Speleotherapy is the use of salutary microclimate of salt caves and mines to treat diseases. This treatment method has been available in Belarus in 1990.
A unique underground speleotherapy clinic was established at the first mining group of Soligorsk-based company Belaruskali, one of the world’s biggest producers of potassium fertilizers. The National Speleotherapy Clinic is one of the leading speleotherapy facilities in the CIS. Patients who suffer from respiratory diseases are offered a highly effective treatment in salutary salt caves.
As an alternative to natural caves Belarusian health farms and medical centers offer artificial caves, which are salt-chambers used for speleotherapy purposes.
The clinic is located 140km away from Minsk. It offers efficient speleotherapy programs in natural caves located 420 meters under ground. The caves have a unique microclimate where the air is saturated with aerosol consisting of natrium, kalium and magnesium ions.
The clinic offers treatment of
Some facilities of the speleotherapy clinic are situated in the 300 million-year-old Starobin deposit of potassium salt. This speleotherapy chamber, the only one of this kind in the CIS, is a former ore mine tunnel. It has the layers of sylvinite and rock salt, a combination that has an antibacterial and antiallergenic effect.
The 420m-deep speleotherapy clinic consists of rooms for patients and medical staff, exercise therapy rooms and lounges, a gym apparatus for dosed walking. The clinic is divided into two chambers, with the capacity of 130 and 120 places respectively. Up to 70 people can visit it during one shift.
The healthy microclimate of the salt cave is maintained through constant temperature (about 16 degrees above zero) and humidity, optimal gas composition and ionization of the air, which passes through a special 2km-labyrinth to be purified of harmful impurities, microbes and allergens before it reaches patients. That is why the air in the Soligorsk clinic is cleaner than in a surgery room. Besides, the place is not affected by electromagnetic radiation.
The above-ground facilities of the speleotherapy clinic are located in a pine forest on the bank of the Soligorsk water reservoir. The clinic has the necessary facilities for laser treatment, thermotherapy, stone therapy, machine cosmetology etc. A swimming pool, a sauna, a solarium and a juice bar are at patients’ disposal, too.
Underground facilities are open to all patients from the age of 10. An effective course of treatment is designed for 19 days and includes from 15 to 17 special speleotherapy procedures.
As many as 97% of patients complete a speleotherapy course feeling much healthier with 70% of cases leading to remission that lasts from 6 months to 2.5 years. The repeated courses extend the remission period to 2.5-3 years.
The clinic also has an above-ground speleotherapy room equipped with a halogenerator. Microclimate there is almost identical to that of the underground chamber. This will be a perfect choice for those who have contraindications to underground treatment and for children aged between 3 to 10 years.
There are several types of speleotherapy rooms and halochambers in Belarus:
Rooms made from salt blocks operate at the following health farms and recreation centers:
Work is underway to equip the multifunctional cultural and sports center Minsk Arena with up-to-date artificial salt caves. In 2014 the arena will be one of the venues of the IIHF World Championship.
Artificial salt caves at Minsk Arena will have the same therapeutic qualities as the natural ones in Soligorsk. Both tourists and athletes will be able to use the facilities.
For foreign citizens a speleotherapy course at the National Speleotherapy Clinic, Soligorsk, will cost from $600 to $1,500. The price depends on the type of speleotherapy (either in caves or in artificial rooms) and the type of hotel rooms.