Treatment of The Month: Salt Therapy
Salt therapy (halotherapy) is a natural therapy, which uses medical technology to reproduce the environment of a salt cave. It emits fine particles of dry salt aerosol and has proved to be an effective treatment for respiratory illnesses, coughs and colds and skin conditions in adults and children. It is preventative healthcare and works in a natural, drug-free way.
Salt therapy is not a new practice – it was used for similar purposes by the ancient Greeks, and is widely used today in various parts of the world. Speleotherapy (using natural salt caves) is practised in Russia and Europe and involves patients spending two to three hours in a salt mine or cave over a period of several months to gain the full health benefits. In 1989 an artificial method of salt therapy using controlled environmental conditions (the indoor salt cave) was introduced in Russia. The first salt cave opened in the UK in 2009.
What Medical Conditions Can Salt Therapy Treat?
Numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the health benefits of salt therapy. It has been proven effective in treating various respiratory and skin conditions in adults and children, including:
- ear infection
- hay fever
- respiratory allergies
- cystic fibrosis
- eczema and dermatitis
- repeat viral infections
- cystic fibrosis
- snoring – helps to clear nasal passages
The Salt Cave in Wandsworth, South London
The UK’s first indoor salt cave is based in Wandworth, London. It uses a microclimate halo generator to reproduce the natural climate of a salt cave. The room has salt on the floor, ceiling and walls for hygiene purposes, and fine salt particles make the room comfortable and relaxing to sit in. Unlike a natural salt cave, the indoor cave is a controlled environment – the aerosol particle size, temperature and humidity level, which means it is highly effective in shorter doses. The fine particles of salt penetrate deep into the lungs.
How Salt Therapy Works
A salt cave therapy session involves sitting in the room for an hour and listening to calming music. Being relaxed and breathing normally enables the fine salt particles to clear the lungs and nasal passageways. Negatively charged ionized fine salt particles travel through the respiratory system to the root of the lungs. This helps the body to get rid of impurities through coughing or via the bloodstream. It destroys bacteria and viruses that create respiratory conditions. Salt Cave UK describe the therapy as a “bronchial brush” for the airways.
Clinical studies have shown that inhaling the salt particles can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract; absorbing oedema (swelling) caused by fluid in the tissues, and can help free blockages in the bronchial area. This helps the body to get rid of allergens and residual tar in the lungs, which is good news for smokers and ex-smokers.
Regular sessions will clear a patient’s respiratory system, reduce reliance on medication, and reduce asthma attacks. The first session is free and several are recommended to gain maximum benefits, depending on the condition being treated. Results can be seen within a week to a month.
Salt Therapy for Children
Children are highly receptive to this type of therapy. They need help to clear toxins and viruses because their lungs do not fully develop this ability until around the age of nine. Studies have found that 85-95% of children have no symptoms of respiratory illness after three sessions of salt therapy. The Salt Cave in London has a play area with stuffed toys, books, a rocking horse and playpen to create a normal play environment for children.
Salt therapy is a natural way of treating respiratory and skin conditions, which can benefit adults and children alike. It targets the root source of the problem by penetrating the deepest area of the lungs rather than simply treating or masking the symptoms. It is relaxing to receive and good for the nervous system. It calms and relaxes the body, aids concentration, and helps cancels out the effects of WiFi and electromagnetic technology at work and at home.
Salt therapy can also help reduce and prevent snoring – an added bonus in the bedroom, too.