips are especially rich in this phenomenon. Experts report that the area has a healing combination of low humidity, many sunny days and high air ionization. It improves mood, neutralizes radiation, treats lung diseases, allergies, migraines, affects the restoration of nervous system function, hypertension, etc. Helps kill bacteria and viruses and increases the absorption of oxygen

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The city has the highest altitude in our country - over 1140 meters. It is in the transitional-continental zone, so the winter here is mild, but the slopes above the city remain snowy from 80 to 120 days a year. The Rhodope resort is famous for 2000 hours of sunshine a year, fogs rarely cover the sky, which ranks it among the sunniest places in our country. Clear weather in turn leads to a lush night starry sky. Experts report that the cleanest air in Bulgaria was measured nearby, in the area of Rozhen peak.

Чепеларе

Taking into account all these factors, the people of Chepelare came up with the idea to revive the climatic treatment in our days together with sports and tourism, the preserved nature and the Rhodope cuisine. All four seasons in Chepelare have something to please the tourist. The winter in Chepelare is long, but snow-white and beautiful, spring comes late, but its splendor is charming, and every landscape is a beautiful memory. Summer is mild, it is remembered for the aroma of herbs from the lush, green meadows until autumn, wild mushrooms and fruits and the majestic pine and spruce forests. In the area there are many fountains made by the Rhodopes, from which due to the peculiarities of the soil and many coniferous trees the water is clean and useful. That is why a number of beliefs assign healing power to the dozens of fountains in the Rhodopeans.

The current pandemic of COVID-19 brings to our society enormous damage of lives, lower quality of health and we expect lowering quality of life in general, caused by the economic crisis that is ahead of us. By monitoring ongoing statistics, opinions of epidemiologists and medical specialists, we meet daily the term vulnerable part of population, which includes seniors in the first place, than people with specific diseases as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, oncological diseases, autoimmune diseases, respiratory diseases and people staying on long-term pharmacotherapy. All these are the most common diseases mainly related to the lifestyle. Insufficient activities in European health policies for primary prevention of so called „life style disease“ should be a warning for us. Obesity as one of  main risk factor for diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, respiratory diseases, and many others is strongly linked with unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, lack of stress management, lack of education in healthy life style - simple say lack of primary health prevention. Medical spas in Europe are traditionally focused on improving the quality of life linked to health.

Three groups of medical spa products are accepted by „school“ medicine.

  • Primary prevention of the most common diseases, focusing on elimination of its risk factors
  • Early rehabilitation after injuries, operations and after acute stages of very serious diseases
  • Management of chronically ill patients to stabilize health quality and prevention of complications

The European Spas Association has always strongly promoted the importance of prevention programs in traditional European medical spas based on the knowledge of modern medicine. The target of this spa activities for society is to maintain the productivity of the citizens with reducing future expenses in healthcare and social care. On other hand the spa therapy target for individuals is increasing of HLY index (Healthy Life Years) and protection of selfness in high age - not just prolongation of life expectancy.

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrates the importance of the good health condition as added value for the course of the disease and its complications in every age. On this basis and facts, much more efforts must be taken in health policy of European countries for health prevention and also for treatments in medical spas of Europe as updated spa programs are now be prepared in medical spas for those patients after severe course of COVID-19.

FACTS about risk group and solution, positive effects by Balneology:

Respiratory problems: Patients with existing illnesses that cause breathlessness, wheezing or lung problems run a higher risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19 infection due to the new coronavirus, according to a pooled analysis study published this week, conducted by researchers at Britain’s University College London. Patients with shortness of breath were 3.7 times more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease and 6.6 times more likely to need intensive care than those without, it found. Patients with COPD were 6.4 times more likely to develop severe disease, and 17.8 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care.

