For a few weeks now, I’ve been going to salt therapy sessions also known as “halotherapy.” I discovered the concept via a Living Social offer (of course), so I looked into the process, the claims, and the testimonials. Touted as a therapy for people with breathing disorders and allergies, I was obviously intrigued.
Salt therapy is an alternative therapy that compliments existing treatment for breathing disorders such as asthma, emphysema, COPD, cystic fibrosis, seasonal allergies and more. Part of my existing wellness regimen includes a session of inhaling a variety of medications that keep my lungs clear and helps prevent infection, so when I read about this I was pretty excited and decided to give it a try.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I went on the website to do some research and being the germ freak I am, I followed up with an email filled with a thousand questions — mostly about infection control. As I learned more, and thought about how we have used salt throughout history to control bacteria growth, I felt a little more open to the concept.
What is Salt Therapy?
Salt Therapy, or halotherapy, is a holistic method that reproduces the microclimate naturally found in a salt caves by dispersing high concentrations of dry salt aerosol into a room. The walls of the room are covered in layers of salt to mimic the feel of a cave. The dry salt aerosol plays an important role in the relief of health problems, especially respiratory issues and skin conditions. (Source: Salt Therapy of Georgia)
Why do Salt Therapy?
Salt is a natural anti-bacterial. Think about it, for centuries, salt has been used in food preservation without refrigeration. Salt preservation works by ‘drying up’ the bacteria and viruses on a cell’s surface via osmosis. Same principal for Halotherapy / Salt Therapy, viruses and bacteria are being dried up in the lungs after the inhalation of sodium and chloride (salt) minerals. Bronchial cilia constantly wave upward in the lining of the lungs and trachea to remove mucous and foreign materials. Their removal protects the lungs from infections and allows easier breathing.
What is a Salt Therapy Session Like?
Like I said, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I got to the salt room or ‘salt cave’ it was like nothing I’d seen before. The floor is literally covered in at least a foot of gravel-sized Himalayan salt rocks; the walls were panels of crystalized salt and the room itself was soothing. If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was walking into an igloo on the frozen tundra. The first time I went, I had a private session so I just kicked back in an ergonomic ‘lawn chair’ type of chaise and prepared to meditate. The owner turned on the vent which blows microfine particles of salt into the air. For 45 minutes I relaxed inhaling salt air. It was not the least bit irritating, and I felt subtle improvements.
After about 15 minutes I could take a deeper inhale, and I’ll spare you the gory details, but but I could tell it was working because I started to cough and my nose start to run as the salt did it’s thang on allergies and mucus (yum). And, could taste a bit of salt in the air.
So far I’ve done a few sessions, and like the results. I’m anxious to see how this helps control respiratory infections as the weather turns chillier and we’re all confined to tight quarters exchanging head colds.
What do you think? Have you tried salt therapy? Do you have more questions? Let me know here!
– Your Charmed Yogi
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(Photo: Baby Girl Kisses Blog)
Wow, interesting. I’ve never even heard of this and wonder if there is anyplace near me that offers it. I have bought those Himalayan salt lamps which supposedly are also supposed to help breathing but I’ve never noticed any difference 🙂 I would be open to trying this though, since I have asthma and chronic sinus issues!
You should definitely do some research for ‘salt therapy’ ‘halotherapy’ or ‘salt cave’ to see if there’s anything near you. It’s very interesting.
Amanda, I would be happy to help you find the closest salt therapy center. I own and operate one in New Jersey called Respira Salt Wellness Center. More centers are opening up all the time and some are housed within businesses that highlight other services on their websites (like a spa), so Googling may not lead you to the closest center to you.