Halotherapy, derived from the Greek halos, meaning "salt", is a form of alternative medicine which makes use of salt. Numerous forms of halotherapy have been known of and used from millennia. One finds the first mentions of spa resorts in Poland in records dating from the twelfth century. They relate to bathing in mineral waters.
- 1 Forms
- 1.1 Saline solution inhalations
- 1.2 Dry salt aerosol inhalations
- 1.3 Irrigation and lavage
- 1.4 Saline and brine baths
- 1.5 Taking the waters (crenotherapy)
- 2 See also
- 3 References
- 4 External links
There are several forms of halotherapy:
- Saline solution inhalations
- Dry salt aerosol inhalations
- Irrigation and lavage
- Saline and brine baths
- Taking the waters (crenotherapy)
Saline solution inhalations
In wet inhalations, the aerosol takes the form of a mist; in other words, fine droplets which are generated as the result of the nebulisation of fluids. Salt aerosol has no bactericidal properties, which is why it can only be administered in inhalation with the use of nebulisors in the case of individual therapy, or in an open space in coastal areas and in the vicinity of graduation towers. It is most often applied in the form of walks.
Dry salt aerosol inhalations
In dry inhalations found at Salt Suites across the country, the active therapeutic substance is an aerosol originating from the atomising of dry substances. The aerosol is produced by means of a dry salt aerosol generator, which is known as a halogenerator. Movement or breathing sessions are conducted during the inhalation treatment in order to help the aerosol make its way successfully to the desired parts of the respiratory system. Some studies show that it is an effective natural treatment for allergies, asthma, sinusitis and other respiratory condition.
Irrigation and lavage
In diseases of the oral cavity, these treatments engender positive results, as do massages carried out with the use of saline waters. Here, the water has a salinity of between two and three per cent and it is used at a temperature of thirty-seven degrees Celsius. Irrigation and lavage of the periodontium support the treatment of inflammatory processes, work to alleviate swellings and bleeding, assist in the eradication of pathological secretions and reduce the number of microorganisms.
Gynaecological irrigation and lavage
In the case of gynaecological diseases, saline irrigation and lavage procedures are most frequently used in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions. For vaginal irrigation and lavage, saline water at a concentration of between three and four per cent and a temperature of thirty-seven degrees Celsius is administered. The treatment lasts fifteen minutes and is carried out on a daily basis.
Respiratory system irrigation and lavage
The treatment removes all the debris and bacteria from inside the nose and sinuses. A warm isotonic solution at a concentration of 0.9 per cent has no difficulty in softening and dislodging internal deposits and, thanks to the force of gravity and the Venturi effect, a hypotension is generated, making it possible to cleanse every recess thoroughly. It is a method both natural and simple and, at the same time, an extremely effective one.
When it comes to the proper administration of gargling treatments, practice makes perfect. First, take a mouthful of the liquid, then tilt the head back and pronounce the vowel sound a:, as in ‘father’. What then happens is that the air passing through the larynx distributes the liquid around the entire throat and laryngeal vestibule.
Colonic irrigation and lavage
Colonic irrigation and lavage employing saline waters number among the balneological treatments which have a direct impact on a diseased organ. The methods derive from a procedure long known to medicine: the enema. During the treatment, water at a temperature of between thirty-nine and forty-one degrees Celsius is introduced into the rectum and the large intestine in measures of five hundred to one thousand millilitres; in other words, from half a litre to a litre. In this way, the residual contents of the large intestine are flushed away, the mucous membrane is cleansed, and the warming action has an alleviating effect on spasmatic conditions. The treatments are carried out for therapeutic purposes or in preparation for a scheduled examination or procedure. During one series of treatments, between five and fifteen litres of water will be used.
Saline and brine baths
In the main, it is saline waters and brines which are used in treatments involving bathing. However, briny waters are used in the case of children, older people, convalescents and people who are generally unfit, as well as at the start of a course of therapy. The upper limit for the waters used is around five to six per cent. As far as the concentration of sodium chloride waters is concerned, one distinguishes between weak baths, with a concentration of 0.5 to 1.5%, and strong, with water at above 1.5%. In terms of temperature, we divide the baths into warm, at between thirty-four and thirty-seven degrees Celsius and hot, at thirty-eight to forty degrees.
Taking the waters (crenotherapy)
Crenotherapy is treatment in the form of drinking therapeutic waters. In the case of crenotherapy based on sodium chloride waters, a concentration of 0.3 to 1.5 per cent is used. The waters act on the body in different ways, depending on the sodium chloride concentration.
The aim of crenotherapy is to induce local activity in the gastrointestinal or urinary tracts and general activity in the form of delivering both the mineral content and the water itself to the body.
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