Halotherapy

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The unique red salt mine in Belarus – Soligorsk.
Halotherapy spa in Slovakia

Halotherapy (also known as speleotherapy when practiced inside caves) is a form of alternative medicine which makes use of salt. Halotherapy is an unproven treatment that lacks scientific credibility.[1] Spa owners attribute a wide range of health benefits to halotherapy.[2]

Norman Edelman of the American Lung Association suggests that, for people with obstructive lung diseases, halotherapy might be more than placebo effect.[3] He speculates that inhaled salt particles might thin out mucus aiding patients in expelling sputum. However, a recent review of the research supporting halotherapy determined that, out of 151 studies conducted on this topic, only 1 was a well-designed randomized control trial that met their inclusion criteria for a meta-analysis.[4]

History[edit]

Many forms of halotherapy have been used for millennia. The earliest known mention of spa resorts date back to 12th-century Poland, in which people were urged to bathe in mineral waters.[5] Modern history of halotherapy dates back to 1843, when a Polish physician named Feliks Boczkowski promoted the idea of salt treatment after noticing that workers at salt mines, unlike other miners, did not have respiratory or lung problems.[6]

Forms[edit]

There are several forms of halotherapy:[5]

  • Saline solution inhalations
  • Dry salt aerosol inhalations
  • Irrigation and lavage
  • Saline and brine baths
  • Taking the waters (crenotherapy)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shah, R.; Greenberger, P. (2012). "Unproved and controversial methods and theories in allergy-immunology". Allergy and Asthma Proceedings. 33 (Supplement 1): 100–102. doi:10.2500/aap.2012.33.3562. PMID 22794702.
  2. ^ Novella, Steven (June 13, 2018). "Halotherapy – The Latest Spa Pseudoscience". Science-based Medicine. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  3. ^ "Promising or Placebo? Halo Salt Therapy: Resurgence of a Salt Cave Spa Treatment". American Lung Association. June 9, 2016. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Rashleigh, Rachel; Smith, Sheree (February 21, 2014). "A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease". International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. 9: 239–46. doi:10.2147/COPD.S57511. PMC 3937102. PMID 24591823.
  5. ^ a b Kamińska, Katarzyna (2014). Halotherapy. Sulejówek: Salsano Haloterapia Polska. p. Transl. Caryl Swift. ISBN 978-83-937819-1-1.
  6. ^ Shah, Allie (18 November 2013). "Salt therapy is finding new fans, but doctors remain skeptical". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 16 February 2020.

External links[edit]