A Visitor’s Guide to the Montana Radon Health Mines, Part 2
Second in a two-part series.
Thank you for reading part two of my radon mine series. If you haven’t yet, please read part one, “My Experience With Radon Mine Therapy for Ankylosing Spondylitis.” It explains how I ended up sitting in decommissioned silver and uranium mines in Montana while seeking pain relief from ankylosing spondylitis.
People have been using radon for its healing qualities for centuries, but there are also warnings about the risks of breathing in too much. According to the American Cancer Society, being exposed to radon gas for long periods of time can lead to lung cancer. However, when you are at your wits’ end like I was, you are sometimes willing to try anything.
There are currently four operating radon “health” mines in the U.S. — all in Montana — and of course I had to try all of them.
I booked both of my two-week stays at the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine in Boulder, Montana, which offers two options for mine time.
One option is to ride an elevator 85 feet into the earth and receive your treatment in the old mine where workers once extracted uranium, silver, and lead out of the ground. It’s only 55 degrees Fahrenheit in the mines, so be sure to pack extra layers of clothing and perhaps a blanket if you plan on going underground.
You can also kick back in the “mine room” above ground, which is full of recliner chairs. It has WiFi and is heated to a comfy room temperature, with air from the underground mine piped in.
My second favorite mine is the Merry Widow Health Mine in Basin, Montana. Mine visits are $15 per day, and it’s just a 15-minute drive from the Free Enterprise Mine.
A testimonial on the website reads, “I was walking out of the mine, and I realized I’m not using my cane.” It’s inspiring to hear about how many people have visited the mines and left their crutches and canes behind.
Below is a photo of the Geiger counter at the Merry Widow Mine, which you can blow into to measure your personal level of radioactivity.
I visited both the Earth Angel Mine in Basin and the Sunshine Health Mine in Boulder. Earth Angel Mine is open 24 hours per day, as the sign says “We Never Close,” and it’s just $7 for a day pass. I felt most at home in the Free Enterprise and Merry Widow Mines, so that is where I spent my time.
Most of the mine dwellers I met at the “radon resorts” were old-timers in their 70s and 80s, who returned year after year because they found this form of radon therapy so beneficial.
It was so comforting to be in the mines with other people who had similar disabling conditions, including AS. As fellow columnist Lisa Marie Basile wrote in “The Importance of Meeting Other People with Ankylosing Spondylitis,” meeting people with the same condition is really helpful, because you have a deeper connection and understand what the other is going through.
A soak at the Boulder Hot Springs Inn and Retreat Center became a true highlight of this healing vacation. The price to soak in the therapeutic mineral waters is just $7 for a day pass, which includes access to the outdoor hot springs pool, indoor steam sauna, hot soaking pool, and cold plunge. And it’s only 5 miles from the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine.
Tizer Botanic Gardens, pictured below, is located 13 miles from Boulder. This is one of the dreamiest places to have a picnic or read a book after exploring the trails and full 6 acres of stunning gardens — 90% of the facility is accessible to people with disabilities. Another great place to add to your self-care vacation itinerary.
As you can see from my photos, I had a wonderful time exploring the radon mines in Montana. Although I didn’t experience miraculous healing, I did feel some positive effects. It was a deeply relaxing experience.
One thing I’ve learned in the KickAS.org online forums is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healing. I also learned how magical a solo vacation dedicated to healing and feeling good truly is!
Note: Ankylosing Spondylitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ankylosing Spondylitis News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ankylosing spondylitis.