What is Salt Room Therapy ?
Halotherapy is an alternative treatment that involves breathing salty air. Some claim that it can treat respiratory conditions, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and allergies. Others suggest it can also:
- ease smoking-related symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing
- treat depression and anxiety
- cure some skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne
Unlike Colon Hydrotheraphy, The origins of halotherapy date back to the medieval era. But researchers only recently started studying its potential benefits. Halotherapy is usually broken down into dry and wet methods, depending on how the salt is administered.
The salt particles are said to have a similar effect on your skin by absorbing bacteria and other impurities responsible for many skin conditions.
Salt is also said to produce negative ions. This theoretically causes your body to release more serotonin, one of the chemicals behind feelings of happiness. Many people use Himalayan salt lamps to get the benefits of negative ions at home.
Ancient healers and philosophers recommended salt inhalation for the respiratory system and health problems. Salt room therapy originates from speleotherapy (cave therapy) and the Wieliczka salt cave in Poland, where workers exhibited fewer respiratory illnesses.
In 1843, Polish physician Dr Felix Boczkowski discovered that men working in the salt mines at Wieliczka suffered fewer respiratory problems than the general population.
He attributed this to the salt aerosols being inhaled by the miners in the underground environment. As the workers were mining the salt (through chiseling, grinding and hammering at the salt), micro-sized salt particles were being disbursed into the air.
During World War II, the Klutert salt caves in the German town of Ennepetal were used as shelter against heavy bombing. People remained in the caves for prolonged periods, breathing in the salt dust. German physician Dr. K.H. Spannahel noticed that those who had taken shelter in the salt mines appeared to have experienced relief from their respiratory problems.
The use of salt mines for therapeutic purposes developed in many countries including Poland, Russia, Belarus, Romania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
In 1980, the Odessa Science Research Institute in Ukraine developed the first Halotherapy device. The machine replicated the grinding and crushing of salt and dispersion of the particles into the air to model the conditions of an underground salt mine.
Thus, modern salt therapy (or ‘Halotherapy’) was born.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Halotherapy began emerging outside eastern Europe and is now gaining popularity across the western world as a complimentary therapy to aid respiratory and skin conditions, athletic performance and general health and wellbeing. Today there are thousands of salt rooms in Europe and beyond.
The benefits of salt therapy are wide-ranging. Salt levels affect our cell activity, energy and blood sugar levels. A natural disinfectant, salt is antimicrobial, and antibacterial. Salt comes in empty processed forms or healthier pure sea salt (Himalayan and Dead Sea salt) that contain 84 elements and trace elements found in the human body.
What Conditions can Salt Therapy Help?
Salt therapy can help relieve the symptoms of skin, respiratory and lifestyle conditions, including:
- Eczema & Psoriasis
- Hay Fever
- Cold & Flu
- Sleep & Snoring
- Stress, Anxiety & Fatigue
- Sports Performance
The negatively charged ions in salt improve our health and mood. Inhaling particles may reduce inflammation and mucus in the lungs, improving respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus congestion and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Scientific studies show that people with asthma and other ailments breath easier after halotherapy.
The calming and detoxifying effects of halotherapy can support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems. Additional benefits are reduced stress and headaches, increased energy, and better sleep patterns. Salt ions purify the air and may increase lung capacity and reduce physical ailments for adults, children and athletes. Treatments are recommended to help keep the body healthy during flu or allergy seasons.
Skin conditions can also be improved with halotherapy (psoriasis, rashes, eczema, acne). Table salt, sodium chloride, is dehydrating, but pure mineral salts have natural moisturizing properties and support the skin’s water balance and barrier function by attracting moisture to the skin. Minerals are necessary for cell function and detoxification, so mineral salts have strong rejuvenating properties.