Halotherapy – A Boon in India!

According to a recent report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Bangalore has been identified as one among 14 cities in India to have high pollution parameters, which may soon, increase the magnitudes of respiratory illness. The CSE report pointed out that, in Bangalore and Hyderabad the ozone levels were seen beyond limits in summer. If it continues, the days are not far when the Indian Garden city will become a Pollution Hotspot in India. The scenario of our state capital Delhi is not exceptional in this regard, according to the statistical handbook of Delhi state government; an average 23 people die every day due to respiratory illness in the capital. The most alarming fact is that this figure had double in past four years in the capital.

State of Bangalore Air

Recently the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Vice- Chairman Vaman Acharya had said in an environmental workshop that vehicular population in the city causing the asthma and the worst affected are children as they are the main segment to vulnerable to asthma. In the same workshop, H Paramesh, director of Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital had informed that children between the ages of 2 and 17 suffer the most from respiratory related illness because of  pollution. He had also stressed that the number of cases increasing in the Bangalore city for the past three decades.

Pictorial representation of polluted air of Bangalore

Pictorial representation of polluted air of Bangalore

Doctor’s from one of the premier medical institution, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been started worrying about deterioration air quality, claiming that most of the respiratory disorder such as chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, asthma, sinus, psoriasis, skin diseases etc and  alerted that it may cause more fatalities in the coming days if correct measures are not taken.

Alternative Solution

Many Doctors across the country are ready to accept that medicines which are generally used to cure various respiratory ailments are slowly becoming ineffective in controlling symptoms of various respiratory illnesses. Use of inhalers and nebulizers are going up by leaps and bounds. Recent research reports reveals that the number of respiratory related illness are gone up among elderly people across India.

Pictorial representation of Salt Therapy

Pictorial representation of Salt Therapy

If we go by factual statistics and views of researchers and Doctors, which says that even medicine sometime ineffective in controlling respiratory illness then it is high time to give worth to salt therapy or Halotherapy. Because this drug free and 100 percent natural treatment is the latest buzzword among people suffering from chronic respiratory illness such as asthma and bronchitis. The Ukrainian Allergologic Hospital, which is one of the well known hospitals; had reported that over 60,000 individuals were cured of their respiratory ailments with the help of Halotherapy.

The India Story

In India as well, the Halotherapy session are proving worthy for respiratory illed patients. People who were not getting results from allopathy, ayurveda and homeopathy in controlling respiratory illness, they eventually take help of Halotherapy session to root out their age old ailments.

Seventy-five-years old, Mr Suresh Mukherjee, (name changed) a resident of Yelahanka, Bangalore who had been suffering from Chronic Sinusitis since last 5 years and getting fed up with medicines as it was not able to cure him, who even could not able to sleep at night for the last two months. Chronic Sinusitis is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen. Learning about RespiCare- a salt therapy clinic based on Bangalore through a report in Times of India, a few months ago Mr Mukherjee resorted to Salt therapy or Halotherapy at RespiCare and after undergoing 20 sessions, he felt a complete recovery from nose block and cough problems.

In another case, sixty-one-year old Manjunath, (name changed) a resident of Vijaya Bank Layout, had been suffering from allergic bronchitis and respiratory problem right from his childhood. From the past 11 years, he was under regular and rigorous medications- allopathy, homeopathy even ayurveda, ironically the problem was not subsiding. It was then he resorted to salt therapy. After going through nine sessions, his problem has reduced to 90%. Many Doctors, ready to accept the salt therapy above all medication seeing such results. The salt therapy is not only relieving elderly people but also emerging as benefiting for children’s also. For twelve-year old Ravi, (name changed) a resident of Vidyaranyapura, salt therapy is becoming a boon as he is getting completely cured from the allergic rhinitis, which he had been suffering since he was five year old.

The practice of salt therapy has been increasing in metro cities of India including Bangalore since one and half years. People have been throng to salt spas for experiencing natural treatment to heal their respiratory illness. Indeed, Salt therapy has been redefining the treatment of respiratory illness for people of India. The interesting fact about salt therapy or halo therapy is that it could be both complementary or a standalone therapy and would not interact with any other ongoing treatment, be it allopathic, Homeopathic or Ayurvedic. The therapy is recognized as safe with no side effects across the world.

