HISTORY OF HALOTHERAPY
The use of salt for medical purposes goes back even further. The ancient Greeks knew the value of salt-based remedies, as they understood it to have expectorant powers. The healing methods of Hippocrates (460 BC) made frequent use of salt and specifically mentions the inhalation of steam from salt-water for the relief of respiratory symptoms.
The benefits of Salt Therapy were noted in a book published in 1843 by Polish doctor Felix Boczkowski. Dr Boczkowski, a physician at the Wieliczka salt mine, observed a remarkably low incidence of respiratory conditions in salt miners. He formulated that the presence of air in the salt mine, saturated with dry salt particles, had a healing effect on those with respiratory and pulmonary discomforts. His successor set up a spa based on these observations.
During WWII, Dr Karl Hermann Spannagel noticed improvements in the health of his patients as they hid in the Kluterthöhle karst salt cave in Germany to escape heavy bombing. Dr Spannagel noted that while staying in the cave patient’s coughing had subsided and those with respiratory discomfort breathed more easily. Ever since, the Kluterthöhle karst salt cave has continued to be used for the medical treatment of respiratory diseases.
Underground treatment in salt caves was the only method available until, in 1987, a new technique was developed in Russia. The first Salt Rooms, were constructed using mined salt rock from deep underground, shaped into blocks. These Salt Rooms recreated the micro-climate of a salt cave in an above ground clinic.