Salt In Therapy

by | Oct 9, 2011

The humble salt, accenting the flavor of our cuisines, is an age old ingredient that has found a new avatar in the form of salt therapy.

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The humble salt, accenting the flavor of our cuisines, is an age old ingredient that has found a new avatar in the form of salt therapy.

To think of the humble salt, as a plausible mineral to alleviate one from respiratory and skin problems was first suggested by a Polish physician, Felix Bochkovsky, back in 1843. He proposed the therapeutic effects of salt on miners in the salt mines of Solotvyno, Transcarpathia, present day Ukraine. He pioneered the research into the Slotvyno phenomenon. In a nutshell, it was observed that miners at these salt mines or salt caves, despite the harsh working conditions and poor nutrition, were highly immune to colds, lung diseases and could easily be told apart from others by their good physical health.

Keeping in view the scientific backdrop, a person experiences a unique microclimate that has advantages for the body in creating balance against negative ions. The ever present evaporating and moving salt creates a negative ion charge which counteracts and heals the body’s harmful positive charges (from such stimuli as electro smog, cigarette smoke), ties them together and restores the body’s natural balance.

The idea of salt cave and salt therapy is not new. It is a another discovery that we can thank the Greeks for. The Greek word for salt is ‘halos’; halo-therapy is a method used for the treatment of respiratory and related health conditions by artificially reproducing the microclimate of salt caves. In certain parts of Russia, such treatments have state backings.

One goes about constructing a salt cave by adding multiple layers of natural blocks of sea salt to all the surfaces to simulate a salt cave style environment, visualize if you will an igloo made of salt bricks. The salt cave encompasses bacteria that ensures a clean and unique micro climate. Mineral extracts (base elements, teaming with micro organisms) keeps the temperature at a constant 20-22 degrees Celsius, generating an air of negative ions and positive health! The air inside is as pure as can be expected and is infused with curative salt, magnesium and calcium ions. These elements are said to have a positive effect on people who suffer from respiratory problems. The use of these naturally occurring elements for therapy and relaxation is a big plus not just for eco tourism but also for alternate healing practices.

Two such resorts, the Salt Spa at Radisson Blue Hotel in Galway, Ireland and Danubius Health Spa Resort at Margitsziget in Budapest have added this novel idea into their spa treatment offerings.

world spa salt therapy radissonAnn McDonagh, is the spa manager at the Salt Spa in Radisson. “This is reasonably new to Ireland but health improvements of miners in Polish salt mines were originally noticed. The prolonged exposure to the specific climate of a salt mine appeared to help aid the relief of those with chronic pulmonary diseases and other respiratory problems”. The price of the treatments range from €25 to €200 depending upon the session packages. “Salt therapy is renowned world-wide as a 100% natural, safe and drug-free therapy proven to be useful in alleviating many different conditions like asthma, hay fever, bronchitis, acne, eczema, snoring, sinusitis and ear and respiratory infections, among others. Salt therapy or halo-therapy is the therapeutic use of exposure to salt air. Originally noticed through the health improvements of miners in Polish salt mines, prolonged exposure to the specific climate of a salt mine appeared to help aid the relief of those with chronic pulmonary diseases and other respiratory problems” states Radisson.

For the numerous salt therapy benefits, they said that “Although almost everyone can benefit from it, salt therapy is recommended in particular for children, with a possible success rate of up to 90% in treating pediatric asthma claimed, and with this treatment recognized in many parts of the world as an important tool in the treatment of childhood asthma. The treatment is suitable for children of any age, even as young as a year. As an athlete, where every advantage counts, salt therapy can assist in improving breathing patterns and contribute to improving an athlete’s overall well-being. There are various customer reactions after taking halo-therapy treatments in the Salt Spa. To begin with their breathing becomes easier and symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and shortness of breath are improved which results in the significant decrease of the usage of medical drug. Since the therapy does not involve any medicine drug, one is in safe hands, receiving effective long-term relief, and as a complementary treatment, can also increase the effectiveness of prescribed medications.”

world spa salt therapy The Danubius Health Spa Resort have a similar, upbeat view on salt cave. “A basic principle of the salt caves is to make this ancient treatment and method of recovery, reintroduced to the sick and healthy people alike. The salt can cure numerous diseases, which are difficult to treat with conventional medicines, or at least it can promote an improvement in the patients’ well-being and so it helps to safe guard their health”, says Dr. Marta Mogyorosi, chief doctor at the hotel. As per her, the concept of salt caves is among the cheapest forms of therapy for the healthy body.

Salt cave can also be a place to receive respite from the daily routine life, a good cure to stress and exhaustion and as a added bonus, the selenium contained in the salt is beneficial for slowing down the aging process; looks like the fountain of youth is in salt, not Loreal’s Age Lift creams!

Salt therapy has also been recommended for different health problems such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, chronic respiratory infections, dust allergies, skin disorders, heart and circulatory disorders, neurological problems, thyroid problems and bowel conditions to name a few, however one would suspect that breathing in clean, mineral rich air would have certain side benefits as well.

The microclimate can be topped off with soothing sounds of the ocean and relaxing lounge chairs; they comfort the body into its resting zone. The Danubius Health Spa tends to use color therapy as well in the salt caves, colored lights illuminate the room with their resonation, wavelengths and frequencies subconsciously influencing our energy waves. The warm colors such as red, orange and yellow invigorate the body with their vibrant energies, whereas the cool colors such as indigo, violet and blue aid in dissolving tension and work to calm and soothe the nerves.

Salt therapy has not really come out on the world stage in a big way even though these is a potential for such a concept to become main stream or at least play an important, mandatory support role in a modern spa alongside the jacuzzi, steam and sauna must-haves.  minilogo

Radisson Blu Hotel Galway & Spa
The luxurious Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Galway, Ireland, is one of the finest Galway Hotels with scenic Galway Bay views. Salt Spa Therapy has arrived in Radisson Blu Galway. It is a remarkable and effective therapy in a unique setting. One can relax in the calm and soothing surroundings of the luxury salt cave, designed to therapeutically cleanse and restore through the inhalation of constantly clean salt air.

Danubius Health Spa Resort-Margitsziget- Budapest
Danubius Health Spa Resort-Margitsziget- Budapest is located on tranquil Margaret Island, placed just ten minutes from the city centre. One can relax at the salt cave, constructed with rock salt from the Dead Sea; the salt cave offers excellent natural therapy for relaxation, to boost the immune system and to clean the respiratory system, while light effects create a pleasant mood by the relaxing effect of its colors.  minilogo

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