Salt Therapy: What is Halotherapy? - Dream Health

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Thursday 1 December 2022

Salt Therapy: What is Halotherapy?

Salt Therapy: What is Halotherapy?

Salt therapy, which we also know as halotherapy, has become very popular due to its effectiveness. This therapy offers several health benefits, such as being vital in curing respiratory illnesses. Salt therapy is probably the best natural treatment for you if you have asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, allergies, and other chronic respiratory conditions.

What is salt therapy?

Salt therapy or halotherapy is a treatment where people need to breathe in air with tiny salt particles so that they can improve their breathing. It is an alternative treatment for asthma, bronchitis, cough, and other lung problems.

Generally, this treatment is done in spa-like salt rooms. With the help of this therapy, it is possible to relax. Besides, this treatment is useful for those who have skin issues and allergies.

When you sit back to relax, a halogenerator will be used to disperse microscopic salt particles into the room. After that, you need to inhale them deep into the airways & lungs. The tiny particles will also land on the skin.

This treatment is ideal for babies, children, and adults. Besides, it soothes a wide range of problems related to skin, respiratory, and lifestyle conditions.

What are the origins of salt therapy? People first discovered the advantages of this therapy in 1843 in Poland, where workers who worked in the underground salt mines suffered from respiratory problems. The miners chiseled and ground the salt to produce tiny salt particles. These were dispersed into the mine's air and inhaled after that.

The History of Halotherapy: 

In Eastern Europe, people visited salt caves in the twelfth century for therapeutic reasons or Speleotherapy. In the 1800s, the miners discovered a more modern version of halotherapy. However, there were a few Polish miners who did not suffer from any respiratory issues despite working all day in the mines. You can say that they usually didn't get colds or coughs, unlike the other people.

According to the research, when miners breathe the salty air, their lungs will be free from infection and allergies. Eastern European salt caves are one of famous tourist spots, and therefore people around the world come here to inhale the salty air so that their lung problems can be cured.

About Halotherapy:

People have been using this treatment for millennia, but the current therapy can be traced to the salt mines in Europe and Russia in the nineteenth century.

Nowadays, the process of breathing in the cave's microclimate with a stable air temperature and medium to the high humidity level, along with the presence of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, is called Speleotherapy. But during this breathing process, airborne pollutants and pollen remain absent in the stable air.

It is called halotherapy when NaCl is inhaled in a controlled environment where the air temperature is 18° to 24°C. NaCl aerosol particles which penetrate all respiratory tract layers, are the major active ingredient in Speleotherapy. In addition, salt particles can help to decrease immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels and facilitate mucociliary transport.

According to Clinical trials, it is a good option for relieving symptoms and curing functional parameters in sinusitis, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, mild and moderate asthma, and COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. When you rinse with hypertonic saline, it will decrease airway inflammation in patients with bronchiolitis. We recommend this treatment as a complementary therapy in patients who have prolonged exposure to indoor air-dampness microbiota, which can damage the respiratory mucosa. In this case, you should know that salt therapy is totally safe.

Types of Halotherapy:

Active and passive are the two types of halotherapy that are generally done in salt rooms.

Active salt room:  

A halogenerator is used in this salt therapy room, and salt is added to this machine. This device can break salt down into small particles circulating in the room.

Passive salt room: 

In this kind of room, you do not find any salt therapy machine for breaking down the salt. Rather than that, you can see that the room is filled with various kinds of Himalayan salts. It looks like a salt cave, where temperature and humidity are controlled.

Remember that the salt concentration in passive salt rooms is lower than in active salt rooms. This is because people use these rooms for relaxation and meditation instead of halotherapy.

The process for salt room therapy:

You should know that the process of salt room therapy isn't complicated at all. Basically, by taking this therapy, you will get a beach effect even without moving a single inch. Whereas during taking this therapy, you will be able to carry out your hobby. Like, your kids can bring their favorite toys in the salt rooms.

In an active salt room therapy procedure, the salt absorbs and resists the properties against dirt and bacteria. It indicates that it can absorb the dirt from the nostrils so that the airways can be cleared and respiratory issues can be healed.

