Halotherapy (halos - Greek for salt) also known as Speleotherapy (speleo - Greek or cave) is the use of salt mines, salt caves or other devices such as the Salt Inhaler Pipe to dispense fine particles of salt into the lungs for therapeutic benefits.
For over 150 years, people have visited the salt caves of Eastern and Central Europe for the benefits of their health. In 1843, a physician Dr. Feliks Boczkowski observed that miners in the Polish salt mine at Wieliczka did not suffer from any form of lung diseases. Modern use of Speleotherapy started in Germany when Dr. Karl Hermann Spannagel observed improvement in the health of his patients after they hid in a salt cave to escape heavy bombing. Speleotherapy is now practiced in selected caves in Slovakia, Poland, the Ukraine and many other Eastern European countries. The picture to the right shows one such cave with a row of chairs for patients in Germany.
- Based on studies, the salt rooms are highly suitable for asthmatics. Influence of salt therapy results in the secretion of sputum and reduction or total disappearance of dyspnea.
- The micro particles of salt destroy bacteria and fungi on mucosa and at the same time strengthen the immune system. Therefore, children who have received salt therapy sessions have stronger health and do not fall ill so often as others.
- The micro-particles of salt also relieve mucus edema – sneezing stops, congestion in the nose disappears, and rhinitis is relieved or totally disappears.
- Sometimes one starts coughing more after the use of salt therapy. This does not mean that his/her health has worsened. Quite the contrary it is a sign of upcoming recovery. In other words, the respiratory tract gets clean in an accelerated mode.
- Salt therapy is also good for the nervous system and relieves stress as well as anxiety because it is saturated with negative ions.
- Besides, the salt therapy helps to get rid of various dermatological problems, as salt destroys bad bacteria on the skin.
Therapeutic benefits of halotherapy include;
- Long acute diseases of the upper airways
- Chronic diseases of the airways
- Chronic pharyngitis
- Chronic tonsillitis or inflammation of the tonsils
- Chronic maxillary sinusitis
- Chronic inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsil
- Bronchitis which has persisted longer than two weeks
- Chronic bronchitis * relapsing bronchitis and pneumonia
- Chronic and acute otitis
- Frequent viral infections
- Polinosis or hay rhinitis
- Atopic dermatitis
- Putrid dermal infection