Halotherapy is a 100 % natural, drug-free, safe, noninvasive and pleasant treatment using a controlled air medium that simulates the microclimate of a natural salt cave or mine.
“Halos” in Greek means salt, Celtic word “hal” stands for salt and also clean and holy. Halotherapy is performed in a special room, the walls and floor of which are covered by tremendous amount of salt, in so called climatic-inhalation salt chambers or simply in salt caves.
Nowadays the powerful development of pharmacology and industrial production of medicines encourages the growth of treatment by medication. Availability, simplicity of application and rapid effect are priorities of pharmacotherapy. Industrially produced medicines are efficient and today nearly irreplaceable for acute illnesses. However, during long term usage together with therapeutic effects, medicines can cause pathologic conditions that are connected with side effects. Many allergic conditions and autoimmunal processes are caused by industrially produced medicines. Furthermore treatment by medication does not restore the own defense mechanisms of the body – immunity. These are the main reasons why physicians turn back to the experience of natural healing factors and carry out investigations in order to find medication-free treatment methods.
Halotherapy is one of such methods.
Treatment in natural salt caves and mines – Speleotherapy (“speleos” in Greek means a cave) – has been known for a long time. The efficacy of speleotherapy is associated with the unique cave microclimate. The natural dry sodium chloride (ordinary salt) aerosol is the major curative factor of the cave microclimate. It is formed by the convective diffusion from salt walls due to natural humidity in the cave. Other factors such as comfortable humidity and temperature, the hypobacterial and allergen-free air environment saturated with aero ions enhance the therapeutic effect.
A suggestion that it is the air saturated with saline dust that causes the main curative effect in the Speleotherapy of patients with respiratory diseases was first formulated by a Polish mining physician Feliks Bochkowsky. He noticed that the workers of salt mines did not get ill with lung diseases. In 1839 he founded the Salt Spa in Wieliczka near Krakow, which is still in operation. Originally it served for treatment of almost all diseases, and since 1958 it has been using for treatment of diseases like asthma, chronic and acute bronchitis, upper and lower airway diseases and allergies. Nowadays, salt mines are known to be used for therapeutic purposes in many other countries, such as Ukraine (Solotvino, Artiomovsk), Austria (Solzbad-Salzeman), Russia (Berezniky, Perm), Romania (Slanic, Praid, Seiged, Sovata, Ocna), Germany (Teufelshohle), Hungary (Tapolca), Azerbaijan (Nakhichevan), Kirgizia (Chon-Tous) and others.
Speleotherapy has been acknowledged as a highly effective medication-free treatment method. Great experience in the treatment of patients with various forms of chronic nonspecific pulmonary diseases has proved Speleotherapy to be very effective under the conditions of the microclimate of the salt mine in Solotvino (Ukraine). The therapeutic effect has been proved by the data of biochemical immunological and microbiological research (Simyonka, 1989; Slivko, 1980; Yefimova et at, 1990; Zadorozhnaya et at, 1986).
The main disadvantage of Speleotherapy is its availability – i.e. lack of appropriate caves or salt mines. This brings problems such as the necessity for transportation, adaptation for patients who come from different climates, accommodation for patients near caves (treatment is performed in the way of rehabilitation and treatment center, so it is necessary to stay in this location for several days or weeks) and usually limited number of beds. Speleotherapy also makes a great demand on a patients’ time and total costs which should be considered. All these problems prevent the treatment from being wide spreading. So Halotherapy has been worked out.
Halotherapy is the method of natural therapy, which takes from Speleotherapy the main healing factor – an aero dispersed environment saturated with dry sodium chloride aerosol, while eliminates the disadvantages mentioned above. Halotherapy is performed in a special room with salt-coated walls and floor – the Halochamber, which can be built almost anywhere; customers or patients are not compelled to travel far from theirs homes and spend a long time on therapy in natural caves but they can benefit from coming to a built “cave” near their homes, with the same therapeutic effects. Of course, such halochambers can be helpful for treatment only in cases where the strict requirements are fulfilled, partly hygienic – mainly it is a pure air environment without allergens, pathogenic bacteria, mould, etc., and partly therapeutic – sufficient concentration and proper composition of salt aerosol, temperature and humidity of the air.
Medical research which focused on treatment of various respiratory diseases confirmed that Halotherapy resulted in improvements of the clinical state in the most patients. Russia has become the world leader in developing and testing new and increasingly effective drug-free physical therapies without side effects. Many of these clinical trials have focused on Halotherapy as a treatment for asthma, chronic bronchitis and the entire range of upper and lower respiratory tract diseases. Most of the published work on Halotherapy has appeared in Russian journals and publications. The Russian Ministry of Public Health sanctioned the Halotherapy method in 1990.