Technically Halotherapy

The science behind Halotherapy is very plain. The dry salt aerosol produces by halo generator helps to ease bronchial inflammation, remove pathogenic agents and speedily cleansing the bronchial airways. Halo therapy has been accepted as a highly advantageous and effective drug-free non invasive natural therapy for patients with various forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) in India and abroad. Moreover, it can help number of diseases like Tonsillitis, Pharyngitis, Psoriasis, Acne, Ear infections, Smoker’s cough, Cold and Cough, Sleep disorders, Depression, Stress etc. etc. Halo therapy does not replace traditional treatment but rather a complementary therapy. It is no doubt, salt therapy has been marking its footprints in relieving respiratory ailments over all traditional treatments.

Author: Dr K P Loknath Kumar, Medical Director, RespiCare

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HALOTHERAPY: A REMEDY TO COUNTLESS DISEASES

The word therapy is constantly getting attention and popularity over the drugs for its natural and medicine free characteristics. The Halotherapy concept is still in nascent stage in India. The therapy has various synonyms as it is also known as Salt therapy and Speleotherapy. In layman language, Halotherapy is inhalation of very fine salt particles.

HISTORY OF HALOTHERAPY

The inception of this particular therapy was way back in 1800s at Russia. In those days, people used natural salt cave for getting away from various respiratory illness like asthma, bronchitis etc. Salt has many useful properties like anti-pathogenic, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory for which it can easily heal sinus, allergies and even various skin diseases. Early days, people used to come to natural salt mines or salt caves; who were suffering from respiratory illness and sat there for countless hours to get cured. It was Felix Botchkowski, a health staff from Poland, who originally observed the good effects of salt in 1843. He observed that the miners at Polish Wieliczka salt mine never suffers from respiratory problems that were very frequent among general population. That led to serious beginning of Salt therapy. Later, physicians used abandoned salt mines or natural salt caves to cure respiratory and anxiety patients.

The science behind Halotherapy is very plain. The dry salt aerosol produces by halo generator helps to ease bronchial inflammation, remove pathogenic agents and speedily cleansing the bronchial airways. Unlike other therapy, it has no limitation for a patient for taking Halotherapy session, as it is recognized as 100 percent natural and safe therapy across the word. This therapy is equally allowed to child, youngsters and old aged people.

Image of a salt room

Image of a salt room

CREDIBILITY

Halo therapy has been accepted as a highly advantageous and effective drug-free treatment for patients with various forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) in India and abroad. Moreover, it can alleviate symptoms of number of  diseases like Tonsillitis, Pharyngitis, Psoriasis, Acne, Ear infections, Smoker’s cough, Cold and Cough, Sleep disorders, Depression, Stress etc. In a Halotherapy session, a patient will be located in a salt caves for up to twelve hours per day, breathing in the fine salt powder.

In general, a Halotherapy spa has special rooms in which required environmental conditions are constructed to produce dry salt aerosol. Many researches reveal that natural salt mining a bit more effective in curing respiratory illness. Countries like Poland, Romania has world class salt mines where human body can normalize and rejuvenate with special focusing on respiratory function. In regions, where the natural salt mines are not available, artificial mines are reproduced in form of salt chamber with proven halo generator. These generators create air that saturated with fine particles of aerosol of natural rock salt, which is highly ionized and virtually destroy bacteria, microorganisms and other pollutants.

SALT CHAMBER

A typical salt chamber is coated with salt crystals and has an opening at one of the wall where a patient’s face is placed so that the atmosphere of aerosolized fine dry powder salt was available for inhalation. But patient exposed to bench top system provided the respiratory benefit without requiring the patient to be physically located within the chamber. Patient who don’t have much time they can also inhale fine salt particles by purchasing a portable powder delivery system, with immense capacity to increase mucociliary clearance.

Halo therapy has potentially no side effects as amount of salt breathed is very minimal. Most important fact is that, there is no risk of a negative interface with any other drug, making salt therapy an ideal balancing approach. Doctor does generally recommend 14 to 20 sessions to get initial relief. Though, there are some myths on Halotherapy practices, as it produces negative ions which generally destroy bacteria but some researchers has been claiming that it do not cure respiratory illness but merely provides relaxation. There is scientific proves that the salt itself being beneficial once it gets into human lungs. However, majority Doctors and researchers around the world has recognized that it’s a miracle treatment (therapy) as it has been proven its credibility across the world. Thousands of patients suffering respiratory illness are getting relief through this therapy.

