Speleotherapy, Ionization & Salt Lamps



Speleotherapy & Salt Lamps

Speleotherapy or underground climatotherapy is an alternative treatment for asthma used in Eastern Europe. Curing asthma involves spending 2-3 hours a day underground in subterranean caves or salt mines over a 2-3 month period. This rather old therapeutic modality without a scientific explanation seems to give some benefit to patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and asthma.

Although not known to be practiced in the U.S., speleotherapy, a process that involves using the health enhancing effect of salt mines or caves to cure asthma, is an old and yet popular alternative therapy that is still used in some regions of Central Europe, the Balkans, and in Turkey (Karakoca, Demir, Kisackik, Kalyoncu & Findik, 1995).

One study describes a course of therapy which was 4 hours a day for 6-8 weeks, the 100 COPD and asthma patients reported improvement which lasted 6 months to 7 years (Skulimowski, 1965). Similar studies were published from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia with cure rate of around 20% for asthma (Bichonski & Skumlowski, 1971; Kessler, Morik, Morlin & Varkonyi, 1969; Paskova, Kolesar & Siposova, 1976).

Despite several published articles reporting a decrease in the symptoms of asthma and allergies, the investigations lack the scientific rigor necessary for many government and private organizations


Ionization and Salt Lamps

Ionizing machines emit negative electric charges into the air, and this supposedly causes airborne allergens to cluster and fall to the ground. These machines have been claimed to help hay fever and asthma sufferers by decreasing the allergen load on the nasal mucosa and lungs.

Speleotherapy is carried out in salt mines where there are large concentrations of healthy negative ions. These are the same ions that are given off by salt lamps.

Many people, who can't go to the salt mines, use salt crystal lamps to create those ions. They buy salt crystal lamps made from the same salt mines used the speleotherapic clinics. These lamps are reported to provide relief the same was people are relieved at the salt mines

Negative Ions
per cc
Where Found
0 - 100

Smoky indoor air

0 - 250

Office building with central air conditioning

20 - 250

Inside an Airplane

250 - 500

Normal indoor air with windows open

250 - 750

Urban Air in average industrial city

1000 - 2000

Country Air

1000 - 5000

Mountain Air

5000 - 20,000

Inside caves

25,000 - 100,00