Speleotherapy or underground climatotherapy is an alternative or complementary method of therapy for asthma and other respiratory diseases that is used in Eastern and Central Europe for many, many years.
This involve spending 2-4 hours a day underground, in salt caves or mines for over 2-3 months period, but results are impressive. The salt micro particles, salt dust, reach lung alveoli, bronchi, bronchioles and clear all airway passages, in upper and lower respiratory tract. Due to fact that inhaled saline has mucokinetic, bactericide, hydrophilic and anti inflammatory properties, will help to reduce inflammation leading to widening of airway passages, kill bacteria and restore normal transport of mucus and unclog blockages.
Although not known in North America, salt therapy is an old and very popular method of therapy in Balkans, Europe. There are many salt sanatoriums in heart of salt mountain and doctors are involved in clinical researches, in some countries treatment being covered by health minister.
An old study describes a speleotherapy course which was 4 hours a day for 6-8 weeks, with 100 COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and asthma patients and reported improvement which lasted 6 months to 7 years (Skulimowski, 1965). Similar studies are published in Pub Med (MEDLINE) from Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Russia.
Recent clinical study at Pulmonary Clinic, Ambulatory Section, Timisoara, Romania, on a lot of 30 patients (19 Asthma, 11 Chronic Bronchitis) revealed that use of a speleotherapy device (also called Halotherapy device) for a time period of one year significantly reduced sore throat, nasal obstruction, snoring, cough, sputum secretion, associated rhinitis, annual hospitalization and symptomatic medication intake. Also have shown significant improvement of sputum elimination, olfactory sense recovery (smell, taste), sleep at night, morning condition and clinical state.