In India, Halotherapy is gradually growing up in few metro cities. This therapy demands extensive management in maintain the salt caves or rooms. For which, it’s still in a day dreaming stage for the people live in semi urban places. In Bangalore, it’s getting momentum with establishment of RespiCare, this provides responsive and quality care in cost effective manners from 2012 with the help of multi-specialty with Drug less allergy practice through highly trained and experienced physicians. RespiCare has a unique approach with state-of-the-art facility and first of its kind in Central and South India.

Bengaluru based RespiCare is committed to affordable Salt room therapy from Europe to all ages patients suffering from respiratory allergies like Asthma, Sinusitis, Bronchitis, Smokers cough etc. It is committed to continually addressing each and every aspect of patient care, from initial consultation through recovery. RespiCare’s unique proactive drugless allergy therapy has been designed not only to take care of the immediate allergy needs of individuals and their families, but also to ensure their optimum allergy wellness.

Halotherapy is making its mark across the world and becoming a boon for respiratory illness people. It will be interesting to see what further benefit it can provide. Indeed, people from across world accepting the therapy and Salt cave industry. Moreover, Halotherapy is natural way to care our health.

Author: Dr K P Loknath Kumar, Medical Director, RESPICARE India

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SALT THERAPY HEALING MANY AN AILMENT

‘The’ solution It’s ridding people of long-standing bronchitis, psoriasis and other diseases

BANGALORE, 21st May, 2014: Sixty-one-year-old Manjunath*, a resident of Vijaya Bank Layout, had been suffering from allergic bronchitis and respiratory problem right from his childhood. For the past 11 years, he was under regular medication. Over the years, he had been trying all forms of medications—allopathy, homeopathy as well as ayurveda—but the problem was not subsiding. It was then he resorted to salt therapy.

DNA-Q

Learning about RespiCare, a salt-therapy clinic based in Bangalore, a few months ago Manjunath resorted to salt therapy there and after undergoing seven sessions, he felt an improvement in his respiratory problem. After nine sessions, his problem has reduced by almost 90%, he says.

Kumar*, 56, a resident of Kumara Park East, had been suffering from psoriasis for the past 15-20 years and had undergone many treatments, but in vain. He said that after the first session of salt therapy itself his peeling of skin and itching stopped and after 15 sessions, his problem was completely gone.

It isn’t just the elderly, even children are benefiting from the therapy. For 12-year-old Ravi*, a resident of Vidyaranyapura, whose mother is a nurse at a leading superspeciality hospital in city, the 16 sessions of salt therapy has taken him off from the allergic rhinitis, which he had been suffering since he was five years old.

Speaking with dna about the therapy Dr KP Loknath Kumar, medical director, RespiCare, said: “Salt therapy or halotherapy, is a non-invasive, pain-free alternative treatment, which uses dry sodium chloride to help relieve respiratory problems such as sinusitis, asthma and bronchitis and skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and allergies. The therapy includes no medication and no side-effects. The therapy has been accepted globally, including Russia, Europe, USA and Australia and is about three-four decades old. Russians are the mentors of the therapy. Of late, it has proved helpful for symptomatic improvement in auto immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.”

How it works

Describing how the therapy works, he said: “The salt therapy room is filled with micronised salt (rock salt) particles in the form of salt air. These micronised salt particles can travel to the smallest and deepest areas of the lungs. Salt therapy helps to support the body’s immune system in the thinning and excretion of mucus, and by reducing inflammation in the airways. Allergens and pollutants can more easily be eliminated from the body as the mucus thins and as constriction is reduced in the bronchi and bronchioles. One session comprises of one hour this will be given thrice a week and the number of session depends on the type and severity of the problem.”

When asked about their expansion plans, Dr Kumar said: “In Bangalore, we have two centers, in Indiranagar and Jayanagar. We hope to come up with more centres in the city and also in tier-II and tier-III cities. We are just a year old and we have been getting patients from Goa, Chennai, Maharashtra as well.”

(* Name changed on request)

Writer: Luna Dewan, DNA. Email: luna.dewan@dnaindia.net

Source: Daily News Analysis (DNA)

Original clip of DNA

Original clip of DNA

WINDS OF CHANGE

Indians Increasingly Adopting Drug-Free Alternative Therapies

 Convergence of diversity

India is home to a diverse set of medical sciences, therapies, treatment procedures and healthcare approaches; some of them renowned for their unique way of diagnosis and treatment. The Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM) encompasses Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Homoeopathy, and therapies such as Yoga and Naturopathy. Ayurveda is believed to be one of the world’s oldest medical systems (at least 3,000 years old); practice of Unani in India can be traced back to the 13th century and Homeopathy to early 19th century.