Whereas the best thing about passive salt room therapy is that it is a natural process. Basically, instead of a salt grinding and dispersing machine, the procedure depends on the climate of an enclosed area. We have already mentioned that salt therapy was first discovered inside salt caves. At that time, Karl Hermann, who was a German doctor, noticed that the patients who were hiding in salt caves there is an improvement in their health. At present, the main motive of passive salt therapy is creating an environment that has similarities with salt caves. As a result, people inside this room automatically can inhale salty air.

Halotherapy methods:

It is categorized into dry and wet methods. The method depends on how the salt is administered.

SaltTherapy Dry methods:

It is done in an artificial salt cave which is free of humidity. Hence, you can enjoy the cool temperature set to 68°F (20°C) or lower. This treatment session lasts for about 30 to 45 minutes.

In this case, a halogenerator machine helps to grind salt into microscopic particles. Then, it releases them into the room's air. When people inhale, the irritants (allergens and toxins) get absorbed by the salt particles from the respiratory system. According to advocates, this process can break up mucus and decrease inflammation, which helps to clear airways.

It is believed that the salt particles have a similar effect on the skin as these absorb bacteria and other impurities, which cause multiple skin issues. In addition, salt can create negative ions causing the human body to release more serotonin.

Wet methods:

It can be done using a mix of salt and water. These methods of salt therapy include:-

  • gargling salt water 
  • drinking salt water 
  • bathing in salt water 
  • using salt water for nasal irrigation 
  • flotation tanks get filled with salt water

How to Practice Salt Therapy at Home:

Have you planned to try salt therapy at home? Then, try these processes.

Treat Yourself to an Air Salinizer:

Using an air sanitizer will release tiny particles in the air to mimic the salt cave's environment. According to Baker-Johnson, it is not as effective as a halogenerator due to which you can use this for easier home treatment. She said that the air sanitizer must use sodium chloride (preferably pharmaceutical grade).

Build an At-Home Salt Therapy Booth:

You should install an at-home salt therapy booth that uses a halo generator. This is the only process through which you can take advantage of a commercial salt cave. Here is the process following, which you can replicate it at home.

Step 1: Suppose you are tired and you have a bathtub. Then, follow the below steps.

  • First, you need to take 100 gm of normal salt. 
  • Then, you should mix this with 500gm Epsom salt. 
  • After that, you need to add this to the tub water. 
  • Next, you should put 3-4 drops of the required oil. 
  • Finally, you need to dip into it and relax.

Step 2: You can mix Sandalwood, neroli, and lavender with salts for relaxation.

Step 3: You can use this therapy at home like a scrub. First, you need to take a cup of salt. After that, your task is to add two to three oil tablespoons. Then, you should add two to three drops of any essential oil. Finally, you need to apply it to your body as a scrubber before taking a shower or bath.

Step 4: If you are suffering from foot pain, you should take magnesium sulphate. Then, you have to put this in a bucket of water. Next, your task is to soak your feet in it. Once soaked, all tiredness will go away, and you will feel relaxed.

Step 5: If you are suffering from body pain, you should dip your towel in hot salt water. Next, you should put the towel on that area where you are having body pain. Then, you have to change the towel once it cools. Finally, you can mix essential oil to get relief from pain.

Health Benefits of Halotherapy:

According to studies, this therapy is beneficial for treating respiratory conditions, skin problems, and allergies. Remember that salt is a safe and natural ingredient and does not come with any side effects.

It is Mucoactive as it can clear up mucus from your airways. Besides, the treatment helps to prevent infections. It is anti-inflammatory and known as an Antibacterial. Moreover, this treatment is Anti-inflammatory, Immunity-boosting, and Anti-allergic.

Due to the properties, you can use halotherapy as part of the treatment of:

  • Lung infection 
  • Throat infection or pharyngitis 
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Smoking-related breathing problems 
  • Respiratory allergies 
  • Asthma 
  • Bronchitis 
  • Cold or cough 
  • Pneumonia 
  • Sinusitis 
  • Rhinitis 
  • Tonsillitis 
  • Cystic fibrosis

Mainly this therapy is used to cure breathing issues caused by COVID-19. Besides, it is essential for improving breathing and oxygen in the blood. Small salt particles that are used in this therapy help to repair skin cells. In addition, it helps to protect your skin from infection and aging. 

This therapy can be used to cure:

  • Acne and rosacea 
  • Skin allergies 
  • Rash 
  • Eczema 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Dermatitis 
  • Fungal infection, including onychomycosis, Wrinkles, and signs of aging skin

When Do You Need Salt Therapy?

In the US, the advantage of this therapy is very significant. Whereas people can get standard halotherapy in Miami. However, this treatment offers a lot of benefits. But you may think, when do we need this therapy? Let's know about it.

When You Have Anxiety: People suffering from anxiety and depression must try this therapy. A lot of people reported that after taking this therapy, they get an improved mood, healthier mental performance, lower levels of stress, and improved sleep patterns.

Salt rooms are excellent for treating asthma, bronchitis, breathing allergies, and other medical conditions. The American Lungs association's senior scientific advisor believes this treatment helps to reduce symptoms related to these diseases.

When You Visit the Spa:

Visiting the spa regularly indicates that you prefer to relax the nerve cells. But have you thought about watching your favorite movie or reading a book during a spa session? Salt room therapy can offer many health benefits apart from additional relaxing effects.

Benefits of Salt Therapy:

Taking this therapy, you can get benefits like health, psychological, and lifestyle improvement. With the help of salt room therapy, you can feel relaxed and healthy. Here, we are going to elaborate on a few benefits of halotherapy. Let's dig in.

Health Benefits:

You can have control over what you eat. Therefore, it depends on you what will go into your mouth. But we generally do not have such control over the nostrils.

Every day, we inhale different particles which we even can't see. Sometimes, the air remains clean. But other times, you need to breathe in diseases. You should know that salt particles can resist bacteria and inflammation. As a result, during salt room therapy, you can breathe clearly. As soon as you inhale the purified salty air, the air tract will get freed from dirt. This therapy is also very helpful in treating different medical conditions such as asthma, common colds, and cough caused due to smoking.

Skin Therapy:

Clearing skin is also an advantage you can get by taking salt room therapy. Our skin works as the first defense against harmful particles and chemicals. In that case, you should know that salt particles can normalize the body's pH balance and boost the skin's resilience. The treatment can improve a few skin conditions, including eczema, acne, and anti-aging. If you start taking this therapy, your skin will perform optimally.


You can feel relaxed and calm after taking this salt room therapy. As a result, you can make better decisions without feeling anxious.

Undergoing this therapy, it is possible to fight off illness in a better way. Moreover, salt therapy plays a vital role in recovering the skin's health and improving the respiratory system.

Other benefits: 

However, there are a few similarities between Salt therapy and spending time in the salty sea air. But this therapy is more intense than the latter, providing more advantages and offering relaxation. According to ancient healers and philosophers, we should use salt inhalation to cure health issues and respiratory systems problems.

  • The origin of dry salt treatment is cave therapy, known as Speleotherapy, and Poland's Wieliczka salt cave. Plenty of salt rooms are available in Europe and beyond. We have already mentioned that this treatment offers a lot of health advantages. 
  • Salt therapy greatly impacts cell activity, energy, and blood sugar levels. 
  • Salt is both antibacterial and antimicrobial and one of the crucial ingredients of cell health. The purest form of salt comes with 84 elements. You can improve mood and health with the help of negatively charged ions of salt. 
  • You should know that inhaling particles help to decrease inflammation and mucus in the lungs. Moreover, this therapy can help to improve different respiratory conditions, including asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus congestion, and COPD. (The standard form of COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.) 
  • According to scientific studies, people with asthma and other ailments can breathe easily by taking salt therapy. Its detoxifying effects support the immune, nervous and lymphatic systems. 
  • Moreover, this therapy helps to relieve stress & headaches. You can get increased energy and better sleep patterns by taking halotherapy. 
  • Salt ions help to make the air purifier and boost lung capacity. In addition, it can decrease physical ailments for adults, children, and athletes. 
  • If you are suffering from the flu or have an allergy, this treatment benefits you. 
  • Halotherapy is used to cure psoriasis, rashes, eczema, and acne. 
  • Remember that minerals are essential for cell function and detoxification. Moreover, you should know that mineral salts come with strong rejuvenating properties.

Risks of Halotherapy:

However, there are a few side effects of this therapy. When our nasal passages are clearing out, we may have coughing along with more mucus secretion. On the other hand, you can hardly see any skin irritation, conjunctivitis, or pink eye.

Remember that you should not try this if you have:

  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) 
  • Tuberculosis 
  • Heart problems 
  • Respiratory failure 
  • Blood disorders like anemia, hemophilia, or clotting
  • Infectious diseases 
  • Fever 
  • Open wounds 
  • Malignant diseases like cancer
  • Claustrophobia

Before you try this therapy, you need to consult with a doctor. Considering your medical condition and history, doctors will tell you whether this one suits you or not.

Although this therapy is safe for most people, no studies have been found regarding its safety. Generally, this treatment is done in a spa or wellness clinic. But in this case, you should know that the staff who stay there to help you to get the treatment are not trained to manage medical emergencies. Therefore, before taking this therapy, consider its benefits and drawbacks.

We already mentioned that this therapy is used to treat asthma. But, it can irritate the airwaves of people who have asthma. As a result, people with coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath suffer more than before. In addition, a few people said that they got headaches during halotherapy.

This therapy is complementary. That means that you can take this treatment even if you are on any medication. If necessary, inform your doctor that you want to try the therapy.

People supporting this treatment say it is safe for pregnant women and children. For example, a 2008 study says that inhaling a 3% saline solution is safe and effective for kids who have bronchiolitis. But you will not find any standardization across halotherapy clinics.

What do studies on halotherapy say?

You will find only a few studies on halotherapy. Although a few studies look promising. But most of these studies are conflicting.

Here we are going to mention a few sayings of the researchers:-

A 2007 study says that people suffering from COPD had fewer symptoms after undergoing the treatment. It says that the therapy helps to improve their health. However, the Lung Institute does not advise this treatment as medical guidelines have not been set.

A 2014 review says that studies on this topic for COPD are flawed in most cases. But a 2013 study states that this therapy could not improve the lung function or health of people with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

As per 2014 research, if you have bronchial asthma or chronic bronchitis, the treatment can trigger anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic responses.

However, research on this treatment for skin conditions or depression is anecdotal. Therefore, it indicates that it depends on an individual's personal experiences.

Who should not try salt therapy?

People who are suffering from contagious diseases, open wounds, severe hypertension, chronic kidney disease, fever, mental disorders, or active tuberculosis are not recommended to take this therapy. However, patients having asthma and other pulmonary conditions can undergo halotherapy. But remember that no certain guidelines exist for salt therapy. For example, if you have late-stage lung cancer or COPD ( chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), you should not try this. Also, remember that you should consult first with your doctor whenever you try any new treatment, mainly if you are suffering from any health conditions.

What makes salt effective?

You should know that dry salt is a good absorbent and comes with natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Once you inhale, the salt leads mucus to liquefy. As a result, it becomes simpler to dislodge and expel pathogens, debris, and pollutants.

Remember that the dry salt particles help stimulate your body's natural cilia movement. Removing mucus & dirt, cilia helps to clear airways and allow us to breathe easily. In addition, the salt helps to accelerate the procedure.

When it comes to skin, dry salt helps to absorb impurities, regulate the pH level and enhance the skin's 'good' bacteria. In addition, it can improve the skin's protective properties, decrease inflammation, and encourage natural exfoliation and regeneration.

How do you make the most of salt therapy?

It is a complementary therapy that you can use with conventional medicine. Consistency is one of the vital aspects of a healthy lifestyle.

Salt therapy is considered as a part of traditional treatment. But it is advised to talk to your GP before you undergo the treatment.

The bottom line:

Halotherapy is considered as a spa treatment for relaxation. According to some research, it helps cure depression and respiratory issues. If you want to try this therapy, you must consult with your doctor. But ensure that you follow up with them about your new symptoms after trying this therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What does salt therapy do?

It is a treatment where people breathe in the air with small salt particles so that they can improve their breathing. This therapy is an alternative treatment for asthma, bronchitis, cough, and other Lung issues. People undergo this therapy in spa-like salt rooms.

Q. Why is salt therapy good for you?

You can improve your health and mood with the help of negatively charged ions. When you inhale tiny particles of salt, these will decrease inflammation and mucus in the lungs. Moreover, halotherapy helps to improve asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus congestion, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Q. Is salt therapy proven?

You should know that inhaling concentrated salts (hypertonic saline) can irritate the airways, leading to cough and mucus. As a result, asthma will become worse for a few patients.

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