Cave provides 'cure' for breathing problems

Performers voice their support for salt remedy

Vlad againEdinburgh Festival performers are turning to an ancient salt remedy to relax their vocal chords during a busy three-week schedule.

Singers, comedians and actors looking to recharge their batteries are descending on a street corner clinic in the city which has been turned into a mini-salt mine.

Regular customers of the Salt Cave near Meadowbank stadium swear by the therapeutic effects of breathing in the vapours.

Now entertainers are spending up to an hour chilling in the treatment room which claims to improve lung function and clear the airwaves.

Scottish comedian, Vladimir McTavish (pictured), who is performing at the Fringe every night, said: “The whole experience of being in the Salt Cave is very relaxing, particularly when I’ve had a hectic day and especially during the Fringe.  After half-an-hour, I always feel much more chilled out and leave really looking forward to going back.”

Robin Morton, former lead singer with Boys of the Lough and founder of Temple Records, who is a regular visitor to the clinic, said: “I’ve been going to the Salt Cave now for some time as not only does it help with my breathing and to strengthen my vocal chords but it’s also a great way to relax and de-stress.

“As a singer it’s important to rest your voice when you can.”

Since Pete Flynn and Janet Butt opened the clinic in 2011 it has treated more than 6,000 customers with varying respiratory and skin conditions, including asthma and COPD, or in some cases just to relax and de-stress.

Salt Therapy, also known as Halotherapy, dates back to ancient Greek times. It was researched extensively in the nineteenth century by Polish doctor, Felix Bochkovski, who became the first person to discover the environment inside salt mines had a therapeutic effect on respiratory disease and also found salt mine workers didn’t seem to suffer from the same respiratory problems as the general population.

Pete, who has carried out intensive research and training into salt therapy, which included many visits to the world-famous health salt mines in Wieliczka and Bochnia in Poland, said: “From the very first day I heard about salt therapy and the benefits it has for people suffering various illness, I was blown away.

“What I hadn’t realised initially was the benefits it has for people who use their voices a lot in their line of profession, including performers and teachers.”

On Sunday 16 August he is offering free treatments to performers at the Festival.


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