2014 Volume 77 Issue 5 Pages 388-389
The Balneology Association of North America (BANA) announced our founding at the ISMH Congress in 2011 in Lanjaron Spain. For the 2014 ISMH Congress in Kyoto, BANA will present the work accomplished since Spain, and give a voice to the North American balneology field in the international arena.
In the last two years we have been busy building a cohesive voice for balneology education, training, research and promotion. We are actively gaining members all across North America and even internationally, who collectively represent a vast field of interests regarding the therapeutic use of natural mineral water resources.
Through BANA, the the many individual groups that comprise the emerging North American balneology field, now have common ground to work together in growing, networking and formalizing the practice of North American balneology.
Balneology is little known and understood within the greater North American medical world. BANA is working with individual researchers, medical professionals, medical education institutions, private balneology health resorts, and government agencies to create a cohesive language and dialog between these individual groups on the emerging field.
Individual researchers are joining with BANA to establish criteria for the development of balneology research in North America. BANA has proven to be useful, as our place in the international community has allowed us access to the best work in the field from across Europe, Asia and indeed the world. It is BANA’s goal to bring North American balneology research up to the international standard.
BANA is collecting the case studies and practice models of medical professionals from across the country who are employing balneological therapy. For the first time, medical professionals in disconnected regions have a forum to exchange information and develop their practice. Through the collective conversation, the practice of balneology is gaining awareness and growing in sophistication.
Medical education institutions are joining BANA. Within the last year, we are proud to report that the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, has included balneology into its research agenda. Through education outreach, networking researchers with private health resort sites, and existing research resourcing, BANA is dedicated to seeing balneology research expand to many more medical education institutions in the years to come.
BANA is working alongside major government agencies to formalize balneology in North America. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has received submission for the assessment of balneology in North America. Through BANA, the NIH was provided with international sources, research and analysis of the field of balneology. BANA is utilizing the great international work already accomplished, to bring North American health policy up to date regarding balneology.
Site Specific Medicine in North America is a term that encompasses not only balneology, but climatology, Shinrin-yoku, forest medicine, terrain kur, nature cure, and many others. As a melting pot of many cultures, in North America the traditions and understandings from diverse international regions are able to develop together a synthesis of traditions as Site Specific Medicine.
BANA is looking forward to expanding our relationship with our international colleagues.