Salt therapy aka Halotherapy, though an age-old treatment concept is very much relevant even today with medical experts championing its amazing benefits. More importantly, this therapy has made a great comeback as a popular wellness trend helping in strengthening respiratory functions. Early human civilization was able to tap the healing properties of salt. In the 12th century, back in Polish civilization, a halo therapy spa resort existed as revealed from the records.
Even at the dawn of civilization, folks used to retreat in salt caves and spent hours to feel great simply breathing in the fine-grained salt that floated in the air. The evolution of the beneficial impact of halo therapy gradually spread across the corners of the globe making the concept a favorite wellness treatment down the history across the continents that had human settlements.Even today an alternate form of medical treatment, namely the salt therapy exists with millions of users getting health benefits from it.
Why we are seeing a resurgence of Halotherapy?
While we love to pamper our body and soul in a day in spa, what about taking care of our lungs?
- Chronic respiratory diseases is a serious healthcare burden making it the third leading cause of deaths in 2017.
- 334 million people suffer from asthma which is a common chronic childhood disease affecting 14% of children worldwide, and the number is increasing.
- Millions die from pneumonia each year, a leading cause of global mortality found in very young and the elderly.
- 91% of the global population breathe poor quality air surpassing the WHO recommended limits.
- Emerging viral contagions are posing serious threats to lung health calling for special lung rehabilitation modalities.
In the given scenario, the resurgence of Halotherapy as a preventative and rehabilitation treatment seems to be quite obvious. Notable European Spas have been curating special lung rehabilitation therapies adopting non-conventional modalities of Halotherapy, Balneotherapy, Climatotherapy, and all.
Several studies conducted past decade could not conclude about the direct benefits of this therapy, it has been mainly based on personal experiences. But, according to American Lung Association, it could be something more than the placebo effect as it is possible inhaling salt can relieve some symptoms of obstructive respiratory disease and make people feel better.
Due to the absence of evidence-based findings, there are no fixed treatment guidelines to be followed by the clinic. However, it should be ideally done under the supervision of a certified professional after due physician consultation.
What is trending in Halotherapy?
The Global Wellness Institute has explored certain trends in Halotherapy especially in the wake of raging contagion that has left many recovered patients with dysfunctional respiratory system.
- With touchless therapy gaining popularity, halotherapy is a great choice of other spa treatments.
- As optimizing space utilization in Spas becomes a new norm, halotherapy is finding in combo treatment modalities with infrared spa.
- Halotherapy at home is getting more acceptance with the shifting trends of consumer behavior.
- The growing concern of respiratory hygiene at home or in outdoors has created the demand for Halotherapy on the go with portable devices showing up in the market place.
- As the focus of wellness consumers on healthy lungs grows even while travel, the hospitality sector, even bit late, has started including halotherapy in its wellness menu.
- Global demand of halotherapy is likely to shoot up in countries with high pollution levels which cause severe respiratory distress to millions.
- Tech innovations are likely to lower the equipment costs broadening the scope of adoption in the market.
Salt therapy application in healing:
Mainly to treat:
– Eczema and Dermatitis.
– A host of allergies.
90% of halotherapy facilities in the world are in the US which accounts for only 4% of the global population. Countries like India and China sheltering 36% of the global population have disastrous levels of air pollution where halotherapy centers are yet to pick up growth.
However, with the untiring efforts of two eminent souls Helen and Keith Tong, quantum doctors, salt therapy found a firm ground in the west when they set up a wellness centre in Burnaby, Canada in January2016.
Instead of salt caves, modern halo therapy centers are of course custom designed in the shape of artificial salt caves and mounds. These chambers with healing salt formations are called Speloetherapy rooms built out of blocks of salt with air filtering systems installed. Some rooms have a full coating of salt on the wall.
With Speloetherapy coming in vogue one can draw in all the beneficial effects of spending some time in a salt cave all simulated in modern times that can give you a feel in an environment that existed way back in the Stone Age.Speloetherapy rooms are hard to come across as the huge salt formations are not easy to get. They take time to accumulate.
In the Slovakia and Belarus, the concept of halotherapy has taken a step ahead keeping the customer comfort in view.There are spacious lounges in Spas where chairs are installed. As the customers relax in the lounge, aerosols spray travel through the air and directly get inhaled into the lungs. This is an immensely beneficial breathing session that happens under the instruction of experts.
How Halotherapy acts?
The salt laced air jet makes its way through the affected areas of the respiratory tract. The probable mechanism of the beneficial impact of breathing salty air is that the stream of saline air mitigates lung inflammation resolving lung related issues. Another school of medical thought propounds that it smoothens up muscle tissue and helps loosen the mucous. Salt therapy fortifies your immune system, and after going through a salt induced air breathing session most of the customers admit that their breathing process has improved.
