Tourism

The Good Oil

Naftalan, a Cure for the Body & Soul

The treatment gained fame back in the 19th century, when oil was first discovered in the Absheron Peninsula, although locals had been aware of its curative properties for centuries. Oil […]

The treatment gained fame back in the 19th century, when oil was first discovered in the Absheron Peninsula, although locals had been aware of its curative properties for centuries. Oil discharges had been observed in the region as early as the 13th century, when Marco Polo made note of them in his travel diary.

Naftalan was a popular medical recreation and holiday destination during the Soviet era, when as many as 70,000 tourists a year visited the small-town sanatorium to treat ailments that traditional medicine had declared incurable. The town ultimately became so popular, that it merited its own airport. Following the fall of communism in the 1990s, the town lost of some its former glory. However, a recent drive to promote regional tourism in Azerbaijan could soon bring about a renaissance for Naftalan.

NAFTALAN THE TREATMENT

Ancient Egypt is known for its use of oil to treat wounds and certain skin diseases, while the Assyrians and Babylonians were other civilizations to recognize the curative properties of the oil, which now supposed was Naftalan oil.

Naftalan can be used as an alternative medical treatment in various forms, including oil baths, massages, and creams. The main active ingredient in Naftalan is naphtenic hydrocarbons, which account for approximately 50% of its composition. The duration and frequency of the oil baths in one treatment course on alternate days, with a procedure duration of 10 to 15 minutes. The range of ailments it can be used to treat spans dermatological diseases, arthritis, and particularly joint pain, as well as urogenital and cardiovascular ailments.

Due to the antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects of the oil, it is particularly recommended for peripheral vascular diseases. Naftalan stimulates nerve endings located in the skin, leading to pain relief, reduced inflammation, and a swifter recovery from lesions or disease.

Over time, Naftalan has become commercially available in the form of oils and lotions, and it is believed that baths with fresh oil are the more effective option.

The treatment centers in Naftalan work in collaboration with traditional medicine and do not aim to replace it. Thus, patients arrive at Naftalan having received the diagnosis of a doctor, and additionally undergo a comprehensive medical examination upon arrival.

CHINAR HOTEL & SPA

Underpinning the rapid rise of Naftalan as a health tourist destination, Chinar Hotel & Spa is today the main attraction in the town. This state-of-the-art hotel and sanatorium opened in 2011, when there had been a number of developmental projects such as the renovation of local road, power, and utility infrastructure. Combining the latest know-how in hospitality with traditions and a local flair, Chinar boasts 170 rooms, including a King Suite, six Deluxe Suites, and four Suites. A self-service restaurant, bar, vitamin bar, exercise area, pool, large green areas, and children’s areas complete Chinar’s hospitality offering.

However, what distinguishes Chinar from other hotels is its sanatorium facilities located on the first floor, which includes a clinic of numerous specialties, including dental care, gynecology, cardiology, urology, radiology, ENT, neurology, dermatology, and nutrition, as well as the Sawadee spa and Naftalan therapy center where the actual oil baths take place.

In the words of Hakki Boyacıoğlu, General Director and Project Manager at Chinar Hotel & Spa, “We work with nature, and the primary attraction of our resort comes from the very soil of Azerbaijan. In offering our guests the benefits of Naftalan, we work to ensure their comfort in spacious facilities, and with a range of entertainment options, as well as good food and a hygienic environment conducive to health. We want our guests to enjoy their time here and to enter a holistic relaxation experience that encompasses body and spirit.”

The consideration that Chinar Hotel & Spa has given in every detail of the establishment, including such unexpected features as winter gardens, ensures a unique experience for its visitors—one that they will wish to repeat year after year.

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