Ukrainian mine helps asthmatics
The Solotvyno Salt Mine, near the Romanian border, offers speleotherapy, an alternative treatment for people with respiratory conditions.
It now hopes to attract patients from Britain, where more than five million people suffer from asthma.
At Solotvyno, patients spend several hours a day breathing in the salty air more than 300 metres (984ft) below the surface.
When you get out of the lift, which is shared with salt miners, you step into what looks like a magical kingdom.
The walls appear to be sculpted out of white ice.
Everywhere salt crystals sparkle and twinkle.
“It’s beautiful, and it looks like a marble castle from a fairy tale,” says Maria Congard, from Denmark, who suffers from bronchitis.
“The air is very good, so you don’t have problems with your lungs down here.”
Salt Institute – Salt and Health…
Salt is essential not only to life, but to good health. Human blood contains 0.9 % salt (sodium chloride). Salt maintains the electrolyte balance inside- and outside of cells. Routine physical examinations measure blood sodium for clues to personal health. Most of our salt comes from foods, some from water. Inadequate salt can be problematic. Doctors often recommend replacing water and salt lost in exercise [see advice on maintaining hydration for weekend athletes bodybuilders, professional athletes and outdoor athletes such as marathon runners and ultraendurance athletes] and when working outside. Wilderness hikers know the importance of salt tablets to combat hyperthermia. Oral rehydration involves replacing both water and salt. Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) has been termed, by the British Medical Journal “the most important medical advance this (20th) century.” Expectant mothers are advised to get enough salt. Increased salt intakes have been used successfully to combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The unique microclimate of salt mines is a popular way to treat asthma, particularly in Eastern Europe. Dramatic deficiencies (e.g. “salt starvation” in India) or “excessive” sodium intakes have been associated with other conditions and diseases, such as hypertension and stomach cancer. Testing the salinity of perspiration is a good test for cystic fibrosis; scientists suspect that cystic fibrosis is caused by a deformed protein that prevents chloride outside cells from attracting needed moisture. (And, of course, we cannot forget that iodized salt is the choice of public health professionals to combat iodine deficiency, has been fortified to battle other diseases like lymphatic filarisis and is considered “the first antibiotic”).
The Wieliczka Salt Mine Under-ground Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre
Our 6.5-hour treatment visits during rehabilitation – treatment stays (Sunday is a day off) take place in the unique salt scenery of the Lake Wessel Chamber, well – equipped with physical therapy equipment. The chamber is located 135 meters underground. The specific microclimate of the underground Lake Wessel Chamber is characterised by bacteriological purity; furthermore, the air of the chamber contains large quantities of sodium chloride, magnesium and calcium ions. Active rehabilitation treatment includes modern breathing exercises able, to control and improve the respiratory system. Therefore, the stay in our mine is especially beneficial for treating: lower and upper tract respiratory system diseases (infections of nose, sinuses, throat, larynx, asthma, COPD, bronchi diseases), allergies, skin diseases, metabolic disorders (obesity).
Other interesting links about salt, salt therapy, etc.
+ many useful links about diseases, treatment, etc.