Halotherapy beyond the salt cave
What if there are no salt caves near you? Won’t you be able to avail of this therapy? Halotherapy involves the ionization of fine salt particles that enter into your air passage and clear it. Inhaling sea breeze is also good option for halotherapy where you always get to inhale fresh ionized salt.
Modernized versions of Halotherapy in specific spas and centers use specific halogenators that induce the ionization process. They come with varied mechanisms but the purpose remains the same – ionization of the salt particles. Natural salt caves no doubt remains the best option as this ionization happens naturally.
As vouched by mine workers and refugees while going on a hideout during WWII for salt therapy, they recalled that time spent in salt caves improved their breathing and overall respiratory health. Inhaling salty air had turned into a passion among the Russians and East Europeans. Tests reveal that after inhaling salt charged air for 40 minutes a day for 2 weeks asthma symptoms fell by 34 % among asthma patients.
-The asthma patients find this to be an amazing boon. After a session on halo therapy they turn less dependent on their inhalers.
-Even the frequency and intensity of seasonal allergies have been reported largely mitigated among patients going through a spell of halo therapy.
-Salt therapy is applied also for cleaning nasal cavity of customers.
-It helps eliminate several throat infections especially when you are suffering from the step virus.
-Gurgling with salt water and saline irrigation help correct your respiratory disorders. They are also used for treating colonic and gynecological disorders.
Salt chamber treatment is just a modern replica of spending time in ancient salt caves. The package typically comes with a price tag of around USD 45 for a session of 40 minutes spent in a halo therapy salt chamber. Its worth a try compared to the expense deal huh? However, prolonged salty air breathing doesn’t have any harmful side effects. At the worst it might give you a couple of salty coughs.
So much of recommendations for salt; this natural compound must have some medicinal properties to reckon. Here they are:
– It is antibacterial.
– It is anti-inflammatory.
– It induces Mucolytic effect. It thins out the thick and sticky mucus body and accelerates mucociliary transport.
– It eliminates pathogen agents.
– It mitigates Ige level (a measure of immune system oversensitivity)
Salt therapy with deep rooted healing history has miraculous effects in curing chronic respiratory diseases and allergies. Worth giving a try.
Halotherapy at home – is it feasible?
At-home halotherapy room or booths
It is not that remotely impossible to enjoy halotherapy at home where you can create a special salt room or custom-built booth. Everything depends upon your requirements. If one or more than one family members suffer from chronic respiratory conditions and your finance permits, taking a Halotherapy session at home would be worth instead of visiting a spa for the purpose. It would also spare you from sharing spaces with other clients who might be carrying some contagious infections.
You can install pre-fabricated salt-therapy beds or salt-therapy boxes which can easily fit in a comparatively smaller space in a spare room or outdoor space. Salt-booths are almost similar to a stand-alone sauna fit for two persons taking halotherapy at a time. Custom-built portable salt rooms will not allow you enough flexibility and you need to find out the right size to fit your allocated space.
You can plan, design and build your own halotherapy room with guidance from experts. It will need a substantial investment, and is suitable only if you and other members of the family need frequent salt therapy sessions.
Make sure at home Halotherapy room uses a halogenator. This can only replicate the benefits of salt therapy caves. Else a room lined with Himalayan salt bricks and panels won’t be that effective. It will just leave a thick coat of natural salt on your skin which is not recommended. At home salt therapy room should be air-tight with natural ventilation, humidity controls and advanced air purification systems in place to ensure treatment efficacy and safety.
Lighting Himalayan Salt lamps
Himalayan Salt Lamps are highly used for wellness enhancement treatments as it is said to purify and deodorize air, reduce stress, and drive in some mind-soothing aesthetic value. It is an affordable option but not the right tool for Halotherapy. It can produce the beneficial negative ions of the salt particles only when it is heated to 1500° F which is not feasible as at home halotherapy.
This device somewhat mimics the function of a salt cave by releasing tiny salt particles in the air but is not as effective as a halogenator. You can use it as for home treatments, however, experts warn of using pharmaceutical grade sodium chloride with 99.5 percent purity.Using saline solution is not dry salt therapy and cannot fall into the category of Halotherapy.
Several attractively designed pocket-sized halotherapy devices have entered the market. They promote as functioning like a halogenator with similar efficacy of a commercial salt cave. Many of these devices carry a packet of salt which when placed on a table or the floor disperse salt aerosol. Devices with salt solution create a mist in the open space. Some have Himalayan salt blown with a fan fitted in the device. However, there are no independent studies to affirm the efficacy of these devices.
If a salt therapy cave is beyond your reach, you may avail similar efficacies with a properly designed halogenator-installed salt therapy spa. Controlled salt concentration and particle size is crucial for Halotherapy. It is advised to check the recommended standards established by the Salt Therapy Association before reaching out to a salt spa or installing a at home salt therapy booth.