Salt Therapy: What is the difference?

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.

Weiliczka mine in Poland: accumulation of secondary sedimentation of wet salt aerosol 

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.

Kinga’s Chapel inside the Wieliczka mine: carved entirely out of salt

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.

Underground Health resort at 
Wieliczka mine

are some of the special characteristics of a salt mine micro-climate used in

  • It has a stable temperature and
  • 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.

Underground Health resort at  
Wieliczka mine

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.

Salt Cave at Salt Spa St.Augustine

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
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.

Brine Graduation Tower in Poland

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

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

Float tank at Salt Spa St.Augustine 

All salt is not the same

Table salt

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

Pink Himalayan salt crystals closeup 

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.

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

Health resort in Poland

Floating and Magnesium

Flotation Therapy is the amazing process of relaxing the body and mind in an anti-gravity, zero-distraction environment. Our float tanks are filled with 900+ pounds of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) and dissolved into approximately 150 gallons of purified water. This creates a very dense solution which allows the body to float effortlessly. The float guest has a choice of turning off the lights, music, and closing the pod lid which reveals another layer of deep tranquility and stillness. With the body fully supported, you are able to fully relax, let go and many of our guests even enter a theta brain wave state when floating. This is the same state associated with deep mediation, creativity and dreaming. So why is floating in Epsom salt so beneficial? Did you know that there’s one nutrient in your body, and only one, that is connected to 56 different diseases? Next to water and oxygen, your body needs magnesium to survive. Low Magnesium levels are rarely tested in most of the population so deficiencies go easily unnoticed. Magnesium deficiency can include anxiety, acid reflux, constipation, insomnia (Sleep), kidney stones and hormonal imbalances.

Magnesium alone…

➔ Balances calcium by dissolving it faster and making it more available for your teeth and bones…

➔ Is vital for over 1000 different chemical processes inside your body…

➔ Protects against Alzheimer’s, bone loss, diabetes and even cancer.

➔ Improves sleep and prevents dehydration

Float pod at Salt Spa

Floating is a great way for the body to absorb magnesium. According to this study, Magnesium levels in the blood rise for a few days, and sulfate levels rise for 7 days, then level off. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium. Raising your magnesium levels can improve your circulation, improve your body’s ability to use insulin, ease muscle pain, regulate electrolytes, and relieve stress.5 According to the Universal Health Institute: Although magnesium can be absorbed through the digestive tract, many foods, drugs and medical conditions can interfere with the effectiveness of this delivery method. Therefore, soaking in an Epsom Salt bath is one of the most effective means of making the magnesium your body needs readily available.

Come experience a float at Salt Spa St. Augustine. We are open 7 days a week! Give us a call at (904) 814-8641 to book an appointment.