Halotherapy – Salt Therapy in Infrared Saunas

What is Salt Halotherapy?

“Halotherapy, a Greek word meaning salt, is a form of alternative medicine practiced for centuries, which uses diffused airborne salt to cleanse respiratory conditions. This can be in salt caves or by use of a Halogenerator to reproduce the natural climate by diffusing the fine mineral dust in a confined space.


Man-made caves typically use Himalayan salt or minerals from the Dead Sea.

 

What is a Halogenerator?

“A Halogenerator is an instrument which diffuses the salt, consisting of negative chloride ion and positive sodium ion, into a confined space. Through breathing, the molecules will enter the lungs and release the negative ions into the moist airways. This attracts excess mucous and fights bacterial infections.

Healing Heat Therapy HalogeneratorMost of us have grown up believing that adding salt to food is dangerous and bad for our blood pressure. So it may surprise us to learn that breathing it in may be beneficial for us due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial characteristics.

Jacuzzi® Clearlight infrared saunas has added a very high quality Halogenerator to its product line up.  It can be hung on the inside wall of a sauna or used in any other small confined space – even your vehicle.  It is expensive, yet much less than the cost of many others.

If you contact Clearlight to ask about this, I suggest first reading our complete in depth Jacuzzi sauna review to become more familiar with their products and what to ask when you call them.  Jacuzzi Clearlight sauna is a top rated brand for many reasons and it is the brand of sauna we have in our home.

Despite being far from universally accepted as a scientifically proven fact, this is becoming a popular therapy. Studies have shown improvement in respiratory symptoms while some medical health experts have called Halotherapy an unproven treatment and attribute many of the improvements to the placebo effect.

 

Does Halotherapy Really Help?

“Salt Therapy does appear to be beneficial.  Respiratory sufferers do experience some degree of relief from symptoms.   Salt particles are inhaled and settle on the airways drawing in water. This action thins the mucous making it easier to expel and can relive some allergy suffering as well.


One advisor to the American Lung Association recently had this to add:

Salt Therapy in Sauna

Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the American Lung Association, suggests that potentially, it could be more than just a placebo effect. Most people with obstructive lung disease such as asthma or COPD cough sputum (a thick mixture of saliva and mucus), and trying to bring it up can be distressing. (Think about the last time you had bronchitis, for instance.) Dr. Edelman suggests that it’s possible that salt therapy offers relief to these symptoms.

“When fine salt particles are inhaled, they will fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning the mucous and making it easier to raise, thus making people feel better,” said Dr. Edelman. “Also, these environments are allergen-free and thus good for people with allergies affecting their lungs.” Promising or Placebo? Halo Salt Therapy: Resurgence of a Salt Cave Spa Treatment | American Lung Association

 

What Are the Benefits of a Salt Room?

The inhaled dry salt particles attract excess mucous in the lungs, reducing inflammation. Respiratory conditions including allergies, asthma, bronchitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) have been shown to improve.

 

Can Salt Therapy be Harmful?

Salt Therapy appears to be safe for adults and children. No harmful effects have surfaced in normal use or Halotherapy studies. In natural salt cave environments, miners and others have been found to have improvements in respiratory conditions. Man made caves often have separate adult caves and child caves.

Just how popular has it become? The cave in Williamsburg Virginia, one of the first in the US, was started by Agnieszka Drygala .  He imported 15 tons of the mineral to create the mineral rich environment as expalined in the following article:

 

Salt Cave Asheville NC

There are close to 200 salt rooms or beds in the U.S. Some facilities offer massage and other treatments in the rooms so you can literally “recharge” from two treatments in one.

Spa packages include unlimited monthly visits and children’s rooms. Testimonials from clients support the health claims and many say they have less need for inhalers and decongestants.

Similar to a meditation session, you breath deeply while listening to calming music and focusing on the natural beauty of the salt crystals. The pure environment is precisely balanced with 40 to 50 percent humidity and 70 to 75 degrees F temperatures. The average service costs $25 to $45 and lasts 45 minutes. Benefits of Salt Therapy | Organic Spa Magazine

 

The Organic Spa Magazine goes on to share information of another cave and spa in Asheville, NC that surrounds you with over 20 tons of mineral crystals.

 

What is a Salt Room Session?

A salt room session is a scheduled time in a natural or man-made salt cave utilizing Halotherapy a natural, drug free therapy that improves respiratory and skin conditions, sleep and overall wellness. A session can also be at home utilizing a Halogenerator in a confined space.


 

Is Salt Therapy Good for COPD?

Modern spas have begun offering halotherapy, called salt therapy.  This involves breathable salt particles intended to improve respiratory conditions including lung conditions like COPD and asthma. In 1843, Feliks Boczkowski noted the benefits while treating miners in the Wieleczka Salt Mines and is considered the father of our modern Halotherapy.

While the therapy dates back to ancient Greece, Feliks Boczkowski was credited with first documenting the effects on patients.  Feliks was a Polish medical doctor who noticed his patients from the Wieleczka Mines did not suffer from the same lung problems that workers in other mines experienced.

It appears to be effective in treating more than the respiratory system, flu and sinus problems.  As the air borne molecules contact the skin they appear to treat ailments including eczema, psoriasis and acne.

 

How Much Does Salt Therapy Cost?

A salt session will range from $20 to $60, depending on the size of the cave or sauna. A typical Halogenerator can cost $6500, and is considered an expensive investment. One top rated infrared sauna company has added a top quality halogenerator for much less at $2500.

 

Are Salt Caves Safe During Pregnancy?

Salt therapy would normally be safe at any stage of a pregnancy.  One session of 45 minutes is equivalent to 3 days at a salt water beach.  This is as safe as breathing in air at the beach and safer than medication for respiratory illnesses.  However, we recommend discussing this with your physician.

An article from popular healthline website had this to say as it reflected on the apparent rise in attention to this therapy:

Salt lamp for Salt Therapy

The origins of halotherapy date back to the medieval era. But researchers only recently started studying its potential benefits.

The salt particles are said to have a similar effect on your skin by absorbing bacteria and other impurities responsible for many skin conditions.

Salt is also said to produce negative ions. This theoretically causes your body to release more serotonin, one of the chemicals behind feelings of happiness. Many people use Himalayan salt lamps to get the benefits of negative ions at home. However, there’s no evidence that these lamps have any benefit other than adding ambience.

Science hasn’t caught up with the halotherapy hype yet. There are few studies on the topic. Some studies have shown promise, but most research is inconclusive or conflicting. Halotherapy: Uses, Benefits, and Risks

 

We agree with healthline that the mineral lamps may simply be for ambiance.  And there is now a lot of hype surrounding this idea which is not new but is certainly gaining in popularity.

While we at Healing Heat Therapy have not personally tried this form of therapy, it has enough support to show promise in helping sinusitis and related sinus infections.  Clearlight, a company that for over two decades has provided the best of infrared therapy to its sauna customers, has recently added a Halogenerator.  The company has shown such dedication to innovation and the highest quality standards that we think it does warrant a consideration.

 

images courtesy of:

lung .org

organicspamagazine .com

healthline .com