Salt of the earth is the air for treatment, rehabilitation and recovery


Through the centuries. From gaining intuitive knowledge to starting scientific research

Even in ancient times, people paid attention to the improvement of well-being after staying in salt caves. But in those days, there was no way to conduct experiments and obtain scientific justification for the use of salt to treat certain diseases. Mentions of healing in the legends of the Mayan civilization, the peoples of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome for hundreds of years remained only pages of history.

However, the international name of the method appeared long before the start of scientific developments, the results of which are used by scientists and physicians in the modern world.

Speleotherapy (Greek speleon - cave, therapia - treatment) is a method of treatment when a person stays in the microclimate of salt caves, grottoes and mines.

The golden age of speleotherapy and the first scientific research worldwide occurred at the beginning and middle of the 19th century. Hospitals and health resorts were opened in Austria, Italy, the USSR, the USA, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and other countries of the world. These medical organizations were in close proximity to natural salt caves.

But there was a particularity. Nature gave only a hint, not a solution. Unfortunately, not all physicians and scientists could see positive results of treatment. Hospitals in several countries around the world were closed.

It was not possible and appropriate to use speleotherapy without scientific research and the search for a number of criteria necessary to obtain a pronounced healing effect. In addition, salt caves and mines at a depth of several tens or hundreds of meters underground are not the most comfortable places for people to stay (including those with disabilities or phobias), and they do not have enough space within for large flows of patients. The solution of the scientific problem was found in the USSR.

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Soviet research to create the world’s first halo chamber

In 1976, the first speleotherapy hospital in the Soviet Union was opened in the village of Solotvyno, Transcarpathian region, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Patients visited a unique natural salt mine which had a constant temperature and humidity values and was located at a depth of 300 meters. After course visits to the mine, the condition of patients who suffered from bronchopulmonary and allergic diseases improved.

The positive results of the treatment and scientific research became known throughout the country, flows of patients increased, new clinics were opened in the USSR (in the territories of modern Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan). But all this was not enough to meet the needs of patients from numerous regions of the vast country. A new scientific problem had to be solved.

In 1985, the world’s first halo chamber was created at the All-Union Research Institute of Pulmonology of the USSR Ministry of Health in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). Using a halogenerator spraying a dry fine aerosol of rock salt, the microclimate of a salt mine in Solotvyno was artificially recreated in the Insitute. After 5 years, halotherapy as a method was officially approved by the USSR Ministry of Health.

Halotherapy (from the Greek words hals - salt, therapeia - treatment) is a method based on the artificial creation of a microclimate that imitates and improves the conditions of underground salt mines and caves to provide a therapeutic effect.

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Halotherapy today

Currently, the use of the halotherapy method is based on a scientific basis and proven clinical effectiveness. Modern innovative equipment for halo chambers continues to be produced in Saint-Petersburg. It is developed by the Clinical Research Respiratory Center in cooperation with the leading scientific and medical institutions of the Russian Federation. Physicians and PhDs in medical, technical and biological sciences work for the health of patients. Controlled halo complexes and other equipment for the treatment and rehabilitation of a wide range of diseases are registered with the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.

The method is also used successfully worldwide. For example, in the production of Italian halo chambers and salt walls used in spas and residential buildings, Himalayan pink salt is used. But the technical characteristics of the equipment differ significantly.

Regardless of the place of production of halo chambers or equipment, the role of design is always important for them. It can be described by the phrase “the art of working with boundless possibilities of color and light”. To make illustrations for this article edited by MedTourBridges. Medical tourism bridges, the following were used: a clear crystal of salt from a Ural mine (property of the editor-in-chief, an interior item, not used for therapeutic purposes), a sheet of blue plastic paper, and sunlight. Readers can see what a multifunctional material salt is.

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This characteristic of the salt allows the creation of designs that meet the desires and needs of patients. The design of halo chambers in large federal research centers for adult patients is often made in restrained white and beige tones.

But staying in halo chambers is no less important for the health of children. Bright colors in the design and open spaces allow complementing the treatment or rehabilitation of young patients with games which can positively affect recovery or at least improve mood. There are many examples where salt caves are more like attractions or playrooms, rather than the standard wards and treatment rooms of medical organizations.

In Russia, halo chambers can be found in specialized public and private medical centers, health resorts, spas and hotels in most large cities.

The halo therapy method is based on the use of a natural source, but one should not forget about the list of existing contraindications and the need to consult with a specialist or a physician before visiting artificial or natural salt caves.


Author: Marina Frolova

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