Everything you need to know about salt therapy
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The wonders of salt therapy have been observed around the globe for centuries. But what exactly is this relaxing remedy – and how can it help you today?
What is salt therapy?
Salt therapy is a natural remedy that involves inhaling pharmaceutical-grade dry salt in a comfortable, controlled environment.
As you sit back and relax, a special medical device called a halogenerator will disperse microscopic salt particles into the room. You’ll inhale these tiny particles deep into your airways and lungs and they will also land on your skin.
Suitable for babies, children and adults, salt therapy can help soothe a long list of skin, respiratory and lifestyle conditions.
What conditions can salt therapy help?
Salt therapy can help relieve the symptoms of skin, respiratory and lifestyle conditions, including:
- Eczema & Psoriasis
- Hay Fever
- Cold & Flu
- Sleep & Snoring
- Stress, Anxiety, & Fatigue
- Sports Performance
What are the origins of salt therapy?
The benefits of salt therapy were first discovered in 1843 in Poland, where workers in underground salt mines suffered fewer respiratory issues.
By chiseling and grinding the salt, the miners produced micro-sized particles of salt that were dispersed into the air of the mine and then inhaled.
Modern salt therapy has its origins in the salt mines of Europe and Russia
In 1843, Polish physician Dr Felix Boczkowski discovered that men working in the salt mines at Wieliczka suffered fewer respiratory problems than the general population.
He attributed this to the salt aerosols being inhaled by the miners in the underground environment. As the workers were mining the salt (through chiseling, grinding and hammering at the salt), micro-sized salt particles were being disbursed into the air.
During World War II, the Klutert salt caves in the German town of Ennepetal were used as shelter against heavy bombing. People remained in the caves for prolonged periods, breathing in the salt dust. German physician Dr. K.H. Spannahel noticed that those who had taken shelter in the salt mines appeared to have experienced relief from their respiratory problems.
The use of salt mines for therapeutic purposes developed in many countries including Poland, Russia, Belarus, Romania, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
In 1980, the Odessa Science Research Institute in Ukraine developed the first Halotherapy device. The machine replicated the grinding and crushing of salt and dispersion of the particles into the air to model the conditions of an underground salt mine.
Thus, modern salt therapy (or ‘Halotherapy’) was born.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Halotherapy began emerging outside eastern Europe and is now gaining popularity across the western world as a complimentary therapy to aid respiratory and skin conditions, athletic performance and general health and wellbeing.
What makes salt effective?
Dry salt is super absorbent and has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Once inhaled, the salt causes your mucus to thin and liquefy, making it easier to dislodge and expel – along with pathogens, debris and pollutants.
Dry salt particles also gently stimulate your body’s natural cilia movement. Cilia help keep our airways clear of mucus and dirt, so we can breathe with ease. But with the help of salt, this process is accelerated. Think of salt like a toothbrush for your airways, cleaning out mucus, debris and pathogens.
For the skin, dry salt can absorb impurities, regulate the pH level and promote your skin’s ‘good’ bacteria. It improves the skin’s protective properties, reducing inflammation and encouraging natural exfoliation and regeneration.