History and Background
Salt therapy has its origins from the salt mines and caves of Eastern Europe.
Modern dry salt therapy has its origins from the salt mines and caves in Europe and Russia. As the workers were mining the salt (through chiseling, grinding and hammering at the salt), micro-sized salt particles were being disbursed into the air. Additionally there were ideal conditions below the Earth’s surface where air pressure and circulation, and humidity and temperature affected the quality of the environment. In this environment, miners were receiving many natural health benefits by breathing in the salt particles. Considering that mining jobs were usually recognized as dangerous to life and health, salt miners seemed to thrive on good health. They rarely had any respiratory issues and also looked younger due to great skin appearance.
Upon studying the effects of this phenomena, Dr. Feliks Boczkowski, who was not only a great doctor but also a very smart business man, founded and opened the first health resort facility at the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland in 1839. He offered salt baths by utilizing natural brine from underground and mentioned in his book, that staying underground can be even more effective in asthma treatment than inhalations.
In 1949, German physician, Dr. K.H. Spannahel, who had observed during WWII that the people who were hiding in salt mines and caves from the bombs had respiratory health benefits. He proposed the creation of the Klyutert cave as an inpatient department to conduct a systematic approach to observe the climatological conditions and confirm the medical effectiveness of underground environments. The results of these studies, along with the teamwork of the Hungarian geologist, Dr. H. Kessler, laid the foundation of modern Speleotherapy, which is a modality utilizing the environmental benefits occurring underground.
In 1958, Professor Mieczyslaw Skulimowski became the official physician of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine and started regular treatment of patients in the salt chambers, initiating a new field of medicine – Subterraneotherapy, also called the Skulimowski method, which refers to underground “salted” environments exclusively.
Shortly thereafter, in 1964 the world’s first facility of its kind, the underground “Kinga” Allergy Treatment Spa was created in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine in Poland, then renamed to the “Kinga” Health Resort Hospital, where Professor Skulimowski became its first Director and focused on helping people with mostly respiratory conditions as well as explored other overall health benefits. His methods proved to be successful and spread to neighboring salt mines and caves in Europe as well as to former Soviet Union states. In 1968, the first speleo-hospital was opened in the Solotvyno salt mine in Ukraine.
Having the attention from the medical community, the need for more convenient access became a necessity, in order to conduct specific studies and do more specific research. In 1985 in Odessa, Russia, the Institute of Balneology, in collaboration with the salt cavers from Uzhgorod, developed the first Halotherapy device. This was a device that was replicating the grinding and crushing of salt that would disperse the particles into the air. One could say that Halotherapy was “born” in the medical environment, in former Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the knowledge of the halotechnology and established Halotherapy protocols became accessible to the rest of the world. Soon Halotherapy claimed its place in more commercial and wellness settings outside of the USSR in Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, Australia and finally the United States.
How it works
Active dry salt therapy is simple to understand. There are three primary characteristics of pure sodium chloride, NaCl, known as salt:
Salt is super absorbent (especially when it is completely dry)
Salt is anti-bacterial
Salt is anti-inflammatory
This type of dry salt is placed into a halogenerator that then precisely grinds the salt into specific micro-sized particles and then disperses the salt aerosol into the air in a closed environment such as a booth or chamber.
As the salt travels in the salt booth or room, these salt particles of dry sodium chloride are inhaled into the respiratory system. The dry salt naturally starts absorbing allergens, toxins and foreign substances into your lungs and throughout your respiratory tract. Dry salt may help to reduce inflammation and open airway passages. The micro-sized crystal structure of pure NaCl particles breaks loose and clears out all of the ‘bad stuff’. This is the basis for how dry salt therapy can impact people suffering from respiratory conditions like allergies, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, COPD and others.
The properties of dry salt also absorb impurities and provide anti-bacterial properties that benefit the skin such as acne, psoriasis and eczema as well as regulates the skin’s micro-circulation. The smaller particles can reach beneath the skin’s surface and absorb moisture towards the skin. The larger salt particles land on the skin and absorb any bacterial and foreign substances. The dry salt accelerates cell rejuvenation and improves skin rigidity.
