Speleotherapy (from Greek speleos=cave) is a natural treatment which has been practiced in old salt mines of Eastern Europe since the early 19th Century. Speleotherapy treatment was discovered in Poland in 1843 by Dr. Felix Boczkowski.
Dr.Boczkowski noticed that metal and coal miners had a tendency to experience severe respiratory problems, but salt miners tended to be healthier than most people. In fact, salt miners during the middle ages did not succumb to the bubonic plague.
Salt Spa St.Augustine seeks to replicate the healing microclimate climate of a natural salt mine, also called speleotherapy, in our salt cave.
Speleotherap, is a process that involves using the health enhancing effects of a salt mine’s natural microclimate to treat respiratory conditions. Salt cave therapy is common all over Eastern Europe and has become a standard feature of spa treatment there. The Wieliczka salt mine, in Poland is the largest subterranean medical respiratory hospital in the world. They see up to 350 patients per year and it is operated by National Ministry of Polish Health. The making of Salt Spa St.Augustine was inspired by the Wieliczka mine.
Speleotherapy is one of the best effective alternative respiratory therapies which involve breathing of the mineral infused air of a salt mine. Many health conditions have been cured with this type of therapy. Because the cave air has a high microbiological cleanliness from fungi, pollen, bacteria and dust mites, which could cause allergic reactions or asthma attacks; it reduces any kind of irritation and the diseased symptoms are reduced and completely eliminated when the patient is in the cave.
Below are some of the special characteristics of a salt mine micro-climate used in Speleotherapy:
- It has a stable temperature and humidity.
- The air lacks airborne pollutants like pollens.
- Speleotherapy offers the benefit of working without any medical treatment or without any use of drugs.
- One of the benefits of Speleotherapy is that the cave air contains no or less dust, there are few chances of irritations and the symptoms of diseases get reduced and are completely eliminated from the body.
- Apart from the benefits in treating or reducing the symptoms of asthma, Speleotherapy is also known to reduce various symptoms of allergies, other breathing problems etc.
- Nervous system dysfunction can also be treated with the use of speleotherapy.
The salt cave at Salt Spa is filled with over 25,000 pounds of Himalayan and Polish Crystal salts. Due to the large amount of salt and air controlled environment, a unique microclimate is achieved within the cave. The climate is rich in ions, minerals and micro-elementary particles like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium. These minerals are naturally absorbed into body during the therapy by breathing the saturated air into the lungs and thus improving the health, performance and overall fitness for all ages.
The Salt Cave at Salt Spa of Saint Augustine is designed to inspire total mind and body relaxation, as well as the rehabilitation of common respiratory conditions like, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, emphysema, rhinitis, sinusitis and smoking. In addition, the salt cave helps produce red blood cells and strengthens the digestive system. Not only does the salt cave remove toxins and fat cells within the body, it also helps reduce fever, stop bleeding, and can improve heart and kidney functions.
The salt cave at Salt Spa is equipped with a therapeutic ultrasonic nebulizer, built especially for salt caves, which generates an active salt fog into the air. Mist is inhaled into the lungs which contain salt, negative ions and minerals. We run this at certain intervals throughout the day to maintain a consistent humidity. The salt cave is also equipped with two brine graduation towers, similar to those found in Poland. The brine waterfall at Salt Spa contains a rare mined iodized salt from the Wieliczka mine in Poland. Iodine is an extremely important nutrient to maintain cognitive function and maintain a healthy thyroid. Heavily saturated salt water is continually circulated to the top of the walls and slowly drips down; salt collects on the twigs and minerals from the water evaporate into the air, thus creating a therapeutic microclimate around the structure. The prophylactic properties of the brine aerosol are also relevant. During the whole day our lungs accumulate dust contained in the air we breathe. Salt works to expel these particles by opening up our airways.
Our salt cave sessions are 45 minutes in length. Guests sit on zero gravity chairs, accompanied by soothing music, which help you, relax, calm down and enjoy your service. More people suffer from respiratory conditions due to the increased pollution from technology and environmental pollution. Dust, cigarette fumes, our modern convenient electrical appliances, such TVs, computers, high-voltage networks and external pollution produce large quantities of positive ions, creating an electrical imbalance in the air. When negative ions are lowered, people inhale more positive ions from the air. This can cause headaches, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, depression, indigestion, and irritability. Negative ions are extremely important for optimal health. The antibacterial influence of negative ions in the air has been tested in hospitals by increasing the concentration of negative ions in the air. When there is an increase in negative ions, the percentage of harmful bacteria in the air is significantly lower. This causes patient wounds to heal faster and the convalescence time of patients is shortened. People who were exposed to higher levels of negative ions in the air indicated these positive results: achieving optimal weight, decrease of blood pressure, increase of energy and stamina.
