Salt Therapy: How It Benefits Breathing, Plus the Skin & Immune System

What Is Salt Therapy?

Salt therapy comes in several forms that can be divided into two main categories: wet salt therapy or dry salt therapy.

Wet salt therapy includes the use of neti pots, salt centric gargling mixtures, salt scrubs, soaking in salt water baths and internal salt water flushes.

What is dry salt therapy? It’s a form of salt therapy in an environment that has no moisture or humidity. Dry salt therapy takes place in a space that is often referred to as a “salt cave,” but a salt spa might also call it their “salt therapy room.”

Dry salt therapy is also called halotherapy or speleotherapy. According to the Salt Therapy Association, speleotherapy takes place below the Earth’s surface in naturally occurring salt caves and mines. Halotherapy, on the other hand, is a form of dry salt therapy that uses man-made salt caves created through the use of a halogenerator that disperses a dry salt aerosol into the salt “cave” or room. So with both forms of salt cave therapy, you are breathing in salty air but speleotherapy is naturally occurring salt while halotherapy uses natural salt that is pumped into a man-made environment. (2)

Other forms of dry salt therapy include salt inhalers and salt lamps. These forms of salt therapy at home are easy to do and not too pricey.

What is a salt inhaler? How do you use a salt inhaler? A salt inhaler, also called a salt pipe, is a small, ceramic device that you fill with with pink Himalayan salt crystals. To use the inhaler, you put your mouth on the mouthpiece and deeply inhale through your month. A salt inhaler is used as an alternative therapy for respiratory concerns.

So how does a salt lamp work? A real Himalayan salt lamp is a solid block of Himalayan salt that has been hand-carved and in the hollowed-out center is a light bulb that gives off both light and heat. Since salt is hygroscopic (attracts water molecules), it can attract water molecules along with any indoor air pollutants like mold, bacteria and allergens. When the water vapor meets the salt lamp surface, the pollutants are believed to remain trapped within the salt. Just beware of the salt lamp hoax and learn how to spot real (Himalayan salt lamp) vs fake salt lamps.
How Does Salt Therapy Work?

The main idea behind all salt therapy is that by coming in contact with salt — through some form of wet or dry salt therapy — you can enhance your health and well-being. Salt water soaks and salt room therapy are also known for being highly relaxing and stress-reducing.

So why can salt therapy have positive effects on the body? According to the Lung Institute, salt has some incredible properties including: (3)

Antibacterial
Anti-inflammatory
Loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucociliary transport
Removes pathogens (ie., airborne pollen)
Reduces IgE level (immune system oversensitivity)

4 Major Benefits of Salt Therapy

What are the benefits of salt therapy?
1. Respiratory Ailments

The theory behind dry salt therapy and its ability to improve respiratory problems is that the salt helps to decrease inflammation and open up airway passages while helping to get rid of allergens and toxins from the respiratory system.

According to the Salt Therapy Association, many people who make halotherapy a part of their “wellness routine” may find relief from several respiratory health conditions including:

Asthma
Allergies
Bronchitis
Common cold
COPD
Cystic fibrosis
Ear infections
Sinusitis
Smokers cough

The Salt Therapy Association also points out that “for respiratory conditions low concentration and gradual administration of dry salt and consistency of the sessions are the key elements for successful results.” (4)

Is there any science to back this all up? A double-blind, controlled, pilot study published in 2017 looked at the effects of halotherapy on young children (ages 5–13 years) with a clinical diagnosis of mild asthma who were not receiving any anti-inflammatory therapy.

Twenty nine children had 14 sessions of halotherapy in salt room with a halogenerator over the course of seven weeks while the other 26 were put in a salt room without a salt halogenerator. The group that received halotherapy exhibited a “statistically significant improvement” in bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) and overall, the researchers conclude that a salt room with halogenerator may have some beneficial effects in mild asthmatic children. (5)

Multiple studies also demonstrate the positive effects of halotherapy on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as chronic bronchitis and asthma. Improvements in lung function and decreases in blood pressure have specifically been observed. (6, 7, 8)

Another example of salt therapy benefiting respiratory problems is a 2008 study which found that inhaling a three percent saline solution is a safe and effective form of treatment for infants with bronchiolitis, a common lung infection in young children and infants. (9)
2. Skin Conditions

Making dry salt therapy a regular practice is said to possibly help people with various skin conditions including: (10)

Acne
Aging
Dermatitis
Dry, flaky skin
Eczema
Itching

Source from https://draxe.com/salt-therapy/

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