Steam baths were used in Hippocratic medicine and were further developed in Roman Spas, then becoming part of Islamic hygienic tradition with the Turkish bath. Hot baths or steam baths were further perfected by Abbot Kneipp. Steam baths in cabins as used in Casa Raphael are preventative treatment as well as being regenerating and activating one’s metabolism. The skin is cleansed more thoroughly than in the common domestic bath. One is steamed from below upwards, the pores dilate and toxins are then expelled in intense perspiration. During the cold stage the blood vessels constrict followed by a hypothermic stage with blood vessel dilation providing a sort of vascular gymnastics which decongests and reactivates the digestive and respiratory systems, thus helping drainage of all the organs.
An assistant is constantly present during the baths. As a rule one gets in and out of the cabins three times, alternating hypothermic treatment with hot steam and cold water rubss. It is important to have a period of 30 to 40 minutes rest at the end of the treatment.
Dr Kneipp's Legs Spray
Hot water (37/38°C) and cold water (12/18°C) is sprayed alternately on the lower legs, from the knees down. This lasts about 5 minutes and is followed by a walk of a further 5 to 10 minutes to stimulate the foot soles.