You don’t have to be a cave miner to experience the benefits of salt therapy. But that is where we find the origins of modern-day halotherapy treatments. In the early part of the 19th Century, the workers in the Eastern European salt mines were noted to have very few respiratory issues and were even witnessing more rapidly healing injuries, and overall resistance to colds and similar ailments. Doctors in Poland concluded that it was the salt particles that were released into the cave chambers that had such a beneficial impact on the workers.
Today’s salt therapy services and environments are much more comfortable, with beautiful and creative rooms designed to offer a quiet meditative space while delivering the health benefits of pure salt particles. There are two different types of salt therapy – active and passive – that are available. The active salt room utilizes a device called a halogenerator, which crushes salt into micronized particles and circulates them throughout the room or sauna. Because they are introduced into the air, the client can more easily ingest them into the body, delivering more effective treatment. In the passive salt room, there is no halogenerator, and the salt being used is part of the design of the space. The benefits are still there in small doses but these treatment areas are more about the relaxation aspect than the use of therapeutic salt therapy.
What are the benefits? When micro-particles of salt enter the lungs they are especially effective at drawing the small irritants that cause allergies and respiratory ailments to them, building them up and expelling them. Many times after active salt therapy, clients will feel the need to blow their nose or cough out these minor blockages. The skin can also see positive results from halotherapy, since the salt particles are small enough to enter pores and absorb excess oils, bacteria, and other impurities.
While many of the physiological benefits of halotherapy are understudied by the medical community, the services have long been accepted in Europe as respiratory treatments, and are fast being adopted by complementary specialists in the US. People with allergies, chronic colds, acneic skin, asthma, and rosacea have all reported improvements in their conditions after several sessions of halotherapy.
One of the best features of salt therapy is the environment where clients can receive it. Many businesses offering halotherapy do so in beautifully appointed rooms with the signature colored salt blocks and soft lighting surrounding the client. There is sometimes an option to experience it within a sauna, which also provides heat, light, and music therapy. The service provides optimal relaxation, which aids many stress-related issues, with the added plus of the restorative and healing power of pure and natural salt.