You may already be using pink Himalayan salt in your food, but have you ever tried salt therapy? Actually, there are several ways to take advantage of the benefits of salt therapy at home or in a salt therapy spa. Is it bad to inhale salt? It is said that one of the best health benefits of salt therapy is its ability to help you breathe better. According to the Lung Institute, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of salt combined with its ability to help eliminate pathogens in the air while decreasing allergic reactions make it an excellent therapeutic option for people with asthma, bronchitis and even COPD.
Before visiting your nearest salt therapy spa, let’s talk about all the potential benefits of this ancient practice and more incredible forms of salt therapy.
What is Salt Therapy?
Salt therapy comes in several forms that can be divided into two main categories: wet salt therapy or dry salt therapy. Wet salt therapy includes use of pots Neti, mixtures centered salt gargle, exfoliants salt, soaking in salt water baths and rinses internal salt water. what is dry salt therapy? It is a form of salt therapy in an environment that has no moisture. Dry salt therapy is carried out in a space that is often referred to as a “salt cave,” but a salt spa could also call it your “salt therapy room.” Dry salt therapy is also called halotherapy or speleotherapy. According to the Salt Therapy Association, caving takes place below the Earth’s surface in natural caves and salt mines. On the other hand, halotherapy is a form of dry salt therapy that uses artificial salt caves created by using a halogenerator that disperses a spray of dry salt in the “cave” of salt. So, with both forms of salt cave therapy, you are breathing salty air, but caving is natural salt, while halotherapy uses natural salt that is pumped in a man-made environment. Other forms of dry salt therapy include salt inhalers and salt lamps. These forms of home salt therapy are easy to do and are not too expensive. What is a salt inhaler? How is a salt inhaler used? A salt inhaler, also called a salt tube, is a small ceramic device that is filled with pink Himalayan salt crystals. To use the inhaler, place your mouth on the mouthpiece and inhale deeply during the month. A salt inhaler is used as an alternative therapy for respiratory problems.
So how does a salt lamp work? A true Himalayan salt lamp is a solid block of Himalayan salt carved by hand and in the recessed center there is a bulb that emits light and heat. Since salt is hygroscopic (attracts water molecules), it can attract water molecules along with any indoor air pollutants such as mold, bacteria and allergens. When water vapor meets the surface of the salt lamp, it is believed that contaminants remain trapped inside the salt. Just be careful with the salt lamp cheating and learn how to detect real fake salt lamps
How does Salt Therapy Work?
The main idea behind all salt therapy is that by coming into contact with salt, through some type of dry or wet salt therapy, you can improve your health and well-being.
“Saltwater baths and salt room therapy are also known to be very relaxing and reduce stress”.
So why can salt therapy have positive effects on the body? Salt has some amazing properties that include:
- Loosen excess mucus and accelerate mucociliary transport.
- Eliminates pathogens (i.e. pollen in the air)
- Reduces the level of IgE (excessive sensitivity of the immune system)
Benefits of Salt Therapy:
What are the Benefits of Salt Therapy?
1. Respiratory Ailments:
The theory behind dry salt therapy and its ability to improve respiratory problems is that salt helps reduce inflammation and opens airway passages while helping to eliminate allergens and toxins from the respiratory system. According to the Salt Therapy Association, many people who make halotherapy a part of their “wellness routine” can find relief from various respiratory health conditions, including:
- Common cold
- Cystic fibrosis
- Ear infections
- Cough of smokers
The Salt Therapy Association also notes that “for respiratory conditions, low concentration and gradual administration of dry salt and consistency of the sessions are the key elements to obtain successful results.” Is there any science that supports all this? One study analyzed the effects of halotherapy in young children (ages 5 to 13) with a clinical diagnosis of mild asthma who was not receiving any anti-inflammatory therapy. Twenty-nine children had 14 sessions of halotherapy in a salt room with a halogen generator over the course of seven weeks, while the other 26 were placed in a salt room without a salt halogen generator. The group that received halotherapy showed a “statistically significant improvement” in bronchial hypersensitivity (HRC) and, in general, the researchers conclude that a salt room with a halogen generator may have some beneficial effects in mild asthmatic children. Several studies also demonstrate the positive effects of halotherapy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Improvements in lung function and decreases in blood pressure have been specifically observed. Another example of salt therapy that benefits respiratory problems is a 2008 study that found that inhaling a three percent saline solution is a safe and effective form of treatment for babies with bronchiolitis, a common lung infection in young children and babies.
