Logotyp Kopalni Soli 'Wieliczka'

For medical professionals

Since the 19th century, Wieliczka has been a well-known resort where patients underwent inhalation and brine bath treatments. Today, the underground Health Resort continues this tradition and uses the microclimate of the mine workings to treat many diseases of the respiratory tract, as well as allergies.

Subterraneotherapy

Subterraneotherapy is based on exposing the patients to the synergistic effects of stimuli of a physical, chemical and biological nature, present in the underground spaces.

The microclimate affects the entire body through stimuli, it also has a more localised effect in the respiratory tract thanks to isolation from allergens, irritants and harmful substances. The high concentration of aerosolised NaCL present in the underground spaces in the stimulates motor and secretory function of the respiratory tract epithelium it is also conducive for their cleaning and moisturising.



  • Stable microclimate (temperature 12.9–14.5°C and 60–75% humidity) prevents bronchial spasms and drying of respiratory mucous membranes, stimulates adaptation mechanisms in the body.
  • Air purity, isolating from irritants (smog/pollutants) and allergens present in the air on the earth’s surface. 
  • Aerosol rich in minerals (3.0-8.0 mg/m³), especially sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride ions, has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps to cleanse the respiratory tract.
  • Exceptional microbiological purity promotes the restoration of bacteriological balance (i.e. proper bacterial flora).
  • High ionisation (concentration of 1,200-4,700 aeroions/cm³ exceeds several times the values found on the surface of the earth) has a beneficial effect on the respiratory and nervous systems, as well as hormonal economy.
  • Isolation from external stimuli ensures full mental relaxation, alleviates stress levels.
  • The atmospheric pressure in underground chambers is higher than on the surface and the increase is proportional to the depth. The increase in pressure is a positive climatic stimulus for the human body, because if the air is properly saturated with oxygen (like on the surface of the earth), its arterial partial pressure increases and thus the tissues are better supplied with oxygen.
  • The movement of air in underground workings is forced by the ventilation system of the workings. It affects the formation of salt spray and is an important factor in the rapid regeneration of air in the chambers after the stay of larger groups of patients.

Therapy goals

  • Improving the quality of life of patients with chronic respiratory diseases
  • Reduction of disease symptoms
  • Improving treatment control
  • Increasing patient’s awareness and involvement in treatment process
  • Improving exercise tolerance and physical endurance

Indications

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Recurrent diseases of the nose, sinuses, throat, larynx
  • Chronic bronchitis and pneumonia
  • Allergic diseases
  • Bronchial asthma

Contraindications

  • Active cancer or history of cancer before the end of the 5-year remission period
  • Primary or secondary immunodeficiencies
  • Infectious diseases in the clinical, acute and chronic stage (being a carrier is not a contraindication)
  • Serious damage to the locomotor system which prevents independent movement
  • Severe respiratory and circulatory insufficiency limiting ability to a sedentary lifestyle
  • Increased intracranial pressure, e.g. in the course of infectious diseases, injuries
  • Recent (up to 6 months) surgical procedure or trauma to the chest, abdomen, face, brain or eye area
  • Recent (up to 6 months) history of myocardial infarction or stroke
  • Aneurysms of cerebral vessels and aorta
  • Severe valvular defects of the heart
  • Diagnosed cardiac arrhythmias with risk of loss of consciousness
  • Unregulated hypertension, haemorrhagic flaws
  • Mental illness, especially claustrophobia
  • Rheumatic diseases that occur with the involvement of the skeletal and joint system
  • Epilepsy in the form of focal seizures with loss of consciousness and focal seizures in the form of tonic-clonic seizures on both sides
  • Pregnancy

Research and development

The goal of the research activities conducted by the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Health Resort is optimisation of treatment process, supervision over therapeutic factors and providing objective and scientifically confirmed information regarding the treatment methods used in the Resort.

Scientific and research patronage over the activity of the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Health Resort in the field of allergic diseases and respiratory system diseases was assumed by the Jagiellonian University Collegium Medicum, while in the field of tourism and physiotherapy – the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow.

The “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Health Resort constantly monitors the physiochemical and biological parameters, controlling the climate factors significant for the healing process. A number of medical projects are also underway, concerning the main diseases treated in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine Health Resort.

Detailed information on scientific cooperation and scientific articles on subterraneotherapy can be obtained by filling in the form below. (badanianaukowe@kopalnia.pl)

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