Offers in natural caves or in mine tunnels
Speleotherapy is the name given to special cave therapies that help particularly well with respiratory complaints such as asthma, hay fever or bronchitis. Where potash salt, coal or gold used to be mined, those affected now relax to do something for their health. Stays in former mines or in natural caves usually take place as part of a therapy lasting several weeks, during which those affected let the climate take effect for about an hour a day.
Allergic and chronic inflammatory respiratory diseases have increased significantly in recent years. "At least in part, connections with environmental factors, with lifestyle habits such as smoking or passive smoking or also occupational exposure are jointly responsible," says Univ.-Doz. Dr. Bertram Hölzl, scientific director of the Gastein healing tunnel. "The air under the mountain, on the other hand, is largely free of pollen, fine dust and germs." In damp caves, high humidity binds suspended matter and allergens in the air. They are deposited on the damp walls, making the air in the gallery particularly clean. This has an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antispasmodic effect.
In some tunnels there are additional respiratory-specific effects. In addition to the high humidity, there are tunnels, in which heat and a natural radon content in the healing tunnel air are very effective. High temperatures between 37 ° - 41.5 ° Celsius lead to mild overheating of the body. As a result, the immune system stabilizes, which on the one hand relieves allergy-related diseases and on the other hand has an antispasmodic effect. Radon, which is absorbed through the lungs and skin, also has a pronounced immunostabilizing effect. This so-called radon heat therapy helps particularly well against all immunologically determined diseases and especially with chronic respiratory diseases. The effect of radon in combination with heat and high air humidity on the messenger substances of the immune system has been scientifically proven: "The anti-inflammatory and healing cytokine TGF-Beta increases after a corresponding asthma treatment", confirms Dr. Hölzl.
Although such cures usually cannot cure the diseases, the positive effects last for many months in asthma patients, allergy sufferers, patients with chronic sinusitis or with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The attacks of bronchial asthma also occur much less frequently after a treatment and the cortisone consumption can be reduced - sometimes drastically. Respiratory gymnastics and connective tissue massages are often prescribed as part of the therapy. (pm)