It is very evident that ISM has as much prominence and acceptance in the society as the modern medicine. While the rest of the world is waking up to the idea of Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM), India has the clear advantage in terms of expertise and confluence of therapies from across ISM and similar systems that are proven safe & effective into the realm of conventional healthcare.

Some such therapies & procedures that fall outside the mainstream medical care but have found patronage in India include Reflexology, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Hypnotherapy, Reiki Therapy, Magnetotherapy, Psychotherapy, Herbal Medicine, Hydrotherapy, Chromotherapy, Biofield therapy, Heliotherapy and Oxygen Therapy. Another popular complementary healthcare program that is rapidly gaining popularity in India is the Halotherapy (Salt Therapy).

About Halotherapy

Salt therapy, or ‘Halotherapy‘, is a drug-free therapy that uses dry sodium chloride to help relieve respiratory problems such as sinusitis, hayfever, asthma and bronchitis and skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and allergies. For those in general good health, it’s also thought to help improve one’s sense of wellbeing and boost immunity.

Salt Therapy is the process of breathing dry, micronized salt particles in the form of salt air. These micronized salt particles can travel to the smallest and deepest areas of the lungs. Salt Therapy helps to support the body’s immune system in the thinning and excretion of mucus, and by reducing inflammation in the airways. Allergens and pollutants can more easily be eliminated from the body as the mucus thins and as constriction is reduced in the bronchi and bronchioles.

Salt Therapy is a drug free therapy for relieving the symptoms of allergies, asthma, COPD and other respiratory conditions. In areas where pollution and pollen levels are high, salt therapy can be a powerful ally in the battle to relieve the discomfort of respiratory and skin conditions.

Renowned world-wide as a 100% natural, safe and drug-free therapy proven to be useful in alleviating many different conditions – asthma, rhinitis, bronchitis, acne, eczema, snoring, sinusitis and ear and respiratory infections, among others – salt therapy or halotherapy is the therapeutic use of exposure to salt air.

The paradigm shift

The healthcare scenario in India is slowly but surely transitioning from being a predominantly patient-centric model to that of patient-driven. Traditionally, the Indian patient would let his doctor decide what’s best for him without any question. That in fact, is the essence of the patient-centric approach wherein the wise-doctor evaluates the options, makes the choice of treatment without much participation from the patient.

However, more recently those discussions at the doctor’s cabin have evolved. While, the trust remains intact, the patient has come to ask his doctor questions such as, ‘What are my alternate options?’ and ‘Can I complement these medicines with anything else?’ and even “How does procedure-X compare with procedure-Y” ?

What we are witnessing is an evolution in the patient behavior leading to prominent Patient-Driven healthcare practices. The patients are actively seeking information about their condition, evaluating their options, researching similar cases and eventually making those important decisions themselves rather than relying solely only on the wise-counsel of the physicians.

The patients are looking beyond the conventional wisdom and doctors recommendations; they are seeking peer experiences, exploring alternate medicine before making an informed decision about their health and healthcare.This trend holds the potential to revolutionize the health care delivery models.  Essence of patient-driven healthcare model 

  • Marked by patients taking control over their own health and healthcare
  • Empowers patient through information access, transparency
  • Patient has the flexibility to explore options, customization and even personalized medicine

The new-normal  

One of the common myths around this trend is that the role of doctors will increasingly diminish. What the naysayers do not comprehend is that the doctor-patient equation does not terminate but merely gets realigned to a new balance in the patient-driven healthcare model. In a typical scenario, the doctors will demonstrate highest levels of transparency, educate the patients about their condition, share with them the various options and enable them to make an informed choice.

Once the patient has made their choice, the doctor can then lay down a holistic personalized healthcare plan that integrates the effectiveness of conventional medicine and the catalyzing effects of complementary therapies. After initiating the healthcare program, the patient will still need the doctor for periodic health monitoring and course correction (when necessary) in terms of drug dosage optimization.

The winds of change surely seem to be heralding a promising future to Indian Healthcare ecosystem; a holistic confluence of mainstream medicine and effective wellness programs.

Author: Dr K P Loknath Kumar, Medical Director, RESPICARE India

Dr Loknath