"Wieliczka" Salt Mine Health Resort continues the tradition of nineteenth-century Dr. Feliks Boczkowski's Health Resort with subterranotherapy treatments, using the influence of the special microclimate of the salt excavations of the "Wieliczka" Salt Mine , initiated by Professor Mieczyslaw Skulimowski in the 1950s.
The subterranotherapy is a method of balneological treatment of inflammatory disorders of the upper and lower respiratory tract and the symptoms of allergic diseases. This applies in particular to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic inflammation of the nasopharynx and paranasal sinuses, as well as hay fever.
The treatment process is implemented through several-hour long stays in the Wieliczka salt mine chambers under professional medical supervision. Treatment consists in active rehabilitation with the use of modern respiratory gymnastics. Breath control exercises, correction of the breathing patterns, mastering diaphragmatic breathing, respiratory muscle exercises and bronchial toilet are some examples of treatments used in this unique method of treatment.
A stay underground is an opportunity for leisure and rest. Patients have at their disposal sports equipment: stationary bikes, orbitreks, a multigym, a stepper, as well as a table tennis and billiards table. The Health Resort also offers health education which will allow the patients to better take care of their own health in the future.
The therapeutic value of the salt chambers located 135m below the surface of the earth is based on:
I - Physical values
- isolation from external stimuli
- removing the exposure to light and cosmic rays, as well as electromagnetic and sound waves
- stable temperature [low of 13-14,5 ° C] and humidity of 60-75 %
- increase of the partial pressure of oxygen, resulting from the barometric pressure difference between the surface and the underground
This translates into tangible benefits for the body. Putting your mind at rest results in lowering the level of adrenaline, the stress hormone. The stable temperature and humidity prevents bronchoconstriction and drying out of respiratory mucous membranes. Better absorption of oxygen, with the higher partial pressure, produces multi-organ benefits by improving the oxygen supply of various tissues and organs.
II - The influence of the particular composition of the air
The air in the underground chambers owes its medicinal qualities mostly to an aerosol containing salt particles [NaCl 23.9 mg/m3, KCl 15.2 mg/m3]. As it is inhaled, the activity of respiratory epithelial cilia improves, leading to an increase in the efficiency of mucous-ciliary cleaning of the respiratory tract. The salt aerosol also works as a general and topical anti-inflammatory. It contains microelements found in salt, mainly in the ionised form.
III - Biological values
The proportion of macro-and micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, organic dust, and the like, is many times lower in the salt chambers than on the surface. This is due to a long air-ventilation route, the bacteriostatic effect of the saline aerosol and acidic environment of pH 4.5, which creates an environment in which the human immune system can have a complete rest.
The Health Resort offers is guests a sufficiently long exposure to the underground environment factors by organising 21-day rehabilitation-treatment stays.
Treatment efficiency is confirmed by the patients. Every year, they come in greater numbers. Many Health Resort visitors use this method several times, as it offers them an opportunity to reduce medicated treatment therapy and decrease the incidence of infection frequency as a result of the treatment.