The climate conditions in a dry salt room therefore must maintain certain temperature and humidity levels and proper ventilation to ensure the efficacy of the salt therapy and provide a ‘clean-air’ environment for the consumer.
Lungs and Respiratory Hygiene
Healthy lungs and a clean respiratory system are essential for vitality, energy and longevity.
An average adult takes about 12-15 breaths per minute and little children about 20-30 breaths per minute. The main function of the lungs is to deliver oxygen to our red blood cells and get rid of the CO2 from the body. In addition, our respiratory tract acts as a very important defense mechanism by filtering the air from pollutants and foreign substances, it regulates the pH level of blood by managing the levels of CO2, and it also helps control blood pressure by converting the chemical in the blood called angiotensin I into angiotensin II.
Why dry salt therapy for respiratory care
People are exposed to pollutants, airborne diseases, bacteria, allergens and other irritating factors on a daily basis. Halotherapy is the only known method to cleanse and detox the lungs as well as invigorate the entire body with increased lung capacity and oxygen intake. Regular Halotherapy practice is an excellent way to aide breathing and improve your quality of life.
How dry salt improves the respiratory system
Scientific research has found that inhaled dry salt particles have bactericide, mucokinetic, hydrophilic and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help to reduce inflammation in the entire respiratory tract and widen the airway passages. Dry salt particles are also known to accelerate the transportation of mucus, the elimination of residual tar and foreign allergens. A clean respiratory system naturally results in higher oxygen intake, increased energy and an improved immune system.
Dry salt is super absorbent and acts like a sponge attracting foreign substances along its path through the respiratory tract. The dry salt can be imagined to behave like a toothbrush that cleans through the respiratory system removing build-up of foreign elements that cause various respiratory ailments and conditions. Clean lungs are healthy lungs. Start Halotherapy today!
What type of respiratory conditions might improve
A majority of people who include Halotherapy in their wellness routine may find relief from a variety of respiratory conditions such as:
For respiratory conditions low concentration and gradual administration of dry salt and consistency of the sessions are the key elements for successful results
Skin, Beauty and Anti-Aging
The function of the integumentary system
Our skin is a very complex and intelligent organ that has many important functions. It is the largest organ and, like the respiratory system, it has a major role to protect and defend the body against bacteria, viruses and other microbes. It also excretes wastes, regulates temperature and prevents dehydration by controlling the level of perspiration. It houses sensory receptors that detect pain, sensation and pressure.
Why dry salt therapy for skin care
Quality and aesthetic appearance of the skin has an important aspect of how we are viewed by others and can have a profound psycho-emotional impact on how we feel about ourselves. As we age, our skin is the first organ to show the impact of time and life. Dry salt therapy is an excellent solution to improve the overall quality and appearance of the skin. Regular Halotherapy can be the most important tool that aids the healthy aging process of the skin.
The truth is that healthy and glowing skin is beautiful at any age.
How dry salt therapy improves the integumentary system
Scientific research has confirmed that the micro-particles of salt have a beneficial influence to the integument system (skin protective layer) and hairs providing healing and cosmetic effects. This increases activity of skin cell ion channels and activates electrophysiological activity that determines the skin’s protective properties. The salt provides pH normalization and induces reparative and regenerative processes in derma, increases skin rigidity, stimulates growth and improves hair health. The dry salt impacts the skin microcirculation and assists cellular membrane activity used in dermatology and cosmetology and enhances their effectiveness.
What type of skin conditions might improve
Regular and consistent dry salt therapy may help people with the following various skin conditions:
Swelling & Inflammation
Dry & Flaky Skin
For skin conditions high concentration and aggressive administration of dry salt and consistency of the sessions are the key elements for successful results.
Halotherapy is recognized as safe and effective wellness practice for preventive and restorative health care. It is not a medical treatment and does not offer cure! Halotherapy is not recommended for people with contagious diseases, fever, open wounds, cancer, severe hypertension, mental disorders and active tuberculosis. Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using halotherapy. Anyone with serious health concerns need to seek proper medical advice and care.