Dry Salt Therapy (Halotherapy)
About Salt Therapy
Salt therapy has been around since the beginning of time and has been used throughout history in all sorts of ways—as a common cooking ingredient, on snowy and Icy roads, as a preservative, and even as currency in centuries past. Salt is one of the essential ingredients that constitute life. Salt has also been utilized in various therapeutic, healing and medicinal ways including saline solutions, nebulizers, skin scrubs, salt baths, Nettie pots, etc.…mostly known as “wet” salt therapy. In our modern society, thanks to technological innovations, another aspect of salt therapy has emerged where the main health benefit comes from the salt’s quality to absorb moisture. It is called Dry Salt Therapy and is also known as Halotherapy.
Today, Halotherapy is being provided throughout Europe, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and other areas as a natural alternative and complimentary way of improving general wellness, respiratory issues, skin conditions, detoxification, athletic performance and more. There are specific facilities and businesses located around the world that are solely focused on providing dry salt therapy. They are often referred to salt rooms, salt caves, salt grottos, and other names.
There are all types of existing businesses now offering dry salt therapy such as Day Spas, Wellness Centers, Yoga Studios, Med Spas, Fitness Clubs, Chiropractors and Acupuncturists, and other health and wellness businesses and professionals.
History of Salt Therapy (Halotherapy)
The amazing benefits of salt therapy (also known as ‘halotherapy’) first came to light in the mid-‐1800s when, Felix Bochkovsky, a health official in Poland made the observation that salt mine workers rarely suffered from any colds, respiratory ailments or lung diseases. Bochkovsky attributes this to the salt aerosol being inhaled on a daily basis.
People with asthma, allergies, emphysema and other respiratory problems began heading to the salt mines, and speleotherapy (salt cave therapy) was born. Furthermore, the anti-‐bacterial and anti-‐inflammatory properties of the dry sodium chloride aerosol help in treating ear infections and certain skin conditions such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema. Although salt therapy is new to the U.S., it is frequently used in many countries of Eastern Europe. Today, modern technology allows us to bring the benefits of a salt mine to you. Salt therapy is a non-‐invasive, drug-‐free, chemical-‐free, all natural solution.
How does Salt Therapy work?
Dry pure grade sodium chloride is heated and then it is grinded and crushed into very tiny micro-‐particles in a machine called a halogenerator. These dry aerosol micro-‐particles of salt are then dispersed into the salt room during a typical session. As the person relaxes in the salt room the micro-‐particles are inhaled as well as land on the skin. The particles penetrate deep into the lungs, bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli as well as into the deeper layers of the skin.
Why does salt therapy work?
Salt therapy has three main characteristics: Dry salt is super absorbent, it is anti-‐ inflammatory and it is anti-‐bacterial. Because the microscopic salt particles get deep into the respiratory system as well as into the skin, the dry salt absorbs all the excess mucous, allergens and foreign elements in the respiratory system, opens constricted airways and kills the spreading of bacteria and viruses.
Who benefits from halotherapy treatments?
Salt therapy benefits people of all ages and is great for overall overall wellness, respiratory and skin. Salt therapy has provided benefits for those with the following conditions:
Bronchial Infections Rhinitis
Chronic ENT illnesses Sinus Infections
Cystic Fibrosis Smoker’s Cough
Ear Infections Stress and Fatigue
Given the nature of salt therapy, it also:
- Can expand the airways for increased oxygen flow and capacity to enhance athletic performance and endurance
- Is great for actors, singers and others who constantly use their vocal chords
- Enables better recovery time from physical activity and stress
- Accelerates recovery from common colds and the flu
- Is supportive for quitting smoking
- Revitalizes jet lag
- Slows the aging process
- Provides great benefit for pets and animals suffering from upper and lower respiratory conditions
How safe is a salt therapy?
Salt Therapy is completely safe. It is a 100% natural, drug free, non-‐invasive wellness ritual with no side effects or potential health hazards. If an individual has any questions or concerns regarding any current medical or other condition, please consult with your health care professional.
Is Salt Therapy safe for children?
