I came across an interesting article on ABC News titled, “At a German Health Spa, Radiation Is King”. This led me to come up with a post on the therapeutic functions of radioactivity, and for us to rethink radiation as something beyond a source of pollution and harm to humans.
In Germany, hundreds of elderly visit a spa at Schlema, which contains low levels of radon, as mentioned in the previous post is a radioactive gas generated from the decay of uranium.
Schlema was once very strong radioactive source, where miners used to work for uranium. After the war, it was documented that more than 5,000 miners died from radon-related lung cancer while they mined uranium for the Soviet Union. But today, officials from the state’s Radiation Protection Agency say that the radon spa is fine for those suffering health problems.
Erickson (2007) documents how arthritis suffers in the United States expose themselves to radon gas in Montana radon health mines in order to alleviate their symptoms, against warnings that portray radon as a potential carcinogen. She states how radon taken at therapeutic doses is an alternative to conventional biomedical treatment that apparently relieves pain and other symptoms of arthritis and inflammatory diseases quite effectively.
This is how it is like inside one of the radon health mines in Montana:
Looks cozy doesn’t it? Inside the mines are chairs and couches for people to rest. An average stay in the mine can range from an hour to even 10 days. Even pets may take therapy! They may be kept in kennels exposed to roan-laden air. In case you were wondering… there is also wireless internet available!
Such treatment is self-directed: they may read, sleep or sit and talk with one another. However, neither pregnant women nor children under the age of eighteen should use the mine without prescription and advice of a licensed physician.
Compared to the costs of treatments (drugs or surgery), the costs of radon therapy is about USD $150 for 30 mins to 2 hours in the mine.
Seems like a viable alternative to conventional treatments? Hopefully, if radon therapy continues to be studied with an open mind, more can be revealed about its potential for pain relief. More medical options can be made available to more people as a result.
Thanks for reading!
Erickson, B. E. (2006). The Therapeutic use of Radon: A Biomedical Treatment in Europe; An “Alternative” Remedy in the United States. Dose Response , 5 (1).
Radon Health Mine. (n.d.). The Factility. Retrieved from Radon Health Mine: http://www.radonmine.com/facility.php
Tanner, A. (n.d.). At a German Health Spa, Radiation Is King. Retrieved March 2015, from ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81664