Not typically associated with practice in the US, natural salt therapy is making its way onto the scene here. Halotherapy (halos is Greek for “salt”) has been practiced since the Middle Ages. Salt caves were (and still are in some places) actually used to improve respiratory problems and skin conditions. Polish miners in the 1800s begun to witness their overall breathing function and lung capacity would improve when working inside salt caves formed millions of years ago.
Natural salt therapy can even take place at home now. Salt therapy stands as an alternative to for those seeking improved breathing ability, clear sinus cavities, and even relaxation devoid of drugs.
Because nearly 25 million of the people living in the US alone have asthma, halotherapy definitely has a calling here. While I digress that many US citizens have been over diagnosed with asthma (don’t even get me started), there is certainly an unhealthy amount of people in the US living with true asthma or breathing problems that would benefit from non-drug alternatives such as natural salt therapy. Asthma affects children en masse, or at least they are diagnosed with it. Honestly, any breathing issue stands to benefit from salt therapy at home, spa, cave or any other location providing salt therapy.
We all know that pollen counts (especially in Southeastern US) are getting higher and higher. Regardless of your specific breathing condition, salt therapy seems to be a healthy, more eco-friendly alternative to popping pills (that are loaded with steroids and have many side effects) that may or may not even posses desired effect.
While many of us have turned to herbs, vitamins and acupuncture to curb breathing problems, natural salt therapy hasn’t gained much attention until recently.
Halotherapy is based on the inherent properties of natural sea salt. During salt room therapy (typically found at top-notch spas) salt is not ingested, it is passively inhaled as a dry mist. The micro salt particles literally inundate the room you are in and are able to become absorbed into your system (sinus and lungs) in the most effective manor. These salt particles naturally eradicate bacteria clearing your nasal passage and sinuses. Natural salt therapy boosts your immune system as well. You could do salt therapy at home without too much difficulty if you have a dry sauna or nebulizer. Salt room therapy is much less invasive for children than wearing uncomfortable masks associated with many asthma therapies.
Clinical studies (such as 2006 New England Journal of Medicine) support that breathing in hypertonic saline creates an improved lung function and clears mucus in an accelerated capacity. Respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive and non-obstructive bronchitis all benefit from natural salt therapy.
Salt therapy at home and out of the caves
In the late 1980s, modern technology brought the benefits of salt cave therapy into spas, homes and other therapy related facilities. Salt rooms are structured to simulate the same micro climates that salt caves do. A dry mist is dispersed into the room using a halogenerator that circulates the salt particles. Think air purifier meets salt therapy and you will get the concept. Salt therapy at home is not as well-known as salt therapy at a spa facility, but those with facilities at home are certainly doing it, especially people with seriously debilitating respiratory illnesses. As with anything else in life, demand creates development. Most people who try this therapy notice improvement with a couple 45 minute sessions. People that suffer with Eczema also benefit from natural salt therapy.
Whether you can practice salt therapy at home or anywhere else, you are sure to notice a healthy non-invasive improvement to your well-being and an alternative to taking harsh chemicals packed into these little capsules and pills the pharmaceutical companies enjoy pushing doctors to prescribe.
Author: Amy Wermuth