Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Observations on the effect of immersion in Bath spa water.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 21 December 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:1747
  1. J P O'Hare,
  2. A Heywood,
  3. C Summerhayes,
  4. G Lunn,
  5. J M Evans,
  6. G Walters,
  7. R J Corrall,
  8. P A Dieppe


    Immersion in water in spas has been practised for centuries and has many proponents. Despite fierce debate about its efficacy there has been little scientific evaluation of the effect of immersion in mineral waters. Eight normal subjects were immersed in Bath spa water for two hours and the renal, haematological, and cardiovascular responses were compared with those in the control periods before and after immersion. Significant, twofold diuresis and natriuresis, 5% haemodilution, and a 50% increase in cardiac index were observed in subjects immersed, sitting, in Bath spa water at 35 degrees C. These changes may constitute part of the scientific rationale for spa treatment in many states of disease.