Salt therapy, new health tourism attraction

Tehran, Sept 11, IRNA - With the unearthing of salt men in caves surrounding Zanjan, studies began on finding the secret of salt mines. The mystery was solved with the lapse of time and the results of the studies were published.

Yet, the story of those mines and their enigmas continue. The salt therapy scheme is one of the programs to be implemented following studies on salt caves, wrote Thursday's edition of 'Iran Daily'.
Mehdi Gholami, head of the projects of Zanjan Cultural Heritage Department said, “Chehrabad Salt Cave is located 35 km off Zanjan. In view of its distance and difficult access road for patients who are mostly children, a site containing salts from the cave has been established in the administrative section of Zanjan Cultural Heritage Department.”
Immunologists from Zanjan Medical Sciences University are to announce the final result of salt therapy on children to ICHHTO during October.
Gholami called Semnan province and Qeshm Island as potential areas for implementing salt therapy projects.
“The project is in trial and error procedure. If immunologists and Zanjan Medical Sciences University get positive results in curing those inflicted by asthma, the salt therapy activities will be expanded across the province.”
Salt therapy potentials are still unknown in Iran in spite of existence of salt caves and mines.
Physicians have recently proved that inhaling in an atmosphere full of salt could be effective in curing asthma and allergy.
Although overconsumption of salt may lead to high blood pressure, inhaling it is new treatment method for respiratory problems.
Therefore, Respiratory Center in Silicon Valley, California, US, has started treatment with sea salt. The center claims that it has managed to cure five patients suffering from asthma, sinusitis, and severe allergy.
The center is also involved in treating sneezes, coughs and runny nose.
The other function of salt therapy is cleansing the lungs from urban and industrial pollutants. Those who refer to the Respiratory Center for cleaning their lungs stay 45 minutes or more in cave-like rooms which are full of salt. Inhaling in such atmosphere could destroy bacteria, and cleanse nasal mucosa and lungs.
Akefeh Ahmadi-Afshar, an asthma and allergy sub-specialist, who contributed to the project themed “Impact of Salt-Rich Atmosphere of Chehrabad and Doozkand Mines in Improving the Function of Respiratory System”, dwelt on the impacts of salt therapy on treating patients who suffer from asthma and lung disorders, and said, “This research project is conducted for the first time in the country. The feasibility phase of the project has been conducted.”
She said salt therapy scheme has come under serious consideration in European nations. In the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, rooms and caves had been designed for salt therapy, she added.
Also people use salt caves, hotels, and rooms in the UK and Germany at high costs, she said. “The salt applied in these rooms is ionized. These rooms include salt and minerals which are not harmful for health.”
On methods applied in Zanjan salt therapy rooms, she said the children in the age group of 6-12 years stay in salt room for an hour three times a week for three successive weeks. They can use a spirometer free of charge to record the results twice a day, she added.
Ahmadi-Afshar said salt therapy is good in treating digestive disorders, asthma, rheumatism and muscle aches.

Garmsar, salt production hub

Semnan province has the potentials for health tourism based on salt therapy in view of its huge salt mines and its location on the Silk Road.
This desert province is one of the regions which supply the country’s salt.
There are 27 salt mines in Garmsar with purity rate of over 98 percent.
One of them is Kouhdasht-e Kohan Salt Mine.
If a salt hotel is constructed in the region, it could attract many tourists.
Enayatollah Ranjbar, a former head of Semnan Desert Research Center, said Garmsar accounts for 70 percent of the domestic need for salt.
He called the existence of salt domes spread over an area of 12 square kilometers along salt mine belts as a good opportunity to establish medical centers on the fringes of the desert.
Many foreign tourists who have visited these regions, have endorsed the salt therapy potentials of desert regions.
“We also received suggestions from investors on launching salt room in under construction hotels.”
Currently many countries such as Pakistan, Poland, and Guatemala attract thousands of tourists to salt therapy centers.
This is while this capacity has remained intact and unknown in our country.
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