In Europe are many climatic health resort by the seaside and in the  mountains  /1000-1600 m. /  and has to meet many conditions and must be proven that the climatic conditions have an extremely positive effect on human health and well-being according the expert opinions of health ministries. Thanks to the knowledge of air hygiene and bioclimatology, the spa guests and therapists in climatic health destinations are able to tailor the available climate stimuli, which have positive effects on health, entirely to individual needs.

Balneology – a know-how heritage of Europe - could become the second front in fighting the CDD (chronic degenerative disease) and support the pharma medicine on a better and more comprehensive progression into the future of healthcare. Europe is reach on natural remedies and Balneotherapy in many European countries has a long tradition and it is an integral part of the health care system by Management of chronic diseases, Recovery after acute medical conditions, Prevention of common occurring diseases. With the announcement of a state of emergency in Europe March 2020, all tourism activities were stopped and a whole sector was put to the test of survival.

60+ Prevention holiday, direct help to rebuild one of the most affected economic sectors in Europe and to promote the scientific rehabilitation and sustainable maintenance of the immune system by Balneology, Health Tourism.

Satisfied visitors and several hundred years of successful work prove that medical spa treatment really helps with faster rehabilitation, the reduction of functional problems and the improvement of the quality of life.

PROJECT IDEA: USING /SIZING / OPPORTUNITIES OF THE CLIMATIC AND SPA TREATMENT RESORTS IN EUROPE FOR IMPROVING PUBLIC HEALTH

GOAL OF THE PROJECT: EUROPEA HEALTH RESOSRTS – HALTH CENTERS FOR THE EU CITIZENTS

TASK OF THE PROJECT : CREATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF HEALTH PROGRAMS FROM 5+ TO 60+ BASED ON LONG-TERM STUDIES ON THE SANOGENESIS EFFECT OF NATURAL HEALING FACTORS ON THE HUMANS BODY

A COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATIC AND SPA TREATMENT STIMULATES THE SANOGENIC PROCESSES IN THE HUMAN BODY AND REDUCES THE RELAPSE OF CHRONIC DISEASES

            Hectic everyday life, stress at work, urban noise pollution, polluted air in the megacities and other harmful effects of today’s civilized world are just a few of the main reasons for the compromised immune system and health of the population. The implementation of new technologies and, particularly, the long hours people spent in front of the computer, sentences them to permanent immobility which creates a chain of health issues: overweight, diabetes mellitus which frequency has significantly increased among both young and adults, the age of people with hypertonic disease and cardio- and cerebrovascular incidents is constantly falling down... Time and again, people talk about “burn-out” syndrome resulting from excessive mental exhaustion, etc. In other words, all these factors contribute to poorer public health.

On the other hand, we are facing the aging Europe's population. The birth rate is decreasing and the share of the population over 60 is increasing, respectively, the morbidity and the expenses for maintaining the good health of the population are increasing.

In the last 5 months, a new disease called COVID 19/ caused by a new strain of coronaviruses/ has emerged, with a very rapid spread and spread to large populations worldwide. This was the reason for the WHO to declare a pandemic. The European Economy is under collapse. Here we need to point out that the most vulnerable to COVID 19 are the chronically ill, cancer patients, the elderly and some others who have compromised immunity. 1% percent of people with "stronger immune defenses" will not feel the symptoms. After this pandemic, the world will not be the same. It is the time we set ourselves the task, to commit ourselves, to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle, which will keep us in good condition so that we can create, work and be useful to ourselves, our generation, our relatives and our entire society.

                 Is there a potential that we do not currently use efficiently and productively enough to a greater healing effect on the human body?

The solution to some of these issues lies in the cleverer usage of nature’s healing resources at the climatic- and SPA resorts.<0} The boom in Spa & Wellness industry in recent years is no surprise. These branches of the economy include the use of climatic factors combined with hydro, SPA and mud therapy in prevention and prophylaxis of chronic diseases, as well as raising the overall awareness of the population of a healthier nutrition habits. In this sense, a good physical activity program tailored to the specific health needs of the tourist is a must.