So that Halotherapy could be effective, some basic criteria must be fulfilled: mainly it is the composition of salt rocks – they should contain at least 90 % of NaCl (sodium chloride – pure salt), according to some works even more then 97 %; the rest of the composition contains other minerals and trace elements; temperature should be kept in range from 18 to 24 °C (65 – 75 °F) and the humidity level between 45 and 60 %. And of course, the environment inside may not contain any pathogenic bacteria or mould.
Speleo/Halotherapy is an effective method of treatment for chronic respiratory diseases, working well with or without medical treatment and without any known side effects. Because of this, even pregnant women with asthma or other respiratory diseases could use this therapy without any harm to the child.
Although halotherapy provides significant improvement for a patients’ clinical state, sometime even resulting in full recovery, it is not a substitute for medical treatment. In the case of an already existing disease, it can only be used as an adjuvant to help improve the quality of the patients’ life, reducing the antibiotic, corticoid or steroid intake, reducing the rate of annual hospitalizations and decreases the frequency of respiratory diseases attacks.
The combination of conventional and alternative medicine leads to the best results!
Published medical researches on Speleo/ Halotherapy in the database NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) – National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health
Other interesting information about Speleotherapy, Halotherapy, etc.
SALT LAMPS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON OUR HEALTH.
Rock salt replenishes negative ions in the air, which are reduced through industrial emissions, exhaust gases or cigarette smoke. By their reduction, the ratio of positive, negative and neutral particles becomes unbalanced and one feels more and more physically tired. That is why it is important to add a lot of these negative ions. Lamps made of rock salt can effectively improve the quality of air; adding freshness to it which tranquillizes us.
Salt lamps are made of crystals of rock salt, which contain other additives, primarily iron oxides. These additives add special orange or red color to the salt. The salt rock is mined in salt mines in depths of around 1000 meters. The lamps of salt crystals carry the history of Earth in them. The rock salt of these lamps comes from the Paleozoic period and is thus roughly 250 million years old.
Salt in our everyday life is not considered something precious, but it still remains an essential substance. Without salt, life on Earth would not be possible at all.
By a salt lamp we bring home a great energetic assistant and healer. Remarkable are their manifold strengthening, revitalizing and protective properties. The effect of salt lamps in many ways reminds us of old healing methods, which used the effects of color, light, crystals and air in various combinations in order to bring body, mind, heart and spirit in harmony. In placing the salt lamps in space, it is necessary to be completely guided by spontaneous intuition. It is mostly the way in which one places the lamp exactly there where one needs it to be. However it is better to realize the whole width of the effects of rock salt and place the lamp accordingly.
Salt crystal lamps are suitable for apartments as well as the workplace. They have positive influence on human organisms even without being lit since the salt crystals ionize the air. By lighting the lamp, the effects become even more prominent.
It is advisable to put the lamps in rooms where there are computers or other electromagnetic devices. This lamp works pleasantly and amicably in entrance areas. It adds a warming aspect to the living room. It brings about calm and a feeling of safety. It purifies the air, enlivens dark corners, and brings optimism. The orange color of the salt lamp in dining halls stimulates the circulation of gastric and digestive juices and strengthens the appetite. It creates a comfortable atmosphere for collective dining.
In the bedroom, it will take care of a good sleep. Lamps in bedrooms protect people against nightmares and bring deep sleep. The nursery is where a child sleeps, plays and works. Therefore, all the aforementioned examples are valid for it as well. A salt lamp is an ideal night light for children. All children like a calming light at night, which repels ghosts and ugly dreams.
In a study, the salt lamp is a wonderful assistant. It increases the number of negative ions, which are reduced due to electrostatic charge and electro-smog. Thanks to the property of salt to bring order into chaotic energies and cleanse atmosphere, it is advisable to place it in classrooms. Colored light supports people in opening up to everything new and uplifts the spirit. For similar reasons do these lamps fit in doctors’ offices, infirmaries, waiting rooms and rooms for the ill.
Beneficial effects of the lamp are manifested with asthmatics and people with allergies, whereby staying in rooms with the lamps their medical condition stabilizes and improves. In acute diseases of the upper respiratory tract, such as a cold, the flu or bronchitis, it is possible to leave the lamp on for the whole night. The ionizing effect improves air quality, which has a positive impact on the whole organism. It calms breathing, accelerates healing and alleviates uncomfortable manifestations of a disease.