Breathing Clear Imports Salty Air From European Caves To South Tampa

Breathing Clear, a speleotherapy salt-room center, is now open for business in South Tampa.

Speleotherapy, often called cave therapy, originated in Eastern Europe, where salt mines in mountainous areas attract people suffering from the troublesome symptoms of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, COPD and other chronic respiratory ailments. Although not a clinically proven therapy, speleotherapy centers are common in Europe.

Breathing Clear opened May 18 at 3838 Neptune Ave., Suite D-2. The business is owned by Amir Glogau, who emigrated from Eastern Europe and now lives in Tampa.

"We did a demographic review of larger Tampa Bay area and discovered south Tampa would be most open to alternative therapies," says Robert McDermott, Breathing Clear's director of operations.

Twenty tons of salt were shipped from the Ukraine, reputed to have the best therapeutic salt in the world. The center is equipped with two rooms in which guests can lounge and enjoy the benefits of salt therapy.

"Inside the room we monitor and control temperature and humidity, creating a climate similar to the salt caves of Europe," explains Melissa Weeks, a therapist at Breathing Clear. "The salt is drawn out of the bricks and into the room, where the patient inhales the microscopic particles, which goes into the lungs and has therapeutic effect. It decreases inflammation, releases mucus and has antibacterial benefits."

Weeks warns that the treatment is meant to complement traditional therapies such as medication, not replace it. "It's not a cure. But it will make you feel better."

Breathing Clear is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Robert McDermott and Melissa Weeks, Breathing Clear

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