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 what a salt room and 3 fantastic salt room benefits are.
Salt Room and Halotherapy
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.
What is Halotherapy?
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 salt-laden air, which offers many health benefits than just a relaxing day on the beach.
Origins of Salt Rooms:
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, it was found that Wieliczka salt cave miners, despite working all day in hazardous conditions that would otherwise lead to serious respiratory complications, were found to be unusually healthy. On the contrary, unlike their counterparts, the 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 true 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.
What is the Difference Between Halotherapy and speleotherapy?
Halotherapy and speleotherapy are both different types of salt therapies. Speleotherapy occurs in natural underground caves containing salt, more like a salt cave spa treatment.
However, these salt caves are not easy to find in parts of the world. Halotherapy achieves the same using artificially created salt baths or spas.
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.
1. Dry salt therapy
When one refers to halotherapy, they usually refer to dry salt therapy carried out in active salt rooms via a halogenerator 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 skin by killing bacteria and other impurities responsible for many skin conditions.
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
How Long Does A Single Session in A Salt Room Last?
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 congestions 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.
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 body 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.
Here are 3 salt room benefits (health benefits) that use halotherapy:
1. Treatment of 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)
In recent times, studies have shown that halotherapy can be used in treating chronic respiratory diseases of individuals suffering from COVID-19.
2. May protect skin and prevent aging
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 the skin detoxification. Therefore, mineral salts have strong rejuvenating properties.
Salt therapy can help treat several skin conditions like:
- Skin allergies
- Degeneration of skin, preventing wrinkles and fine lines
- Fungal infection
3. Treats depression and anxiety
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 other than adding ambiance.
The negatively charged ions present in salt may improve our overall health and positively impacts 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, increased energy, and improved sleep patterns.
Check out the video below to know more about the benefits of halotherapy!
Can Salt Rooms Be Harmful?
Using salt room 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
Who should not use a salt room?
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
- Infectious diseases
Salt Room Benefits: Conclusion
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 salty breathing 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 act as a replacement for medical treatment, but rather it can aid medical treatment by mitigating complications. Therefore, it is always advised to consult a doctor before stepping into a salt room.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.