THE HEALING MUD BATH OF LYDIA

The healing mud bath in Lydia is the only one in Greece. If you’ve ever dreamed of splashing around nude in a huge pound of mud you have to come to this village, just a 20 minutes drive from Kairos Garden.

FOR BOTH MEN AND WOMEN - the mud pond is separated in the middle by a big wall.

There's something totally surreal about the whole experience. You can't help bursting into laughter at the sight: More than fifty stark nude women, in every age and size (though surprisingly no one with a body like Claudia Schiffer or Kate Moss), walking around nude or covered in mud, looking like live statues, or sitting in the mud pound chatting, like this is the most natural thing in the world.

You forget all inhibitions you might have had about your own body. Everyone here is nude and every woman you look at seem to have smaller/bigger/more dropping tits than you, or bigger bums, thighs or bellies - and no one cares! Not that there is a lot of comparison. You get so focused on the mud that you actually forget both that you are nude and whatever you didn't like about your body nude.

"Enjoy the friendliness of the other women"

Is that a frog? Yes, certainly! It's hiding in the shadowy part of the mud dam and jumps out to find a new hiding place as someone climbs into the mud next to him. I've heard of snakes (not dangerous). And once you've managed to get yourself into the mud you'd better not think about what might be in here. Lie back and stare up on the clear blue sky instead. Or enjoy the friendliness of the other women - there's always someone whole make sure to help you cover your back or other parts you can't reach.

Or who encourages newbies. Everyone is a bit scared the first time.

If someone is to old or fragile to walk into the mud by her own means there's a lift - and helpful hands that will cover the woman's body with the healing matter.


Mud bath on prescription

The mud bath are for therapeutic purposes. Most of the visitors here come with a prescription from the doctor and use the baths as therapy for diseases like psoriasis, eczemas, juvenile acne and other skin diseases or infections, chronic rheumatic pain, gynecological diseases like irregular period or infections, kidney stones and arthritis.

This is the only therapeutic mud bath in Greece. The astonishing qualities of the mud in this area have been known for thousands of years. As the mud baths are situated close to the ancient city of Philippi, founded by the father of Alexander the Great, Philip the second, I like to think that Olympia (Alexander’s mum) used the mud as part of her beauty treatment and maybe Alexander himself dipped into the pound to gain strength.

Actually the village Lydia got its name after the first woman in Europe to be christened – by Paul the apostle when he traveled in Europe. (If you want to read more about that you should get out your Bible and read Paul’s letter to the Philippians). Maybe even Paul took a bath in mud before he continued his travels?

It makes you hungry!

In 1996 the Greek National Institute of Health unanimously declared the mud and water of the spring here in Lydia as being medicinal, putting it under the category of mineral springs of local importance.

Mud according to a generally accepted definition, is a ground mixture of inorganic and organic matter with water, which has gradually been submitted to geological and biological processes. Mud is known to have therapeutic qualities and is used for the treatment of various diseases when stemming from thermal springs. The mud baths in Lydia consist of approximately 45 percent clay and 55 percent thermal water.

While in the mud bath your skin temperature increases and the cardiac and circulatory systems works better. It also affects the respiratory system, increases metabolism and improves mobility.

And it makes you hungry and sleepy!

I always walk straight out from the showers to the cafeteria, filling up a starving stomach with pies and chocolate. And it's funny how well you sleep afterwards. Like a log. Unconscious.

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