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By: LuRae Iwenofu & Ariel McPherson
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Discover The Benefits Of This Natural Mineral.Medical Experts (in particular nutritionists) would have us believe that salt is bad for you yes they have a point, as there are serious health ramifications associated with taking too much salt. However, Mother Nature saw to it that there are benefits of this natural mineral that should really not be overlooked.

 
Contradicting long held negative beliefs about salt – DivaScribe has discovered that a good dose of unrefined rock salt  in particular sodium chloride - has varied concentrations of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, manganese and sulfates all of which have additional therapeutic properties.
 
 
Salt Therapy,halotherapy or speleotherapy may go a long way in curing / alleviating some ailments - such as: acute viral bronchiolitis, cystic fibrosis, asthma, respiratory allergies, hayfever, tonsillitis, eczema, ear infections, psoriasis, pneumonia after acute stage, smokers’ cough (including secondary smoke) and even postoperative rehabilitation and recovery (aesthetic & sinus surgery). Now - before you go off imbibing copious amounts of salt – STOP and please read on.
 
 
A brief background into salt therapy.
In 1843 Dr Feliks Boczkowski a Polish physician discovered that exposure to salt air whilst in salt mines saw a significant decrease in the development of lung diseases in the lungs of Miners. Records’ going as far back as the Roman and Medieval times backs this finding. It would have been foolhardy to ignore the use and monetary opportunities provided by something that is so freely given by nature. However, this medical marvel and how it could be used on ground level presented a dilemma - as the special characteristics of salt mines are difficult to clone. To do so successfully – the micro climates of mines which all have their own individual characteristics were observed and needed meticulous replication. Factors such as a stable air temperature, lack of air born pollutants and air pressure came to play.
 
Science did conquer though -different methods are now used to clone the salt mine microclimate. The most popular being the use of Halogenerators which entails the breaking down of rock salt into dry micron sized particles, ionizing the particles and releasing them into the air which the patient(s) breath in. There are also Saltpipes (now think gongs) where the pipe is packed with salt crystals and patients are encouraged to breathe into it, and lastly Salt water aerosol. With this, patients are encouraged to breath in an aerosol of hypertonic salt water.
 
If you are like us – the last two sounds too contrived and demand a bit of work – barr the use of halogenerators. Now depending on the severity of your ailment, salt therapy (halotherapy) offers those of a lazy predisposition an alternative to getting the benefits of the treatment in a healing chamber. Advantageous as you can indulge in something more pleasurable during treatment. Halotherapy treatment is beneficial for mothers whose children may ail from medical conditions that can be alleviated or cured - as they and you can relax and play whilst nature does her thing in a controlled environment. A lot better than trying to get a baby or toddler to breathe into a pipe or aerosol surely? Though children from the age of six months can undergo this treatment, it advisable to keep an eye on younger ones who have a tendency to grab and put all sorts in their mouths on their journeys of discovery – remember the entire surface is covered in rock salt! The chambers are well equipped and come decorated with television sets and toys – think salt beach with the mod cons. All thanks to Mother Nature, it’s a drug-free treatment which has fewer side effects, thus making it safer.
 
 
The hows…
The Halocomplex consists of a speleoclimatic chamber (walls and floor are covered with rock salt) with the addition of a halogenerator. The special salt covering on the walls and floor acts as a buffer for air moisture and helps maintain the environmental aseptic properties. Halogenerators have in-built microprocessors that monitor and maintains the temperature, relative humidity and mass concentration of aerosol in the chamber.
Patients breathe-in the smaller particles of the ionized salt which reaches the deepest part of the lung (alveoli). Because of salts anti-inflammatory properties, mucus in the bronchi is cleared in the microclimate environment (almost like an igloo). Inflammation in the respiratory tract is reduced thus widening the airway passages which greatly improve the patient’s life.
 
 
 Testimonials and Medical Opinions
According to Asthma UK - there is no conclusive evidence to show that salt therapy offers a permanent cure to respiratory ailments. It is believed that it is not researched enough and patients are still advised to keep up their use of medications such as antibiotics, cortoids or steroid intake to minimize symptoms.
 
Playing devils advocate here, pharmaceutical companies are struggling and need patients with respiratory health complaints to keep buying drugs. It presents a catch 22 situation for a patient (money and health wise) which is the best treatment to opt for? Salt therapy does not come cheap - a session would cost anything from £35, and you may need up-to 15 sessions (from 2 - 3 months at 2 – 3 hours sessions) all dependent on the severity of the individual case.
 
On the other hand, medication also does not come cheap and may have some adverse side effects. The steroids and asthma pump used at the same time at a young age can affect some children drastically. According to Micheala Parry 19 a sister to an asthmatic whom DivaScribe spoke to, she said: “My brother has a bad case of asthma since he was young, having been forced to use steroids and inhalers because of his bad case of asthma. The side effect was that he has gained weight from the age of 7, seven years later and it has stayed on - because of his constant need to be on the drug.”
In respiratory cases, the therapy might reduce the number of attacks - thus reducing the rate of hospitalization and use of medication. However, there have been a few documented cases whereby patients claimed to have been symptom free for longer durations and hospital tests afterwards showed no evidence of their initial diagnosis.
 
Pamela a former patient of the Salt Cave in the UK, says -“Having been a chronic sufferer of sinusitis for many years plus having bronchiectasis after a prolonged course of antibiotics, I decided in desperation to try the Salt Cave. I am absolutely amazed and delighted at the results. I am now able to breathe freely and am not having to deal with the amount of mucus that I was dealing with on a daily basis for more years than I care to remember. I am a patient at the Royal Brompton Hospital and have told my consultant about the results and how impressed I am with the Salt Cave. At my last appointment my chest examination was clear. Normally there are crackles to be heard. I would recommend anyone who is a fellow sufferer to try this treatment as it has proved invaluable to me personally.”
 
Waxing lyrical about Salt Therapy is all well and good. Though drug interactions have not been noted, however, there are some rare side effects that patients may experience with this treatment. These are:
 
  • Skin irritation appearing as a rash after a Halotherapy session. These usually disappear after 3-5 sessions.
  • In some cases a throat tickle occurs. To help with this patients are advised to gargle with boiled water.
  • No one likes the red eyed monster – conjunctivitis. This may occur due to irritation of the mucous membrane of the eye. Sulfacetamide solutions (eye drops) are recommended for use for 5-7 days to control the inflammation. Even better still – patients can keep their eyes closed during sessions. Now that’s more up our street.

     

    Please be aware that there are other contraindications – the following primary ones are definitely worthy of note: spitting of blood, intoxication, bleeding, all internal diseases in decompensation, hypertension in IIB stage, acute respiratory diseases and chronic obstructive lung diseases with the 3rd stage of chronic lung insufficiency.

  
In conclusion, we would recommend that patients who wish to try out this alternative therapy - consult with their doctor or a qualified medical practitioner first. It is worth investigating and we would definitely give it a try if the need ever arises – hopefully not.
 
                  
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