Thermal Spas

Brief History

The Kangal fish springs have been a healing destination for more than 100 years. They have been firstly noticed by people from neighbouring villages in the early 1800s and served as a reed-bed until 1917. Purely by coincidence a shepherd wading in the springs has noticed that the wound on his feet has healed by the waters. This fact attracts the public attention and locals have begun to open primitive pools in the thermal area for their own treatment. Over the next 50 years more primitive pools have been built and very simple buildings have been raised around the place. In 1960's the local administration of Sivas gained control over the curing springs and has constructed few lodgings to accommodate the patients. The pools were opened to the public in 1963.

The miraculous way of treatment by the fish which are in the thermal waters 36-37C increases its fame. Today the Kangal Fish Springs are a unique place in the world, famous for curing the world from psoriasis. These thermal springs prove to be the last resort of hope for those who suffer from severe skin diseases, which up-to-date medicine is unable to cure.

Spring Water Qualities

The spring water is isothermal with a 7.2 PH, it has qualities that make it fit to drink and preserves an average temperature of 35 degrees Celsius through all seasons. The high concentration of selenium in the thermal water 1.3 ppm (parts per million), turns it into a remedy with incredible therapeutic powers.

The selenium, as an element with wide application in the topical treatment of psoriasis, is reported to be the most important factor for wound healing. It is effective either via absorption through the skin or oral ingestion. Selenium functions as a cofactor for antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidases and thioredoxin reductase thus ensuring a cell protection against free radicals. Selenium is also known for its antimitotic activity (i.e. capacity to stop cancer cells from replicating), contributing to the lower incidence of malignancy and also for its protective role against viral diseases. Selenium sulfide is also widely used in the treatment of pitriasis versicolor and seborrheic dermatitis.

It has been recorded by the Clinic and Institute of Physical Therapy and Hydrology in Ankara, that the Kangal spring waters have a favourable effect on series of diseases including orthopaedic , traumatological and rheumatic, also with good influence on neurologic, gastrointestinal, gynaecological, psychosomatic and skin disorders.

What to Expect

International visitors have witnessed how patients expressed excitement about their treatment and headed with enthusiasm and faith in the fish's healing abilities towards the spa pools each day. Most of the patients and guests of the spa believe that fish treatment may hinder psoriasis plagues to occur again. Studies have shown that recurrences in patients treated by the doctor fish in Kangal appear much later in time compared to those patients treated with drugs. People suffering from rheumatic and neurological diseases are also inspired by the miraculous qualities of the pools and can't wait to submerse into the waters swarming with hundreds of hungry minnow-sized fish.

The fish 'attacks' might cause little pain at first, but then this feeling diminishes. The doctor fish are more likely to tickle than to bite. The bather might even feel a pleasant tingling on his or her skin. This sensation is produced by the actions of the younger fish which require much larger quantity of nutrients and are more vicious in their attacks. Obviously, doctor fish seem happy to devour any old epidermis - the older and thicker the better. However, despite spa claims that the fish offer a relaxing "micro-massage", the first exposure to the greedy fish might be somehow frightening for some people. The "lick" factor and the fact that you are being eaten by fish however does not seem to deter most of the patients. Most of the patients consider that treatment could be best described as "fingers tapping on your body". According to the Kangal spa enthusiasts, you emerge refreshed, healthy, buffed and glowing.

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 litres).

There really is not a lot to occupy your mind creating a stress free atmosphere, which is exactly what you need to help fight the psoriasis. It is really hard conditioning yourself for three weeks solid bathing, but after the first few days when you can literally watch the psoriasis disappear it makes all the effort and cost seem very worthwhile.