Salt therapy is not only safe for children; it is a highly recommended natural treatment. There are no potential harmful side effects. The treatment is suitable for children of any age (as young as 1 month old). Children, in fact, respond to the therapy even more quickly than do adults. During a salt therapy session children play with toys, read books and interact with other children.
In which cases should Salt Therapy be avoided?
Halotherapy is not recommended for individuals with the following conditions:
- Existence or suspicion of cancer
- Any kind of infectious disease
- Acute respiratory disease
- COPD with 3rd stage of chronic lung insufficiency
- Coughing of blood/bleeding
- Infections accompanied by fever
- High blood pressure/hypertension in IIB stage
- Any form or stage of tuberculosis
- Chronic kidney disease
What about the concern that salt is bad for you?
Some people are concerned about the intake of salt because of issues relating to diet, high blood pressure and hypertension. This type of salt intake is connected to the digestive track. Dry salt therapy is different as it associated to respiratory system. When inhaled, the amount of micro salt particles entering your respiratory system is extremely low that it doesn’t present any risk to your health. It actually kills bacteria, reduces inflammation and expands airways.
Are there any side effects?
Infrequently. Some people might experience a mild tickle in the throat or an increase in cough due to an excess mucus buildup. This is an indication the therapy is working. Other effects might be a slight skin irritation for those with hypersensitive skin.
What type of salt is used?
Not all salts are created equal. Only pure-‐grade 99.99% sodium chloride is to be used the halogenerators which are the machines that crush and grind the salt into microscopic particles and disperse into the salt room. All of the clinical studies and research for halotherapy involve only using this pure grade sodium chloride. This salt comes from the earth and seas but goes through a process eliminating and removing all debris, containments and is not processed with any additives or caking agents like table salt.
Other types of salts are often used as a décor element such as Himalayan salt, but only 99.99% pure grade sodium chloride is used in the halotherapy equipment.
Is there research and evidence that salt therapy works?
Salt therapy has been research and studied throughout the world and more studies are starting to be done here in the United States. Please go to http://salttherapyassociation.org/research-‐education/research-‐articles/ for more details.
What should I expect and experience in the salt room?
Salt therapy rooms are generally relaxation rooms that provide a very tranquil experience. Most salt rooms are equipped with relaxation chairs or recliners that you sit back, relax and just breathe. During the session you will be surrounded by a very fine aerosol of dry salt particles that are barely visible to the eye. The lights will dim and you can choose to listen to relaxing music, read a book or magazine (reading lights may be available to you), meditate, or simply rest. The temperature and humidity in the rooms are controlled to provide an optimal experience. Cell phones, tablets and electronics are usually not permitted since being exposed to the salt could be corrosive. You will want to wear comfortable clothing (salt air is not harmful nor will it leave a noticeable residue).
You can wear shorts and t-‐shirts to expose your skin as well to receive additional benefit.
At the end of the session you may have a slight taste on your lips. Some salt therapy facilities offer various activities and classes in the slat room such as yoga, guided mediation, and other activities. Children rooms are usually designed for kids to play with toys, books and puzzles to provide an enjoyable experience. Because of the nature of the salt, it is suggested to hydrate with water after each session.
How many sessions does it take?
Like many wellness and health regiments, people respond differently. Many people will notice a positive effect in just in one session, however, a series of sessions is recommended for optimal results. Some people come 2-‐3 times a week for a 3-‐4 week ritual during allergy and cold seasons, some people come 2 times a week for 6-‐8 weeks for more chronic conditions. Those who come for general wellness, stress relief and relaxation simply come as often as they like. For many conditions, after a series of sessions, symptoms subside and relief can last for several months before another session is needed. It can also be used as a preventative measure to strengthen the immune system against colds, cough, allergies, and sinusitis. There are some people who have salt therapy in their homes and do a daily ritual. You cannot overdose from salt therapy.
While there are many clinical and scientific studies conducted on dry salt therapy (halotherapy) throughout the world, the FDA has not evaluated the statements made throughout this material, content, website, etc. Dry salt therapy is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.