Based on the substantial experiences as reflected in more than one thousand papers, mostly in peer-reviewed scientific journals, radon therapy by inhalation or baths has been established as an evidence-based effective treatment not only by empirical experience in different times and cultures, but also in randomized clinical double-blind studies (Becker, K. (2004) "One century of radon therapy").
Radon therapy mitigates auto-immune diseases such as arthritis. Most of the studies originated in Europe, in particular Germany, Austria, and the former USSR.
In the 20th century some "health mines" were established in Boulder, Montana and Basin, Montana which attracted people seeking relief from health problems such as arthritis through limited exposure to radioactive mine water and radon.
Radioactive water baths have been applied since 1906 in Jáchymov, Czech Republic, but even before radon discovery they were used in Bad Gastein, Austria. Radium-rich springs are also used in traditional Japanese onsen in Misasa, Tottori prefecture. Drinking therapy is applied in Bad Brambach, Germany. Inhalation therapy is carried out in Bad Gastein, Austria, in Kowary, Poland in Boulder, Montana, and in Basin, Montana.
Radon, or more precisely Radon-222 is a natural, radioactive, noble gas, which is colourless and odourless. The source of the gas, is Radium, a metal found everywhere in the earth's crust, which in turn is produced by uranium decay. From birth, every human being has a degree of radioactivity, of which Radon represents the largest part. On the one hand, Radon has been suspected of being linked with lung cancer, while on the other hand it is used as a healing treatment.
A half-dozen defunct gold and uranium mines south of Helena, Montana, attract ailing tourists, who bask in radioactive radon gas and drink radioactive water to improve their health. Each summer, hundreds of people come to the radon health mines to relax and treat arthritis, lupus, asthma and other chronic cripplers
With colorful names like the Free Enterprise , Sunshine Health Mine , Merry Widow , and the Earth Angel , the mine shafts tout radon levels as much as 175 times the federal safety standard for houses. Yet, visitors claim miraculous recoveries and disease remissions in the damp, cool passages. Some have arrived in wheelchairs, then walked out on their own.
Bad Gastein is a spa town in Austria, where the Heilstollen spa is located.
"Heilstollen" is a German word, which literally means "healing cave". The Heilstollen is actually a tunnelsystem, serviced by a special small train.
Bathing, drinking, inhaling - these are the three different types of Radon therapy, which take place in the treatment centers.
The Svornost mining pit represents an integral part of the Jachymov spa. This is the place where the radon waters are collected and then brought to the spa facilities in downtown. The radon baths apparently improve the mobility of joints.
The 20-minute baths are administered in the temperature of 35-37 °C. Eighteen baths is the minimum number to reach the therapeutic effect, the maximum number of baths per stay is 24.
Chmelnik is a well-known spa town, where 70 thousands people come to receive treatment each year. Medical-diagnostic building has a capacity for 1000 visitors per day; balneological clinic has 47 baths.
Radon baths are prescribed depending on diseases and patient's general condition. Wholesome medicinal effect of radon procedures is conditioned by their pronounced anti-pain, anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Radon baths give a wonderful therapeutic effect for treatment of peripheral vessel diseases.