Dry salt inhalation (halotherapy) reproduces the microclimate of salt caves, with beneficial effect on health. Sodium chloride crystals are disrupted into very small particles (with a diameter less than 3 µm), and this powder is artificially exhaled into the air of a comfortable room (its temperature is between 20-22 °C, and the relative humidity is low). The end-concentration of the salt in the air of the room will be between 10-30 mg/m(3). The sick (or healthy) persons spend 30-60 minutes in this room, usually 10-20 times. Due to the greater osmotic pressure the inhaled salt diminishes the oedema of the bronchial mucosa, decreases its inflammation, dissolves the mucus, and makes expectoration easier and faster (expectoration of air pollution and allergens will be faster, too). It inhibits the growth of bacteria and, in some case, kills them. Phagocyte activity is also increased. It has beneficial effect on the well being of the patients, and a relaxation effect on the central nervous system. It can prevent, or at least decrease the frequency of the respiratory tract inflammations. It produces better lung function parameters, diminishes bronchial hyperreactivity, which is the sign of decreasing inflammation. Its beneficial effect is true not only in inflammation of the lower respiratory tract, but also in acute or chronic upper airways inflammations. According to the international literature it has beneficial effect for some chronic dermatological disease, too, such as psoriasis, pyoderma and atopic dermatitis. This treatment (called as Indisó) is available under medical control in Hungary, too.
Halotherapy (HT), derived from speleotherapy in salt mines, is also a drug-free therapeutic method. HT effects vary depending on the therapeutic method and the structure of halotherapy environment. The purpose of this article is to show the HT effects of “halotherapy chamber with artificial salt-mine environment” of the National Institute of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology (INRMFB), on patients with bronchial asthma and other chronic, infectious-inflammatory and allergic respiratory diseases, describing the clinical effects on certain nonspecific resistance factors, on markers of inflammatory processes and on certain immunological changes. Patients were clinically assessed, with the application of hematologic investigations, analysis of nonspecific resistance to infection and of inflammatory process markers, immunologic assessments, analysis of sodium and potassium concentrations, of mineralocorticoid function and other biochemical tests. For the experimental HT therapy performed in the “halotherapy chamber with artificial salt-mine environment” of INRMFB, 15 patients suffering from bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive bronchopneumopathy were selected, based on specific medical indications and contraindications and applying ethical principles, as well as 4 patients with similar pathologies for the control group, who underwent in-home drug treatment. After the specific halotherapy treatment on patients with bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive bronchopneumopathy, which also showed other chronic, infectious-inflammatory and allergic respiratory pathologies, triggering of anti-inflammatory (and also anti allergic) mechanisms and healing effects on inflammatory process were noted. Data acquired also proved the halo therapeutic effect causing the reduction of sensitiveness of body in patients with bronchial asthma.
Lazarescu H, Simionca I, Hoteteu M, Munteanu A, Rizea I, Iliuta A, Dumitrascu D, Dumitrescu E.
National Institute of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology, Bucharest, Romania.
halotherapy, bronchial asthma, inflammatory process, therapeutic effects
This work elucidates the questions upon the development of a new drug-free method of a respiratory diseases treatment. Halotherapy (HT)–is mode of treatment in a controlled air medium which simulates a natural salt cave microclimate. The main curative factor is dry sodium chloride aerosol with particles of 2 to 5 mkm in size. Particles density (0.5-9 mg/m3) varies with the type of the disease. Other factors are comfortable temperature- humidity regime, the hypobacterial and allergen-free air environment saturated with aeroions. The effect of HT was evaluated in 124 patients (pts) with various types of respiratory diseases. The control group of 15 pts received placebo. HT course consisted of 10-20 daily procedures of 1 hour. HT resulted in improvements of clinical state in the most of patients. The positive dynamics of flow-volume loop parameters and decrease of bronchial resistance measured by bodyplethysmography were observed. The changes in control group parameters after HT were not statistically significant. The specificity of this method is the low concentration and gradual administration of dry sodium chloride aerosol. Data on healing mechanisms of a specific airdispersive environment of sodium chloride while while treatment the respiratory diseases are discussed.
Speleotherapy, the use of the climate of caves, is an accepted but not widely known therapeutic measure in the treatment of chronic obstructive airway diseases. This study summarizes the therapeutic experiences of more than 4000 patients who were treated in a 10-year period in a hospital-cave complex in Tapolca, Hungary. A sharp and long-lasting clinical improvement and a significant recovery from airway obstruction could be observed in the overwhelming majority of patients. It is established that the microclimate of some caves can beneficially affect these disorders, but the cave should be considered as an optimal environment for complex respiratory rehabilitation.
Halotherapy was used for sanatorium rehabilitation in 29 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (chronic bronchitis and asthma). Significant positive effects of this method resulted in the improvement of the flow-volume parameters curve of lung function and in hypotensive effects on blood pressure. Halotherapy is recommended for use in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases with hypertension or coronary heart disease.
Halotherapy was used for rehabilitation in 25 patients with acute bronchitis of long-standing and recurrent types. The main therapeutic action was ensured by aerodispersed medium saturated with dry highly dispersed sodium chloride aerosol, the required mass concentration being maintained in the range of 1 to 5 mg/m3. Therapy efficacy was controlled through assessment of clinical, functional, immunological and microbiological findings. Metabolic activity values were taken into consideration as well. Positive dynamics of the function indices in the clinical picture resulted from elimination of pathogenic agents, control of slowly running inflammatory lesions and stimulation of some immune system factors. Favourable changes in metabolic activity were present: normalization of serotonin excretion, marked decrease of unbalance in lipid peroxidation-antioxidant system.
Borisenko LV, Chervinskaia AV, Stepanova NG, Luk’ian VS, Goncharova VA, Pokhodzeĭ IV, Krivitskaia VZ, Vishniakova LA, Pokhaznikova MA, Faustova ME, et al.
halotherapy therapy, rehabilitation, bronchitis, microbiological