T. Cegnar, I. B. Vojkova

Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The traditional view of climatotherapy is that existing complaints could be reduced or an existing disease could be cured, simply by exposing the patient to a particular climate. In the middle of the XX-th century most of health resorts taking advantage of healthy impacts of climate in Slovenia were closed but in the last decades the interest in climatotherapy noticeably increased among our health resorts, also tourists seem to appreciate the impacts of healthy climate. Nowadays climatotherapy has to be carried out as indication-oriented health resort therapy, intentionally supported by a particular climate («climate cure») i.e. climatic terrain-treatment, fresh air rest-cures, air baths and heliotherapy. Rest and relief are promoted by staying in a climate free of air pollution, allergens or stressing atmospheric conditions, like a high heat load. Treatment should last at least tree weeks, in order to achieve measurable lasting beneficial impacts on health and general well being of the patient. Stimuli which trigger adaptation are UV radiation, visible light, the lowered oxygen partial pressure at high altitudes, high wind speed and low temperatures. The terms stimulus and relief are relative. For example wind in mountains could be a strong stimulus, but on a hot day wind’s cooling has a relieving effect.

The thermal effect complex is the most important in climatotherapy. A cool environment allows for hardening which is one of the most important goals of climatotherapy in terms of prevention. Each cold stimuli causes an immediate effect; the therapeutic goal of hardening is achieved by adaptation to repeating stimuli. In climatotherapy, atmospheric elements in general are not considered as isolated phenomena, but in the perspective of their combined effects on humans. Therefore the meteorological elements are combined in to effect complexes: thermal, actinic and chemical.

Our aim is to present comparative advantages and possible disadvantages of bioclimatic conditions in different regions in Slovenia based on some objective criteria for assessment of impact of climate on human well being which are operationally in use in our country. Also the foreseen impacts of climate change on a potential to use climatic conditions in Slovenia in climatotherapy will be presented. The Environmental Agency of Slovenia provides bioclimatological assessments and daily biometeorological forecasts (there is a good basis for considering some day-to-day weather types as biologically unfavorable and others as favorable), which could be helpful to the medical personal in climatic health resorts in performing climatotherapy. Information about the UV radiation and concentration of pollen and pollutants is also available. Some examples will be presented.

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