Halotherapy, more commonly known as “Salt therapy,” is the process of surrounding oneself with Himalayan and/or sea salt to be both breathed into the lungs and absorbed through the skin. This helps with a multitude of various lung and skin issues as well as being very therapeutic to mental wellness and the immune system as a whole.
This is most often done in a salt room where a layer of salt “sand” covers the floor for you to sink your toes into while you relax in a lounger, surrounded by the calming ambiance of the stress-reducing salt lamps and decor. These salt rooms are often beautiful with their warm glow and comforting atmosphere.
The “magic” comes from the fine salt particles that are circulated through the air while you exist in this space. This fine salty air circulates into our lungs, drying up any excess mucus, reducing inflammation, building our immune system, and helping to clear and prevent infections.
Salt rooms come in either “active” or “passive.” Active salt rooms have a circulation system for their salty air. Passive salt rooms just have a lot of salt and allow the particles to find their own way into the air and your lungs. Passive salt rooms aren’t quite considered halotherapy as the salt percentage in the air is less, but some benefits can still be found in them.
Halotherapy in History
In 1800, it was noticed that Polish salt mine workers were spared from the common colds and coughs that affected not only other types of mine workers but people in the community as well. They were overall healthier than their counterparts, and people took notice.
Tourists and locals alike then began to flock to salt caves across eastern Europe to reap the benefits of breathing in the salt-rich air. They’ve been popular in these areas ever since, becoming places to vacation and visit. We’re only just now seeing them pop up in the U.S., though.
You may have heard people suggest a beach trip to help with chronic lung problems. One 45-minute halotherapy session is said to be as beneficial as 6 beach trips. This makes it incredibly time efficient before you even get into the benefits.
The salt’s ability to clear airways and reduce inflammation leaves sufferers finding relief after just one session. It can also help clear allergens from the system, making it especially useful for those who suffer from seasonal allergies.
Halotherapy has been noted to help with some skin issues as well, such as eczema and dermatitis. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory aspects of the salt, allowing reduction in redness, itching, and swelling. It also activates the body’s self-healing abilities.
Aside from the skin and lung benefits, halotherapy also boosts the immune system and relieves stress and anxiety, which provides a whole, well-rounded wellness impact that everyone can make use of, lung and skin problems or not.
Stress causes too many of our health concerns on its own. The calming, grounding effect that these salt rooms produce has made them popular in spas and wellness centers alike. So even if you’re not suffering from any ailments, they’re a great spa day option!