Therapeutic Tourist Sites


Tourist sites offering curative services in Egypt include Helwan, Hurghada, the Fayoum Oases, Aswan, Sinai, and Safaga on the Red Sea coast, among others.

Aswan's dry weather is ideal for enjoying sand bathing during the period from May to September. Sand bathing is useful for curing various diseases such as rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis. In Aswan, many hotels have physiotherapy centers manned by efficient and highly trained staff experienced in various types of massage therapy. Moreover, rheumatoid patients can be treated in hot sands surrounding the mountains. The calm and beautiful landscape and pollution free environment also contribute to speedy recovery. Aswan, clear sunshine all the year round together with extremely dry weather provide an ideal atmosphere for curing rheumatism and bronchial asthma.

Further south, Abu Simbel, with its high rate of ultraviolet rays and a low humidity rate during the period from December to March, also provide a congenial environment for treatment of these diseases.

The Nubians in this region still practice traditional medicine, particularly herbal treatments. They use a plant called "Halef al'Bar", in treating common colds, "Damsisa" in treating urinary tracts diseases and baked and ground pomegranate peels in treating dysentery.

New Valley's Curative Springs and Herbs

Another therapeutic tourist center is the New Valley with an abundance of hot springs and sand with curative properties in addition to medicinal herbs. This area also has a typically dry climate. Here, hot water wells and springs linked to swimming pools have a temperature ranging from 35 to 45c all the year round. These wells provide therapy for common colds, rheumatism and some skin diseases such as psoriasis.

In addition, medicinal herbs are randomly spread out all over the New Valley. "Al'Sekran" can be used for extracting anesthetic materials for surgeries. "Jujube" (Karkade) is used to cure high blood pressure, especially when caused by nervous stress.

The Red Sea and Treatment of Psoriasis

On the Red Sea coast, Marsa Alam and Safaga are well known sites for therapeutic tourism. Safaga in particular is said to be one of the best locations in the world for curing psoriasis.

Safaga's potential health benefits were recently in the media spotlight when a group of scientists from the National Research Centre (NRC) found that it helps in the treatment of psoriasis (a chronic skin disease of which the cause remains unknown) and rheumatoid arthritis (a chronic, progressive form of arthritis causing inflammation in the joints). According to the NRC research team, there are several natural factors in Safaga which make it so appropriate for therapy. The high mountains act as a natural barrier against wind and sand storms. The air is thus free of any suspended grime that could divert and absorb ultraviolet rays -- essential in treating psoriasis. The curve of the bay accounts for the calm sea, which reflects UV rays further.

Due to the abundance of coral reefs, the water is 35 % saltier than in other seas, which greatly helps in psoriasis treatment. More salt, as evidenced in the Dead Sea, also means less gravity. This is thought to improve blood circulation. The balance in saline concentration inside and outside the body also affects the therapy positively, according to the NRC.

Sand in the area has also been found to contain radioactive elements and minerals effective in rheumatoid therapy. Analysis also showed the soil to contain black sand, which is useful in curing acute and chronic arthritis, rheumatism and skin inflammations.

Those suffering from rheumatoid ailments are buried in the black sand, with the exception of the head, stomach and chest, twice a day, after sunrise and before sunset. Treatment lasts about a month.

Psoriasis patients, on the other hand, bathe in the sea and lie in the sun, also twice a day. The duration of exposure to the sun is prescribed by the therapist and a patient should see rapid improvement in about a month, depending on the case. In acute cases, patients are asked to repeat the course of treatment.

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