Today’s modern salt therapy spas can trace their roots to the 19th –century salt mines of Poland and Russia. In the 1830’s, physician Dr. Felix Boczkowski treated Polish salt miners of the Wieliczka mine, and noted that they enjoyed much better respiratory health than their peers.
Dr. Boczkowski postulated that salt particles, called aerosols, were released into the air by salt mining activities (chiseling & grinding). He believed inhalation of the aerosols by the miners contributed to their improved lung function, and he pioneered the use of the salt mine for therapeutic purposes or salt “baths.”
During World War II, the Klutert salt caves of Germany were pressed into service as a bomb shelter. Dr. K.H. Spannahel observed that his patients who’d taken shelter in the Klutert mines experienced resolution of respiratory problems. Spannahel went on to produce early studies of halotherapy. The salt aerosols suspended within the low humidity of the underground environment were found to contribute to lung hygiene and recovery from congesting illnesses.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, allergy treatments were formally conducted at the Wieliczka mine, then called the Kinga Allergy Treatment Center, and “speleo-hospitals” were established in Poland and Ukraine. Salt therapy thus became accepted as a routine treatment for respiratory problems in Eastern Europe.
In the 1980’s the first halotherapy machine to create salt aerosols was developed by the Odessa Science Research Institute of Ukraine. The device ground salt to a fine and dispersible particulate, helping to recreate the conditions of an underground salt mine within an enclosed space. With this, contemporary halotherapy was born, although it did not emerge beyond Russian borders until after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Today, salt therapy is commonplace across Europe, and is becoming more accepted as a complimentary health treatment in North America, one with an excellent risk-benefit profile.
Salt therapy delivers widespread physiological benefits with no harmful side effects. How? It’s cleansing actions lead to improvement of respiratory function, which will in turn increase blood oxygenation and allow deeper breathing which can signal the vagus nerve to help reduce stress. Reducing stress has systemic benefits that impact physical and mental health. As anyone with a chronic respiratory condition is aware, it’s stressful to be short of breath or unable to breathe normally through your nose. Salt therapy helps reduce these problems.
The tangible effects of salt therapy can be experienced within 1-3 sessions: clearer sinuses, improved breathing and sleep due to reduced congestion, increased endurance and athletic performance, and the sense of better overall well-being that comes from being able to freely breathe. Want to experience salt therapy, or upgrade your health? Call us today and we’ll help you make that move!