Wellness Through Halotherapy
by Karen Thompson
In ancient Greece, the word halo referred to salt or the salty sea. Today, halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, is fast becoming one of the most popular wellness modalities among health-conscious people worldwide. Once popular only in Europe, salt therapy businesses are now popping up all over the U.S.
Dry salt therapy offers a non-invasive, drug-free treatment with natural healing qualities that are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral. Rather than ingesting salt, patrons relax in reclining chairs inside an enclosed room and breathe in the salt to receive the benefits.
The room is designed to simulate the environment of Himalayan salt caves, assisted by a halogenerator grinding pharmaceutical-grade sea salt into nanoparticles and blowing them into the air. The rooms are kept at low humidity and approximately 70 degrees for the best salt saturation.
These dry salt particles act like tiny scrub brushes and sponges assisting the body in cleaning and eliminating mucus, microbes and toxins from the body. Inhaling these tiny particles can immediately assist anyone experiencing inflammation, stress, anxiety, low energy, skin or respiratory issues.
Dry salt therapy has also been used to help increase lung capacity to improve sports performance, strengthen the immune system, increase faster recovery from jet lag or workouts, nourish skin, slow down signs of aging, improve sleep, eliminate snoring and improve mental function and overall wellness.
The ideal number of treatments can vary depending on the individual’s response and the reason for seeking treatment. Many individuals experience relief after one visit; however, salt therapy is most effective when administered at a minimum of twice per week for six to eight weeks.
Salt therapy isn’t new. In fact, it goes back thousands of years, when people went to actual salt caves to be healed. Besides the many centuries of its use throughout Europe and the Middle East, there’s some science to back up these claims. Halotherapy has been well researched in Denmark, Russia and Eastern Europe. Dr. A.V. Chervinsltaya, head of the Clinical Research Respiratory Center, in St. Petersburg, Russia, has conducted much of the research. She works in the field of pulmonology and rehabilitation medicine and has published more than 200 articles on this topic.
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that inhaling salt-infused vapor improved breathing for 24 patients with cystic fibrosis, a chronic endocrine and lung condition. In another small study, published in Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, subjects with asthma reported breathing easier after several weeks of regular halo-therapy treatments. The World Halotherapy Association is currently involved in providing ongoing research.