2. Skin Conditions:
It is said that the usual practice of dry salt therapy helps people with various skin conditions, including:
- Dry and flaky skin
- Swollen / inflamed skin
Wet salt therapy has also been demonstrated in scientific research to improve skin hydration, roughness and redness of the skin, which makes it an excellent choice for people with eczema and other dry skin conditions. A study that had volunteers with atopic dry skin immersing one of their forearms in a bath solution containing five percent Dead Sea salt for 15 minutes while their other arm was submerged in tap water as a control. What were the results? The salt-bathed arms experienced improvements in the skin’s barrier function and in the hydration of the stratum corneum, as well as in the decrease in skin roughness and inflammation. The researchers mainly attributed the skin benefits of Dea Sea salt to its rich magnesium content.
3. Strengthening of the Immune System:
There is a good reason why salt is commonly used in food preservation: the antimicrobial properties of salt (NaCl) are extremely impressive. Research has shown that salt reduces bacterial contamination in foods of the following bacteria that cause serious diseases in humans: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes. Studies also demonstrate the ability of halotherapy to boost the immune system. Research to discover the benefits of halotherapy as part of a combined treatment approach for patients with chronic bronchitis found that in addition to improving lung function, there were also normalized measures of reduced immunity.
4. Reduce Inflammation:
Research shows another important benefit of salt: its ability to reduce inflammation, which is huge, since we know that inflammation is at the root of most diseases. According to research in animal subjects, a hypertonic solution (a solution with a high concentration of salt) “can relieve inflammation purely by bathing in it.” It was also shown that salty liquid reduces inflammation when applied by bandages. It seems that the hypertonic solution produces an osmotic gradient through the skin. An osmotic gradient is a pressure caused by water molecules that forces water to move from areas of high water potential to areas of low water potential. The researchers point out that this explains why salty hot springs are known to improve the pain associated with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
History of Salt Therapy:
Halotherapy comes from the Greek word for salt, which is “halo.” Salt therapy is a more recent practice in the US. UU., But it has been used in places like Europe for hundreds of years. It is said that European monks began using salt therapy centuries ago, when they noticed that respiratory diseases improved faster after spending time in natural salt caverns. In written records of the twelfth century, one of the first mentions of spas with salt water mineral baths in Poland is also found. In the 1840s, a Polish doctor named Dr. Felix Bochkowsky noticed that metal and coal miners had a tendency to experience serious respiratory problems, but salt miners tended to be healthier than most people. This led Dr. Bochkowsky to publish a book on the health benefits of salt powder. Fast forward to World War II when German salt mines were used as bomb shelters. When there were bombings, people would have to remain in the mines for a long time breathing all that salt dust. The good news? When people with respiratory problems left the salt shelters, they could supposedly breathe much more easily.
Salt caves are also called salt rooms or salt chambers. How does a salt room work? Dry salt room therapy includes spending time relaxing in an artificial environment breathing air infused with salt. Dry salt therapy can be in an active salt room or in a passive salt room. The active room uses a halogenerator to put microparticles of salt in the air of a closed space so that you can then inhale it and also so that your skin can come into contact with the salt. This variety of dry salt therapy is called halotherapy. Passive salt rooms (speleotherapy) are also man-made, but instead of using a halogenerator to put salt in the environment, they fill the space with large amounts of salt. The idea is to simulate natural salt caves like those found in Europe. Man-made salt caves can use various types of sea salt. Many choose to use pink sea salt. Where does pink sea salt come from? True Pink Himalayan sea salt comes from salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayas. Salt can be pink, red or white, and all colors are indicative of its impressive natural mineral content.
It is known that the side effects of halotherapy salt therapy include a mild cough, a minor tightness in the chest or a runny nose, what salt therapy providers often say is that salt does its job to eliminate the mucus and toxins from the lungs and respiratory tract. The halotherapy is not recommended for people with fever, contagious diseases, open wounds, cancer, severe hypertension, mental disorders or active tuberculosis. If you are pregnant or have a health problem, talk to your doctor before trying halotherapy or any other form of salt therapy. Are there other dangers of salt therapy? According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Inhalation of concentrated salts (hypertonic saline) has been shown to irritate the respiratory tract and cause cough and mucus, which can make asthma worse in some people. Halotherapy, or sitting in a salt room, is not likely to improve your asthma. For most patients with asthma, halotherapy is “probably safe.” “Since you don’t know how you will react, AAFA warns that it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid salt rooms.”
- Salt therapy can be divided into two main categories: wet and dry.
- Wet salt therapy includes the use of neti pots, salt-centered gargle mixtures, salt scrubs, soaking in salt water baths and internal rinses with salt water. Dry salt therapy includes salt lamps, salt inhalers and salt caves (halotherapy and speleotherapy).
- The benefits of salt therapy may include an improvement in respiratory conditions and skin problems, as well as an increase in immune system health and a decrease in inflammation.
- Many doctors are skeptical about the benefits of salt therapy, but first-hand reports and scientific studies point to the numerous benefits of salt therapy.
- If you are interested in trying halotherapy or another form of salt therapy for a chronic health problem, talk to your doctor to see if this form of medication-free therapy is a good option for you.