Halotherapy, also known as salt room therapy, is used to support respiratory health and promote overall wellness. Salt rooms became a discussion in the medical community in 1843 after physician Feliks Boczkowski noticed that salt mine workers did not have the same lung disorders that coal miners did. During WWII German doctor Karl Spannagel noticed his patients were more healthy after weeks of hiding out from bombing raids in salt mines. So why do people seem healthier after spending time in a salt room?
Salt Rooms and Your Lungs
The American Lung Association’s senior scientific advisor Dr. Norman Edelman believes the salt environment provides an allergen-free environment, allowing the lungs to relax. This can benefit those with allergies or anyone suffering from COPD or an obstructive lung disease. Furthermore, salt particles in the air can make it easier to clear the lungs from any mucus or sputum. Dr. Edelman explained “When fine salt particles are inhaled, they will fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning the mucus and making it easier to raise, thus making people feel better.”(1)
What Does It Feel Like?
Salt rooms are relaxing and calm. Most salt rooms illuminate the salt bricks while playing soothing music. The goal of sitting in a salt room is to relax and breathe deeply. You won’t feel anything on your skin or in the air, and you may not even taste any salt in the air, but it is there. Many people use the time in the salt room to meditate, sleep, or read a book. The benefits of salt room therapy that you can feel after the therapy is over are:
- Improved breathing and less allergies
- Less flare ups from psoriasis or eczema
- Improved mood and less stress
- “Happy Hormone” boost (ion exchange)
- Improved wellness
Finally, the relaxation occurring in a salt room emphasizes the beneficial effects of halotherapy. Most people in Orange County are very busy throughout their day. As a result, scheduling time to relax and benefit from the salt room prioritizes mental and emotional health.