What is halotherapy?
Halotherapy, or therapy with dry salt, is an effective, natural treatment in which pharmaceutical-grade salt is aerosolized into salt room, creating a microclimate that helps treat respiratory and skin conditions.
How does salt therapy work?
When you breathe in specialy prepared salty air, molecules enter the airways of your lungs to break down and release negative ions. The negative ions stimulate the linings of your airways, clearing mucous while boosting your immune response to pathogens. When the negative ions reach your bloodstream, they are said to produce biochemical reactions that boost serotonin levels. When salty aerosol reacts with the skin, resolves a variety of skin conditions. The particles of sodium chloride aerosol penetrate deeply into the respiratory tract where they enhance immune defense and provide bronchodrainage, bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory effect. A stable hypoallergenic, hypobacterial environment is maintained in the therapeutic room.
The assessment of the microbial contamination during a session of halotherapy proves that 1m3 contains from 90 – 200 saprophytic microorganisms (according to WHO standards on air sterility, 1m3 should contain less than 300 microbial bodies). Microflora content returns to its initial level 10-20 minutes after the session is completed.
During halotherapy session, you sit in a salt room. Usually salt rooms are decorated with salt plaster or with himalayan bricks. It is very calming environment.
It is recommended that you take a few deep breaths during therapy. You can expect mucosal activation during therapy, so it is recommended to have handkerchiefs with you. It often happens that you fall asleep during therapy and wake up as reborn.
What respiratory conditions does halotherapy treat?
Halotherapy helps alleviate symptoms of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, frequent colds, hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, smokers’ cough, damage from smoking, and upper respiratory disorders.
Salt therapy is great for anyone who relies on their lungs for performance – athletes, singers, and everyone in between.
What skin conditions does halotherapy help?
Halotherapy is great for acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
Are there any other benefits of halotherapy?
Salt therapy helps tackle inflammation, as well as mental lethargy, seasonal affective disorder, stress and depression, including postpartum depression. It can also help with insomnia, ear infections and snoring relief.
While most of the known and reported benefits of halotherapy are for the lungs and skin, the beneficial effects of negative ions on mental well-being are of particular interest in psychiatrist. Negative ions, such as that produced during a halotherapy session, have been shown to increase mental clarity and mental well-being. The negative ions bond and neutralize the positive ions that are abundant in our busy city-dwelling lifestyle, which tends to cause mental fatigue and inflammation. Negative ions have been described as a natural antidepressant.
With reduced free radicals (or positive ions) in our system, inflammation decreases and there is a relaxing effect in the body which normalizes breathing rate, decreases blood pressures and relieves tension. There are several studies that indicate Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression in the winter months, can be effectively treated with halotherapy and light therapy. It’s akin to taking a trip to the beach!
Research showed positive ions can create anxiety, irritability and a hyper-serotonin state, whereas the negative ions, such as those created during halotherapy, can neutralize the anxiety and irritability by normalizing serotonin levels which potentially improves one’s mental outlook, mood and sleep. Additionally, a “clarity effect” has been described when talking about the benefits of negative ions and the brain, which describes improved mental concentration and performance.
Is salt therapy safe?
Salt therapy is a natural treatment and very safe. There are no known side effects associated with salt therapy. Sometimes after a session, you might experience a little tickle in your throat, which is the body’s natural way of clearing toxins from your body.
Can children use salt therapy?
Yes! Kids often respond to salt therapy more quickly than adults, and since it’s natural, there are no known side effects of salt therapy. We ask that an adult accompany their child(ren) at all times.
Who shouldn’t use salt therapy?
Those who are coughing up blood, or if you’re at risk for it, should not use the salt room. Others who should avoid salt therapy include: those with pulmonary insufficiency, acute or severe disease of other organs (unless you have clearance from your physician) and children under 6 months.
How long are these sessions?
Halotherapies are typically 20 – 30 minutes for children and 40-60 minutes for adults in duration and are private. The concentration of salt is adjusted for your specifications.
What are some studies that prove salt therapy is effective?
Halotherapy reports its birthplace in St. Petersburg, Russia with Alina Chervinskaya, M.D. conducting research and observations in her patients. A lot of research has been conducted in Europe where is it a popular form of natural treatment.
How many sessions are necessary to achieve benefits?
Halotherapy offers the best results when practiced regularly. The benefits are cumulative and consistency and frequency is the key. Those with chronic issues will benefit greatly by visiting salt rooms at least 3-4 times a week.
Those who want to incorporate salt therapy into their regular wellness routine would benefit from a weekly session. Halotherapy is safe to use on a daily basis, if desired.