What is Halotherapy and how does it work?
Halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, is an alternative treatment conducted in an enclosed environment created to mimic a naturally occurring salt cave. Salt is natural and drug free.
Pure pharmaceutical grade salt is ground into micro particles and dispersed into the treatment area by a halogenerator. The beneficial salt can then be absorbed into the respiratory system and skin by simply breathing normally.
Salt draws out moisture, breaks up mucus and stimulates the body’s natural ability to cleanse the lungs and respiratory system. Salt can absorb and remove toxins and allergens from the lungs and sinuses, and may reduce inflammation and open airway passages, often resulting in better breathing.
Salt gives off negative ions, which helps to counterbalance the many positive ions we pick up from electronic devices. Halotherapy neutralizes the atmosphere, stabilizes mood, decreases stress and prepares the body for ultimate healing. Halotherapy is a relaxing, peaceful and rejuvenating experience.
What are the benefits of Halotherapy?
Healthier skin, better breathing, sounder sleep, improved physical fitness, endurance and overall wellness have all been reported by users following Halotherapy treatment.
Halotherapy can provide symptomatic relief for adults and children with a variety of respiratory conditions including: allergies (mold, pollen, ragweed), asthma, bronchitis, bronchial infections, COPD, cold and flu, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, pneumonia, sinusitis, smoker’s cough, and wheezing. It also produces mucolytic effects. In other words, it helps to thin and loosen excessive mucus thus increasing the body’s ability to expel it. Salt can also remove pathogen agents or airborne pollen from the lungs and reduces IgE levels (high levels of IgE stimulate immune system oversensitivity).
Halotherapy can provide symptomatic relief for adults and children with a variety of skin conditions including: acne, dermatitis, dry & flaky skin, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, rosacea, skin aging, and skin inflammation.
Recreational, competitive and professional athletes seeking to breathe easier during exercise or enhance their athletic performance, endurance and recovery time through increased strength, lung function and oxygen saturation may benefit from Halotherapy.
Salt is negatively charged and attracts positively charged particles which are present in our environment. This produces a de-stressing, relaxing effect on the body and helps to center the mind.
The Origins of Halotherapy
In the beginning of the 19th century, Polish salt mine workers were observed to have particularly good health especially considering their occupation was traditionally associated with dangerous effects on health and life span. It was discovered that tiny salt particles were dispersed into the air in the mine as the workers chiseled and hammered the salt. The mine’s environment was noted to have ideal conditions of air pressure, circulation, humidity and temperature, as well. The salt miners rarely had respiratory issues and were thought to have extremely good complexions.
In 1839, Dr. Feliks Boczkowski founded the first health resort facility, and offered salt baths at the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland. In 1949, German physician, Dr. K.H. Spannahel, who had observed that during WWII people who hid in salt mines and caves during bombings experienced respiratory health benefits, suggested studying this phenomenon. His research combined with the work of Hungarian geologist, Dr. H. Kessler, laid the foundation of modern Speleotherapy, in which certain underground environments are used to treat medical conditions.
Through the years, the Wieliczka Salt Mine added salt chambers and in 1964 they created the Kinga Allergy Treatment Spa, later renamed the Kinga Health Resort Hospital, under the direction of Professor Mieczyslaw Skulimowski. He focused on treating people with respiratory issues and saw enormous success. As the treatment spread throughout Eastern Europe and Russia, the medical community embraced its efficacy and incorporated Halotherapy into patient care, requiring more convenient access to salt environments. In 1985, The Institute of Balneology in Odessa, Russia developed the first halogenerator in conjunction with Uzhgorod salt miners. This device heated, pulverized and dispersed salt particles into the air, replicating what had occurred in the mines. Halotherapy protocols and information has consistently advanced around the world ever since.
Is there research to support Halotherapy?
Yes. Halotherapy has been the subject of extensive study for over 50 years. Most of the research has been conducted in Russia and Eastern Europe, where the treatment originated, in the fields of pulmonology and rehabilitative medicine. Current research has been promising. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article on the positive efficacy of saline salt therapy in cystic fibrosis. As the therapy is gaining popularity in the US, more studies will likely be conducted here.
We belong to the prestigious World Halotherapy Association which compiles extensive scientific information regarding Halotherapy. Through our membership, we can access the data and view study results and the association will keep us apprised of updated research.
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The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. Halotherapy is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.