What Is Salt Therapy?
Salt therapy is not a new practice, it has been in practice for ages. The difference was it was not hyped then. Recently the therapy treatment has seen a rise in popularity thanks to socialites and celebrities promoting it.
Salt therapy is also known as halotherapy. It is believed that sea salt has quite a number of benefits for health. It is said to have positive effects on asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and many other respiratory problems.
It does not just end there, salt therapy has many other benefits.
The therapy can do wonders for people who smoke. It is said to cure cough, wheezing and shortness of breath among smokers.
For people with skin diseases like acne that comes and goes but does not really go away all together will find their skin reforming after receiving salt therapy.
Depression and anxiety is something that every individual is struggling with, in this present day and age. Studies have found that salt therapy can actually help you recover from depression as it relaxes you.
The Different Methods Of Salt Therapy
There are different methods when it comes to salt therapy. There is a dry method and a wet method.
The Dry Method Or Salt Cave Treatment
The dry method involves the salt cave treatment which takes place in a salt cave. We talk more about the salt cave later on.
The temperature within the salt caves tends to be cool and generally free from any humidity. This ensures that the salts do not melt. The temperature usually lies between 20 degree Celsius or even lower.
In this salt cave treatment, they make use of a device known as a halogenerator. Now, this device grinds the pieces of salt into very tiny microscopic particles and these particles are then released into the air within the salt cave.
When you inhale these salt particles it is said to clear away mucus in your respiratory system thus allowing for air to pass freely through the airways without any blockage. This in return reduces shortness of breath and wheezing.
Some researchers also claim that the salt particles also have the property to absorb irritants thus reduces your chances of suffering from allergies.
Do you know that salts produce negative ions? These negative ions in turn cause our body to release serotonin. Serotonin is known as the happy hormone. We release serotonin when we are happy. In this way, salt cave therapy helps overcome depression and negative thoughts.
In the same way, it absorbs irritants in the respiratory system, the particles tend to absorb bacteria and other toxins from your skin thus giving you glowing clear skin, if you regularly go for salt cave therapy.
The entire session does not take too long. One session takes around 30 or 45 minutes.
Wet Methods of Salt Cave Treatment
Apart from the dry method people also tend to go for the wet method. In the wet method, usually, a combination of water and salt is used to provide treatment to ailing patients.
Gargling salt water is a very common method for treating a common cold, blocked nose and itchy ears which are all caused by cold. The treatment is especially effective if the water used is lukewarm.
Some people generally tend to drink saltwater instead of gargling. Using saltwater for bathing and nasal irrigation are also some of the common wet methods.
Filling flotation tanks with salt water is not commonly done, but it has the same benefits as gargling or drinking saltwater.
What Is Cave Salt Therapy?
There are actual cave salt rooms, even if you do not believe it. Cave salt rooms are extremely popular in Australia, Canada, the USA and Britain.
The cave salt rooms are created using salt brick walls. These salts are more compact and harder and the flooring is made with looser salt.
The salt caves can either have a fireplace or a salt lamp. The fireplace does not actually have an actual fire, but instead, several salt lamps are placed in the fireplace to emit light in the dark salt cave as there are no natural lighting sources.
Some people also tend to use the Himalayan salt lamp because Himalayan salt is known for having healing properties. But there is no concrete evidence regarding how beneficial these lamps are for one's health.
It is speculated by many that these lamps are merely for show and only provide ambience and nothing else.
The soothing glow from these lamps help calm down your nerves and this is called cave salt therapy.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Salt Cave Therapy?
Salt therapy is considered to be safe since it uses natural ingredients for treatment but studies have not been done on whether it is entirely safe or not. That question remains unanswered as of now.
There is only one research done to this day on the effect of saline water on kids with bronchitis and the study results were quite positive. Apart from this, no extensive research has been conducted on this matter.
While the therapy is said to have positive results for people suffering from respiratory diseases, some patients have complained of their condition getting worse after receiving salt therapy.
Salt therapy while safe for some asthma patients, may not be safe for others. Some even complained of getting a headache after receiving the treatment.
If you opt for this treatment, you need to keep in mind that salt therapy is meant to be a complementary treatment, that is, it is meant to work with any other medications you are taking.
If you are taking any medication, do not stop taking it without consulting your doctor first.
Research Conducted on Salt Therapy
As already mentioned above there is no concrete proof that salt therapy does work.
All the researches and findings mostly have to do with an individual's personal experience with salt therapy, which is not very reliable as it varies from person to person.
According to the most recent study which was conducted in 2014, the research conducted on salt therapy for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease) was somehow not right and have flaws.
Another 2014 report claims salt therapy actually helped in reducing the effects of allergy and asthma in people suffering from respiratory problems.
A study in 2013 showed that salt therapy had no effects on the life of patients dealing with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.
Last but not the least, in 2007 COPD patients have reported a better life and seeing some improvements after receiving salt therapy.
Despite the positive report, the Lung institute does not recommend salt therapy as a treatment for respiratory problems because as of yet there are no clear guidelines. The amount used in clinics and spas usually vary.
Where Can You Get Salt Cave Therapy?
You can look for any wellness centre or spa in your area that offers halotherapy. There are several spas that offer this treatment now due to its popularity.
In both spas and wellness clinics, no trained medics are present when this treatment takes place. So, if any emergency arises, you are on your own.
If you do not have the time and money to go to a clinic or a spa to get salt therapy, you can do it home, quite easily. There are many individuals who opt to do it home.
How to Do Salt Therapy at Home?
Do perform salt therapy at home, you need a few things.
You need a:
- Natural rock salt
- Salt machine
There are two ways to get it done at home. First, you can buy a salt machine or a salinized machine and keep it in any part of your room. It is recommended that you keep it in a room where you spend the most time.
The salinizer once turned on and be used for a total of 24 hours which is enough for you to inhale microscopic salt particles and clear the airways in your lungs.
Second, you can use an inhaler called Aerobika. Continuous use of the inhaler for 20 minutes or maybe less depending on your requirement will do the job. The inhaler is mainly useful when you want to clear away big and tougher mucus that is obstructing your respiratory system.
Performing salt therapy at home is perfectly safe. What's more, is that you get the benefits of this treatment without having to pay extra money at the spa!
The treatment has seen a rise in popularity recently because it makes you feel like you are near the ocean or the beach. The familiar scent of salty air and the salty water except you are sitting in a salt cave under a soft light emitting from the lamps.
While salt therapy is a good option to rejuvenate yourself and at the same time treat various problems, it cannot beat the actual feel of the ocean or be out in nature.
So, whenever you can, take some time off work, and step away into nature and free your mind.