Taking the waters…

Oh how lovely, enjoy it, they are fantastic - my great granny went and did her cure thermale every year and came back invigorated. Have a lovely time!


Not up for the Wim Hoff Icebath then? :joy:

I have my own thermal cure for an hour each night, the hot tub :yum:


All sounds very intriguing​:thinking::thinking::thinking: maybe I’m the only one that doesn’t understand what it’s all about, but would be very interested to know :+1::+1:

I do miss my hot tub/spa/jacuzzi - left it behind when we moved😢.

I go every year, and have been working my way round the different thermes around France. I now have my favourite “soins”, and also the ones to be avoided!

So yes, it’s sonething I would recommend. Only caveat is you have to be prepared to follow the rules. It is super strict.

(In brief, a cure is an 18 day medically prescribed set of spa treatments - about 4 a day that take around 2 hours. Your doctor has to sign off on it, and you have to do the full 18 days or you have to repay the cost. Either fully funded if linked to an ALD (bar about €50) or 65%. There are loads of Thermes across France, often places called X-les-bains.

You have to see a doctor when you arrive at the Therme who prescribes the actual treatments. They range from bobbing about in a kaolin mud bath (my favorite) to standing stark naked while an evil creature hoses you down with hot, and then freezing cold, water (my least favorite).

Many of the thermes also have beauty and fitness packages that you can go to as well, which are an extra. But everything from Qi Gong to modelage.

They are all the same price for same cure, but the Thermes range from posher to slightly worn and scruffy.

(Edit - just remembered I wrote about my first one too - doesn’t time fly!


Nope, no clue either but happy to be educated.

Lucky you @Cat. Any hint as to where?

Three weeks sounds amazing. Curious as to is this a normal sort of prescription… You can tell I’m just thinking back to would the NHS ever do this… :frowning:

GPs vary as to how readily they will issue a prescription, which has to be signed off by your caisse too. And there is a list of conditions that are considered, and each Therme specialises in an area. Most common are respiratory problems, rheumatology and neurology.

My friends in UK with same disease as me are as jealous as hell! The bureaucracy one has to go through to o set this us is worth it!

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Is there a list I can browse through :slightly_smiling_face: If I was prescribed a “cure” could my wife come too, even if I had to pay for here? It’s be interesting together. Are the hosing downs compulsory, just like public school :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

I’ve been wondering about whether to talk to my MT about it :thinking: I’m seeing the rheumatalogue again next week - perhaps I’ll ask her if she thinks it’s a good idea…


Absolutely not applicable to those on this thread, but it seems that thermal spa treatments also really appeal to Olympic class hypochondriacs - like my Luxembourg father in law…He gets packed off to various German spa treatment centres for weeks at a time. He loves the fact that people dressed as medics take his various conditions du jour seriously, nod sympathetically, and prescribe all sorts of novel, expensive and unlikely treatments for his (usually imaginary) ailments. Keeps him happy for weeks at a stretch, and presumably delights the finance department of the spa centre, though possibly not his insurers…


Yes George1 is mentioning what I was wondering. When a student I worked a summer at a very nice “all in” hotel near Montreux in Switzerland. Most of the guests were Belgian and I was quietly told a great number of them were on medical “cures” sponsored by Belgium. Many were repeat guests from earlier years.

I was very young so probably lacked the life experience to see behind the relatively relaxed and happy facade the majority of guests put up to see that they had health problems. But to me it was just like working in a particularly well organised 4 star hotel where most guests had at least half board.

Here’s a link. But not all thermal stations provide cures for all of these, they specialise. And you can be prescribed a double orientation - ie for two things so double the number of treatments a day.

The treatments are decided by the doctor you see when you arrive. But there is some room for negotiation! I know now what helps me and what doesn’t, so steer them away from things I don’t like.

I think you can go under your own steam, but just have to pay full cost, which is around €750 I think (I am ALD so don’t pay for treatment, but do have to pay for travel and lodging which are part funded too for those on low income who go to their geographically nearest Therme,

Absolutely!! However although I know that in the long term this does diddly-squat it is actually helpful in short-medium term. I come away from my three weeks completely relaxed, which of course may just be the result of a three week holiday! But I don’t say that to my doctor!

Although last year I did suffer thermal shock, and ended up prostrate for several days. Requiring a whole load more bureaucracy.

Hiya, I’m doing it is Dax as I am lucky (?!) enough to live there. And I am doing a ‘cure de soir’ - 5-8pm - as there’s no way I could afford three weeks ‘off’ in terms of either time or money.

I will post more as my experience has differed from Jane’s; for example I had to see the ‘medecin thermal’ no sooner than one week before starting the cure and not at the thermes themselves….usual French regional variation!

Mine was suggested by my GP who is also a medecin thermal for an ongoing shoulder issue. But I get the impression that once you have been prescribed one cure you get sent off for another on an annual basis.


I would definitely recommend it.

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I know! I’m lucky enough to live close enough to do the cure de soir. Otherwise it would be a non-starter…!

I wasn’t being clear, as we use this as an excuse to wander round France as it’s the only way I can get OH to take three weeks away from garden even tho he doesn’t do a cure himself. So tend to have to see doctor at last minute. My last cure was at Cambo les Bains, so 900km from home so I saw doctor the morning I started.
Sometimes - as at Cambo - there is a row of doctors’s offices in the Therme. In other places they are in town.

I think the Therme at Dax is big? It’s not one I’ve been to but think it might attract a more professional clientele? Although the thing I quite like is that when everyone is in a white bathrobe and silly bonnet it becomes egalitarian.

Many years ago I won a contract to refurbish a Sauna, not a log cabin type but a large establishment in a northern city centre.
It was called the Ambassador Sauna and spread over 3 floors of a large Victorian building.
We ripped out the cellars and created a swimming pool with a beach and large one way mirror where those in the office could keep an eye on behaviour in and around the pool.
As we worked our way through each floor we would often see clients (men) moving along corridors from room to room wearing white bath robes. There weren’t and doctors at the establishment just women but they did dress in what looked like a nurse outfit.
Unlike the Therme treatment centres described in this thread it was not publicly funded but what has been described here does remind me of the contract at the Ambassador.
There wasn’t any cold water treatment by hosepipe but when the working day was done we occasionally went skinny dipping in the newly constructed pool.

Revel in it! What a treat to look forward to during a trying day :slightly_smiling_face:

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