Today, the goal is to bring mankind back to nature, which capacity to heal the human body has been used from ancient times to present day. The strive of escaping the daily strenuous and stressful environment with its harmful factors and living a more environmentally friendly and healthy life has become more and more relevant. This can be achieved by promoting actively the climate- and SPA resorts and their specific climatic characteristics: lots of sunny and almost no foggy days, an air rich in light negative ions and phytoncides, natural thermal water which is successfully used as a therapy - either for drinking, externally, as an inhalation or other types of SPA treatments.

There are series of scientific clinical and experimental data that prove the sanogenic effect of climatic- and SPA treatment which may last from 3 to 6 months. It has also been proven that a comprehensive climatic- and SPA treatment, regularly performed on a yearly basis, improves some types of chronic diseases of the internal organs, reduces relapse ratio and, therefore, the need for a hospitalization.

  The key to overcoming the above issues is the efficient use of nature’s healing resources in health prevention and prophylaxis of chronic diseases. The goal is to create a culture of healthier lifestyle, better nutrition, alternation of physical activity and adequate rest, etc.

  The purpose of promoting programs in favor of the humans health (based on the healing effect of the natural remedies)  is to educate and create healthy lifestyle habits, including eating rationally, applying a specific exercise regime related to the patient / client's condition, alternating with active activity and rest, etc. Naturally staying in resort conditions offers the patient a treatment program with optimal use of natural healing factors such as mineral and / or thermal water, healing mud, peat, etc

Europe needs a package of health prevention and chronic disease prevention programs for its population:

  • FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS - health programs to strengthen the body's muscles in conjunction with healthy nutrition training.

GOAL - to reduce the effects of hypodynamia and malnutrition, leading to weak musculoskeletal system, spinal distortions, etc. Improper diet and hypodynamia cause early obesity in children with the effects of early hypertension and diabetes mellitus.

  • FOR ADULTS IN ACTIVE AGE - health prevention programs aimed at maintaining their good psycho-physical condition based on optimal use of climate, mineral water, curative mud, sports, cultural entertainment and more.

Goal:  preservation of good psycho-physical condition and opportunities for active workability until later age

  • FOR ADULTS 60+. - programs for the prevention of chronic diseases with optimal use of natural healing factors in combination with healthy eating.
    Goal: reduction of morbidity, and consequently pressure on the health insurance system.

A brief retrospective on the effect of natural healing factors on the human body:
Generally speaking, balneotherapy with slightly mineralized waters exerts a detox effect by forcing diuresis and increasing the elimination of metabolic end products. External balneotherapy for patients is affected by hydrostatic pressure, temperature factor and specific mineral water composition. This combination of factors contributes to the control of pain syndrome in the musculoskeletal system by reducing muscle spasticity, increasing the volume of movement and improving its functional status.

                The specificity of the mud treatments is determined by the composition of the mud / peat and the application methods. It is important to note that many of the specific components of the mud pass through the skin and have cartilage and anti-inflammatory effects on the joint muscle. These procedures are also of great importance for the treatment of patients with reproductive problems due to their anti-inflammatory effects and stimulation of sexual function

                The favorable climate associated with a high percentage of sunny days a year, with air rich in light-negative ions, low humidity, etc., is crucial for the successful recovery of patients with bronchial asthma and chronic lung diseases, as well as for the reduction of their

The above natural healing factors combined with suitable climatic conditions have a powerful immunostimulatory effect on the human body, proven by numerous studies over the years.

 

 

TATYANA ANGELOVA, MD

Expert at the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism

Member of the Medical Committee of the European Spas Association

44B "Belomorska" street,
4850  Chepelare, Bulgaria
mail@chepelare.bg

Municipality of Chepelare:
Phone: +359 3051 / 82-80,
Fax: 03051/82-79

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Copyright © 2020 Visit Chepelare.
This site is a donation from Siika Anastasova Katsarova - raised in Chepelare, currently Vice President of the European SPA Association and chairman of Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism.