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With the recent rise in respiratory complications, the need of the hour is ways to ease the symptoms in the least harmful and non-invasive way, one of them being salt room therapy. This article will explore the salt room benefits and 3 fantastic salt rooms.
1. What Is A Salt Room?
Salt rooms are spa-like rooms used for halotherapy. This room is filled with rock salt, producing salt-rich air to recreate an artificial salt mine environment.
Halotherapy, more popularly known as salt therapy, involves breathing in air rich in tiny salt particles to improve your breathing and overall health.
Halotherapy is considered an alternative treatment for lung ailments such as bronchitis, asthma, and cough. Halotherapy is often carried out in spa-like rooms called salt rooms. This therapy is also very beneficial for relaxation, treating and improving skin conditions, and helps with allergies.
Salt therapy takes wellness to another level making it one of the trendiest spa treatments offered around the globe. Salt therapy is similar to spending time at sea surrounded by salty air, which offers many health benefits than just a relaxing day on the beach.
In the 12th century, speleotherapy (cave therapy), visiting salt caves for wellness and therapeutic benefits, was common throughout Eastern Europe.
In the 1800s in Poland, Wieliczka salt cave miners were found to be unusually healthy despite working all day in hazardous conditions that would otherwise lead to serious respiratory complications. On the contrary, unlike their counterparts, salt mine workers were less likely to suffer from coughs and colds.
The research was done to understand why this anomaly showed that the salt-laden air the miners inhaled helped protect their lungs from infection and allergies.
This led to a boom in tourism across Eastern European salt mines or caves. People traveled far and wide to get a whiff of this new cure-all therapy. Nowadays, spas offering salt rooms, which replicate this salt-laden environment, have popped up across the globe.
The origins of halotherapy date way back to the medieval era when philosophers recommended salt inhalation to optimize health. Only recently, researchers have started to study its potential health benefits.
3. Difference Between Halotherapy And Speleotherapy
Halotherapy and speleotherapy are both forms of therapy that involve exposure to salt.
Halotherapy, also known as salt therapy, involves spending time in a salt room or cave where the air is filled with salt particles, typically Himalayan salt. The salt particles are dispersed into the air and people typically spend 20-45 minutes inside the room. Halotherapy is said to have therapeutic benefits such as improving respiratory and skin conditions and reducing stress and fatigue. Halotherapy is a more recent and modern form of therapy and is more accessible, as it is available in many wellness centers and spas. As halotherapy sessions are typically shorter, it is more convenient for many people.
Speleotherapy, also known as cave therapy, is a form of natural therapy that involves spending time in a salt mine or cave where the air is rich in salt particles. The therapy is based on the belief that the natural microclimate of the cave, with high humidity and temperature, as well as high concentration of salt, can help to improve respiratory conditions, boost immunity and improve overall well-being. However, access to a salt mine can be limited and may require travel.
4. Types of Halotherapy
Salt therapy carried out in salt rooms can be either active or passive.
Active salt room
The active salt room comes with a machine called the halogenerator that breaks down salt into minute particles circulated throughout the room.
Passive salt room
This room does not contain a machine to break down the salt. But instead, the room is filled with different salts, such as pink Himalayan salt and Rock salt.
The salt room looks like an artificial salt cave with a temperature and humidity-controlled environment.
There’s a difference between the salt concentrations in both rooms. In the passive salt room, the concentration is considerably lower than in the active salt room. And the passive rooms are primarily used for purposes like relaxation and meditation instead of halotherapy.
Halotherapy or salt therapy itself is of two types as it is carried out in two ways: Dry and wet methods, depending upon the salt administration.
4.1. Dry Salt Therapy
When one refers to halotherapy, one usually refers to dry salt therapy carried out in active salt rooms via a halo generator that allows the minute, dry salt particles to disperse into the air and the lungs and skin of the individual.
Once inhaled, the salt particles absorb irritants, including allergens and toxins, from the respiratory system, as seen in research conducted on patients with specific chronic allergenic respiratory pathologies.
This process supposedly clears congestion and significantly reduces inflammation, providing clear airways. Similarly, it protects the skin by killing bacteria and other impurities responsible for many skin conditions.
4.2. Wet Salt Therapy
Wet salt therapy is employed using a salt and water mixture. This form of halotherapy includes:
- Bathing in salty water using flotation tanks filled with saltwater
- Gargling with salty water
- Clearing passageways using salted water
- Drinking salty water
Typically, a single session in the salt room ranges between 20-60 minutes, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.
Immediate results of 1-3 sessions in the salt room are mainly seen in people who suffer from nasal congestion and people who suffer from allergies.
However, for more long-term results like customers who have asthma or other serious respiratory problems, at least 10-20 minute sessions are required to observe the salt room benefits.
5. Salt Room Benefits
Salt comes in different forms like table salt or sodium chloride, an empty processed form of salt, or healthier pure sea salt (pink Himalayan sea salt and Dead Sea salt) containing over 84 trace elements found in the human body.
Salt room benefits, or rather the benefits of salt therapy, are vast. The salt levels in our bodies affect our cellular activity. It also affects our blood sugar levels and energy levels. The benefits of salt are:
- Antibacterial and antimicrobial that prevents infections
- Being mucoactive clears mucus from respiratory passages
- Natural and safe, without notable side effects
- Salt’s negative ions purify the air and may help increase lung capacity
Thus, making dry salt air more potent than moist air.
Studies show that halotherapy can be highly beneficial in treating respiratory ailments like asthma, certain skin conditions, and allergies.
6. The Conditions That A Salt Room Can Help
6.1. Respiratory Conditions
Research has found that because of the properties mentioned above of salt, halotherapy can be employed in the treatment of respiratory conditions like:
- Infection in the lungs or throat (pharyngitis)
- Breathing complications and respiratory conditions due to excessive smoking such as a cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing
- Cystic fibrosis
- Inflammations (Bronchitis, Sinusitis, Rhinitis, Tonsillitis)
- Cold or cough
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Recently, studies have shown that halotherapy can treat chronic respiratory diseases of individuals suffering from COVID-19.
6.2. Skin Conditions
Minute salt particles used in halotherapy can help repair our skin cells. Halotherapy can also protect our skin from aging and prevent skin infections. Pure mineral salts have moisturizing properties that maintain the skin’s water balance.
They also help in barrier function by attracting moisture to skin detoxification. Therefore, mineral salts have strong rejuvenating properties.
Salt therapy can help treat several skin conditions:
- Skin allergies
- Degeneration of skin, preventing wrinkles and fine lines
- Fungal infection
6.3. Mental Conditions
Halotherapy uses salt that produces negative ions that, in theory, can cause our bodies to release more serotonin, a chemical vital for creating feelings of well-being and contentment.
This is the theory behind why most people use Himalayan salt lamps. As suggested by lack of evidence, these lamps have no other usage than adding ambiance.
The negatively charged ions in salt may improve our overall health and positively impact our mood.
Halotherapy has calming and detoxifying effects that can help support our immune, nervous, and lymphatic systems.
Salt room benefits include reducing stress and headaches, increasing energy, and improving sleep patterns.
7. Can Salt Rooms Be Harmful?
Using salt rooms excessively can have some side effects. Excessive usage of halotherapy can lead to:
- Coughing and increased nasal secretion as salt help in clearing nasal passages.
- Skin irritation
- Pink eye or conjunctivitis
Salt rooms for halotherapy should be avoided if the individual suffers from:
- Heart ailments
- Respiratory disorders
- Blood problems like hemophilia, anemia, or hemorrhages
- Open wounds
- Infectious diseases
- Open wounds
Salt rooms are generally considered safe for most people, but individuals with certain health conditions (such as severe respiratory issues or contagious diseases) should consult with their healthcare provider before trying halotherapy. Additionally, salt therapy should not be seen as a replacement for standard medical treatments for respiratory or skin conditions.
Halotherapy displays an array of benefits for humanity, all the way from physical health to mental health.
As halotherapy is a purely therapeutic alternative treatment that involves breathing salty air, one should remember that halotherapy is not a cure but a natural way to combat symptoms.
Salt room benefits do not extend to eliminating a particular disease but merely treating it by alleviating its symptoms.
Halotherapy cannot replace medical treatment; rather, it can aid medical treatment by mitigating complications. Therefore, it is always advised to consult a doctor before stepping into a salt room.
1. How does salt affect the negative energy in a house and why?
A. It is important to note that these beliefs are not scientifically proven and there is no concrete evidence to support these claims. If you are looking for ways to improve the energy of your home, it’s best to consult with a professional such as a feng shui expert, or an interior designer for practical advice.
2. Is salt room therapy a replacement for medical treatment?
A. Salt room therapy is considered a complementary or alternative therapy and should not be used as a replacement for medical treatment. If you have a medical condition, always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before trying any alternative therapies.
3. How many sessions are recommended for maximum benefits?
A. The number of recommended sessions can vary depending on individual health needs and the specific condition being addressed. Some people may experience benefits after just a few sessions, while others may require several sessions over time.