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.
Abbreviations: HT=Halotherapy, INRMFB=National Institute of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology
Keywords: Halotherapy, bronchial asthma, inflammatory process, therapeutic effects
Halotherapy, derived from speleotherapy in salt mines, is also a drug-free therapeutic method, applied especially on patients with bronchial asthma and chronic bronchitis. Following the “survey for the innovative use of potentially therapeutic salt-mine environment factors, in health and balneoclimateric tourism; modeling solutions”, the conceptual model was elaborated, subsequently converted into an experimental functional model entitled “halotherapy chamber with artificial salt-mine environment”, destined for surface halotherapy and built within the National Institute of Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Balneoclimatology.
This model was followed by surveys in the underground salt-mine environment, destined to assess the presence and quality of factors with speleotherapeutic / halotherapeutic potential, medical-biological multi-discipline surveys, including organismic and cellular-level analysis, before and after the experimental halotherapy treatment, on lab animals – Wistar rats with pathology experimentally induced by sensitization with ovalbumin.
Based on the experimental results acquired [1,2], the “Inception medical indications for the selection of patients with certain chronic respiratory pathologies for experimental halotherapy treatment” were elaborated.
Notably, in the infectious–inflammatory or allergic process, various systems and mechanisms of the body and organismic or cellular components were involved.
The phagocytosis process is one of the promptest defensive mechanisms against infection. The phagocytic cells are generated from precursor cells of bone marrow and they divide into macrophagous and microphagous cells. In blood, macrophagous cells are represented by monocytes, and microphagous cells – by polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN), which account for app. 60% of leukocytes and which are also the most significant phagocytic cells .
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