What is dry Halotherapy?
Halotherapy (from Greek halos=salt) uses a generator to disperse dry aerosol micro particles of salt to treat respiratory diseases. Halotherapy seeks to replicate the conditions of speleotherapy. Halotherapy as a medical technology was developed in Russia in 1989.
Halotherapy is growing in popularity here in the United States. There are two kinds of halotherapy, wet and dry. Most commonly, dry salt therapy is used in rooms with varying salt décor and is equipped with a halo generator. The halo generator grinds pharmaceutical salt into micro particles and releases them into a fine dust. Once inhaled, these salt particles are said to absorb irritants from the respiratory system. Most dry halotherapy rooms are almost always void of humidity which is a vital element for carrying ionized salt particles to the airways. Studies on dry salt therapy are inconclusive.
Wet forms of halotherapy include gargling or drinking salt water (also called Sole), using salt for nasal irrigation and flotation tanks filled with salt water. Salt Spa of St.Augustine is equipped with two flotation tanks.
All salt is not the same
This type of salt is what you should try to avoid. Table salt is refined and has been stripped of all minerals. Advocates of traditional medicine believe that processed table salt is energetically dead, as its crystals are completely isolated from one another. For the body to metabolize chemical table salt, it must expend tremendous amounts of energy to keep the body in a state of optimum fluid balance.
The average American consumes 3,400 mg of sodium chloride a day, over 1,000 mg more than the recommended limit. The body cannot dispose of it in a natural, healthy way, which can lead to tissue irritation, water retention, and high blood pressure.
Table salt has all of its minerals removed, which would otherwise help to balance the blood pressure. Consequently, table salt causes gross blood pressure fluctuations, instead of stabilizing it. This well-known danger has created an entire industry of “low sodium” foods.
Processed foods are very high in sodium, but it is always in the form of table salt, artificial flavors, or flavor enhancers. In the ultimate heart-healthy irony, low sodium products often contain monosodium glutamate, a sodium-based excitotoxin that causes heart attacks in people who do not have enough magnesium. It is probably the most common reason for mysterious heart failures in young athletes, who simply fall-over dead at sporting events.
Salt is either found in rock form, where it is mined or free flowing in the ocean. Over 100 years ago salt used to only be found in rock form which had to be ground. In 1924, Morton’s Salt Company which controls most of the salt in the U.S. was required to add iodine to their salt at the request of the government. Table salt also contains additives to make it more free flowing. Ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate are commonly included. Aluminum intake leads to neurological disorders, particularly when no selenium is provided to help the body to chelate it. Aluminum bio-accumulates inside the body, causing further degeneration over time. Talc is a known carcinogen, though its effects upon ingestion have not been heavily studied. While it was once used in baby powders, the majority of such products now use cornstarch instead of talc, because of the known health risks. The F.D.A. has a special provision to allow talc in table salt, even while it is prohibited in all other foods, due to toxicity issues. According to current regulations, table salt can be up to 2% talc.
Sea Salt is better for you but……
Unrefined sea salt is likely not harmful in moderate amounts. It contains selenium which helps to chelate toxic heavy metals from the body. It also contains boron which helps prevent osteoporosis and chromium which regulates blood sugar levels. It also contains one of the only safe sources of copper. Copper helps the body form new arteries when the main arteries are clogged. However, with the pollution of our seas, it may not be wise to consume too much sea salt. There is recent evidence that sea salt may contain amounts of micro plastics.
The healthiest forms of salt…. Wieliczka Salt and Himalayan salts
Now onto Himalayan salt, which is a type of rock salt best known for its striking pink color which comes from the natural presence of several trace minerals, including magnesium and iodine. Himalayan salt is unrefined and hand-mined from caves in northern Pakistan. Because it’s millions of years old and has sat untouched, many people believe that Himalayan crystal salt is a better option than standard table salt, which may contain toxins and pollutants.
Himalayan salt helps to regulate water levels in the body, encourage healthy blood pressure, reduce appearance of aging, reduce cramps, promote sinus health, promote cellular energy balance, promote healthy sleep patterns, promote kidney and gallbladder health. It can also help boost your mood and provide a mental calmness since Himalayan salt is a natural negative ion generator.
Healthy salts make the body a hostile environment for pathogens, such as bacteria and parasites. Its specific toxicity to pathogenic life forms is why salt is so beneficial. The presence of sodium ions is essential for muscle contractions, including the most important muscle, the heart. Salt is important for removing the acidity from brain cells to make brain function better.
Salt has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucociliary transport. It also removes pathogens like airborne pollen and reduces lgE level (immune system oversensitivity).