History of Salt Therapy

Соляная комната - история возникновения

The problems that modern medicine is facing nowadays are multifaceted. That’s really interesting that the treatment of chronic diseases increasingly puts a deadlock to modern medicine. It seems that science is developing by leaps and bounds, and many problems are solvable, but instead we can see an increase in the classification of diseases, and causes of them. Have you ever thought about why one and the same instruction for taking drugs has a list of contraindications and side effects.

Getting tired at the end of the treatment, we start thinking of alternative methods of treatment. But the question is whether treatment using natural methods is traditional or not? It’s strange why everything what we have from our Mother Nature has lost its relevance nowadays and has been used by traditional doctors only when all the possible procedures have already been tried!

The curative effect of microclimate of karst caves has been known since ancient times. The areas of such natural systems are equipped with hospitals (speleohospitals), sanatoriums, health and recreation resorts etc. Not so many countries can boast of having natural sources of health on its territory. But an undeniable exclusivity of this method, the associated small number of beds, high cost procedures, and need to relocate to other climatic zones naturally limit its widespread. In addition, the method of speleotherapy limited a range of those who wanted to take this treatment by the age criteria (children under 10-14 years old, adults after 65 years old), presence of diseases, which can be influenced by barometric pressure as natural mines often located underground at a depth of 150-400 m. Therefore the cavers’ logical decision was to try to reproduce the microclimate of therapeutic mines artificially, giving the name of such project – a salt room – “vital air room”.

The first salt rooms in Ukraine appeared in the early 80s of the last century. As the basis the Solotvyno microclimate was taken for the salt mines, on the experience of which the underground Ukrainian Allergic Hospital was built – ion and chemical composition of air, its physical parameters (temperature, humidity), the number of microorganisms in the air. First the microclimate was created by rock salt spray indoors. For a long time such way of treatment has been called salt rooms. On the background of the positive therapeutic effect cavers could see their shortcomings – an aggressive action of varienced salt aerosol on visible mucous membranes (severe burning of mucous, watery eyes), discomfort while making procedures (settling grains of salt on clothing), surface effects on the lower respiratory system (medium and small bronchi, lungs). Walls in salt rooms in which dry or wet salt spray was pulverised were made of tiles and therefore there was an issue about making additional disinfection. But as disinfectants have a strong allergic basis, it was decided to use the same natural salt for the lining material, which is a natural source of negative ionization, protects against external aggressive factors (dust, pathogens, allergens), helps to maintain aseptic environment, is the buffer capacity relative to atmospheric moisture, noise, and also serves an aesthetic function, creating a comfortable feeling in the salt room, which improves the functional and adaptive defenses, relieves emotional stress. Using the mineral halite from Solotvyno salt mines makes mostly closer the microclimate of the room to the chemical composition of the air in Solotvyno.

Over the past 30 years, the appearance and microclimate of salt rooms has changed dramatically and most close to natural therapeutic options. The replacement of vehicles spraying salt aerosol on generators fine salt aerosol allowed to expand the range of indications for halotherapy, effects of salt spray on the human body, reduced the list of contraindications on this technique. Today salt room is a full immitation of natural salt caves.

Treatment methods of respiratory and ENT organs, allergies, dermatological problems in the salt room.

Nowadays construction of salt rooms is relevant not only on the basis of medical and health care facilities, but also in children’s educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, summer camps) – with prevention goal of seasonal viral infections and for recovery; at the enterprises with harmful working conditions – with temporary elimination goal of allergens and pollutants, prevention of occupational diseases.

A promising direction is construction of salt rooms at sports complexes to restore natural forces and resources to mobilize athletes’ body after training and taking part in competitions, as well as to prevent “fatigue syndrome”.

30 years experience of halo- and speleotherapy showed a positive effect of this method on the problem of cosmetic and dermatological profile. Therefore, the construction of salt rooms is relevant in beauty salons and SPA-salons. It has been approved and recommended by the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.