Technically known as Halotherapy, this increasingly popular treatment involves inhaling a fine aerosol mist of pharmacuetical grade salt. It is a common, all natural, non-invasive treatment originating in eastern and central Europe and is now being widely used all over the world. Across Eastern Europe, the treatment is often recommended by doctors and is even covered by health insurance. Practiced since the 18th century, the therapy is shown to have many health, healing and wellness benefits. Health benefits of salt inhalation were originally noticed over 150 years ago when workers in the salt mines displayed unusually good health and rarely suffered from any colds, respiratory ailments or lung diseases.
How it works
Active dry salt therapy is simple to understand. There are three primary characteristics of pure sodium chloride, NaCl, known as salt:
- Salt is super absorbent (especially when it is completely dry)
- Salt is anti-bacterial
- Salt is anti-inflammatory
This type of dry salt is placed into a halogenerator that precisely grinds the salt into micro-sized particles and then disperses the salt aerosol into the air of a closed environment such as a room or chamber.
As the salt travels around the salt room, these salt particles of dry sodium chloride are inhaled into the respiratory system. The dry salt naturally starts absorbing allergens, toxins and foreign substances into your lungs and throughout your respiratory tract. Dry salt may help to reduce inflammation and open airway passages. The micro-sized crystal structure of pure NaCl particles breaks down mucus and clears out all of the ‘bad stuff’. This is the basis for how dry salt therapy can impact people suffering from respiratory conditions like allergies, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, COPD and others.
The properties of dry salt also absorbs impurities and provides anti-bacterial properties that benefit the skin such as acne, psoriasis and eczema as well as regulates the skin’s micro-circulation. The smaller particles can reach beneath the skin’s surface and absorb moisture towards the skin. The larger salt particles land on the skin and absorb any bacterial and foreign substances. The dry salt accelerates cell rejuvenation and improves skin rigidity.
The climate conditions in a dry salt room therefore must maintain certain temperature and humidity levels and proper ventilation to ensure the efficacy of the salt therapy and provide a ‘clean-air’ environment for the consumer.
How long is a session?
Session times vary depending on the size of the enclosed area. Our adult and children’s room sessions last 45 minutes while our smaller private room sessions are only 35 minutes long. The larger the space the longer the session.
What do I wear?
You must wear socks and we recommend lighter colored, comfortable clothing (salt air will not damage clothing but you may leave with salt residue that is easy to remove). If skin conditions require treatment, we recommend the skin be exposed to the air. You can wear shorts and t-shirts to expose your skin to receive additional benefits. Shoes and other garments can be left in lockers that are provided.
How many sessions does it take?
Like many wellness and health regimens, people respond differently. Many people will notice a positive effect in just one session, however, a series of sessions is recommended for optimal results. Some people come 1-2 times a week during allergy and cold seasons. Others come 2-3 times a week regularly for more chronic conditions. And there are those who come for general wellness, stress relief and relaxation who simply come as often as they like. For many conditions, after a series of sessions, symptoms subside and relief can last for several weeks before another session is necessary. Salt therapy can also be used as a preventative measure to strengthen the immune system against colds, cough, allergies, and sinusitis.
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 evidence that salt therapy works?
Salt therapy has been researched 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.
Can I get the same result from sea air?
Although walking in the sea air is a wonderfully healthy and uplifting experience the salt concentration is not enough to cause most of the therapeutic benefits of a salt room which have 10-15 times greater concentration levels that those found by the sea. A 45 minute session is equal to 3 days by the sea! Additionally the salt in the sea air is moist rather than dry as in the salt room. This means that the salt particles do not get as deep into the lung tissue and the moist salt air has less of an anti-inflammatory effect. The dry aerosol salt generated in the salt room goes deep into the alveoli of the lungs to clean and break up congestion which is then expelled by the body, sometimes even during a session. (tissues are always provided)
Is salt therapy safe for children?
Salt therapy is not only safe for children, it is a highly recommended natural treatment. in fact, children especially react very well to treatment for hay fever, bronchitis and asthma. There are no potential harmful side effects. The treatment is suitable for children of any age. Interestingly, children respond to the therapy more quickly than do adults. During a salt therapy session children can play with toys, read books and interact with other children.
Can pregnant women attend salt therapy?
Yes. Salt therapy is an excellent alternative for women who do not want to rely heavily on over-the-counter or prescribed medication for allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and other respiratory ailments during their pregnancy. Salt therapy will help them experience significant relief and in addition, boost their immune system.
Is there risk of contagion from others in the salt therapy rooms?
Salt is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. It kills almost all bacteria on contact. Our salt rooms floors are covered in salt and after each session so is everything else. Every surface from ceilings to walls, chairs, toys, headsets, etc. are exposed to dry salt aerosol multiple times a day. Furthermore, we do not allow anyone to participate in salt therapy sessions if they are actively ill. And on top of that, our ventilation system refreshes the air in the salt rooms, circulating the used air out and sending clean filtered air in, after each session.
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
- Any form or stage of tuberculosis
- Chronic kidney disease
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 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 tract. Dry salt therapy is different as it is 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.
As proud members and supporters we would like to give a special thanks to the
Salt Therapy Association for providing information about Salt Therapy.