Hippocrates, father of medicine, was the first to mention healing qualities of the mountain climate. He recommended lots of patients to move to mountain terrain at moderate heights in order to recover faster. Abu Ali Ibn Sina noted in the “Canon of Medicine” that the inhabitants of the mountain places are healthy, strong, brave people and they live long.
This statement is absolutely truthful as most of the long-livers are from mountains. No wonder that mountain resorts are so popular among residents and sick people from different countries. According to modern information foothills and moderate heights ( 1,5 - 2,5 thousand meters above the sea ) have favorable influence on people.
First information in European literature about the influence of height on the human body belongs to Jose Da Costa, a participant in a military campaign of the Spanish conquistadors through the Andes. In his book «Historia natural moral de las Indias», edited in Seville in 1590., he described the changes in people’s well-being and horses’ behaviour at high altitudes.
In 18 and 19 centuries the first balloon flights gave more details about the influence of height on the human body. Much later it resulted that the main factor affecting humans and animals at higher altitudes is the reduction of the partial pressure of Oxygen ( PO2 ) in the air we breathe. Hypoxia triggers active adaptation reactions in the body aimed to maintain energy homeostasis. These system reactions are the basis of the therapeutic effect of the mountain climate.
Mountain climate causes changes in different organs and systems, firstly in nervous system and bone marrow. After climbing to a certain moderate height you can feel energetic, optimistic, and cheerful. This proves that excitement prevails over suppression. Mental activity and memory improve as well as the nervous system.
The appearance of hemoglobin F and the shift of the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the left are observed in the blood of animals and people residing in the mountains, which provides a more efficient saturation of the tissues with oxygen.
In a moderate mountain climate, the natural immunity changes, the severity of auto-allergic reactions is suppressed, the body’s resistance increases, and the bactericidal properties of the skin increase. Orotherapy stimulates the body's own hidden reserves, increases physical performance, reduces fatigue, increases the body's resistance to adverse factors and stress.
All orotherapeutic influences can be divided into natural and instrumental ones. Staying in mountain resorts should be named among the first natural influences.. For the first 3-5 days, the patient is recommended to have a limited (sparing) motion state, light food, supporting medical therapy. In the following days, terrenkurs with an increasing load are added to the treatment with constant control of the patient's condition.