[History of hot spring bath treatment in China]

Zhonghua Yi Shi Za Zhi. 2011 Jul;41(4):235-9.
[Article in Chinese]


As early as the 7th century B.C. (Western Zhou Dynasty), there is a recording as 'spring which contains sulfur could treat disease' on the Wentang Stele written by WANG Bao. Wenquan Fu written by ZHANG Heng in the Easten Han Dynasty also mentioned hot spring bath treatment. The distribution of hot springs in China has been summarized by LI Daoyuan in the Northern Wei Dynasty in his Shuijingzhu which recorded hot springs in 41 places and interpreted the definition of hot spring. Bencao Shiyi (by CHEN Cangqi, Tang Dynasty) discussed the formation of and indications for hot springs. HU Zai in the Song Dynasty pointed out distinguishing hot springs according to water quality in his book Yuyin Conghua. TANG Shenwei in the Song Dynasty noted in Jingshi Zhenglei Beiji Bencao that hot spring bath treatment should be combined with diet. Shiwu Bencao (Ming Dynasty) classified hot springs into sulfur springs, arsenicum springs, cinnabar springs, aluminite springs, etc. and pointed out their individual indications. Geologists did not start the work on distribution and water quality analysis of hot springs until the first half of the 20th century. There are 972 hot springs in Wenquan Jiyao (written by geologist ZHANG Hongzhao and published in 1956). In July 1982, the First National Geothermal Conference was held and it reported that there were more than 2600 hot springs in China. Since the second half of the 20th century, hot spring sanatoriums and rehabilitation centers have been established, which promoted the development of hot spring bath treatment.

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