Salt Room Therapy: A treatment for asthma, respiratory, sinusitis and skin disorders

Salt Room Therapy

Salt room therapy is the latest effective method for treating respiratory and skin problems. Though the therapy is quite popular in the West, in India it is still in its infant stage. It is basically a treatment done through salt consumption, in which we breathe in salt, instead of eating it. Let us get to know in details the salt therapy.

What is salt therapy?

Also known as Halotherapy, salt therapy is a natural treatment and is done in a controlled air medium with a salt environment. It is a treatment which is proved to be effective for treating various kinds of respiratory and skin problems. It is an ancient age-old Greek therapy that has been handed over from generations to generations from the ancient Greeks to the present age modern day doctors all over the globe. Going by the successful results, salt room therapy centres are coming up increasingly in the U.S., Europe and Canada. The treatment is known as halotherapy, after the Greek word halo, meaning salt.

What is the treatment procedure?

The salt therapy is done in a room, which is usually referred as the salt room. The room is coated with salt crystals and the whole room is filled with salt-laden air. Salt grains are often scattered a few inches deep on the floor. Basically, the salt rooms are designed like naturally occurring salt caves in Eastern Europe. The patient is made to sit on a lounge chair inside the room, relax and breathe in the salt air. For children, usually the treatment is by allowing them to play in the room. The right setting up of the room’s temperature along with the right air quality, humidity and salt particles pave the way for an effective treatment of respiration and skin disorders. Inhaling salt helps in clearing the lungs and purifying the skin of the patient.

Used in the treatment of

Doctors say that salt room therapy has proved to be helpful in treating skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, rashes and different respiratory ailments, such as colds, asthma, allergies, sinusitis and bronchitis. It has also found to be effective in treating sleeping disorders, stress/anxiety, cough, viral infections etc. In fact, breathing in salt can help cure a lot of modern ailments that arise due to pollution and stress. Salt room therapy is also referred as salt spas in the Western countries because many of them opt for this therapy for relaxation ad overall cleansing of the body and skin.

Is the salt room therapy really effective?

Till a few years ago, there was no scientific evidence of this therapy. In 2006, in New England Journal of Medicine, a report was published of a study in which it was found that the condition of 24 patients, who had earlier breathing problems with chronic endocrine and lung condition, cystic fibrosis, improved after inhaling salt-infused vapour. In another journal, European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, there was another report of improvement in the conditions of asthma patients after several weeks of regular halotherapy treatments. Also, as a part of natural treatment procedure, it is a known fact that the best way to get the sinuses clear is to put salt in. This is because salt draws out water and has antimicrobial properties, which help in suppressing bacteria and fungus.

Breathing in salt helps in clearing the nasal passage and the lungs by drawing water into airways, thinning mucus and improving the function of small hairs that help clearing the mucus out of the lungs. According to doctors, in higher concentrations, salt room therapy can help in skin conditions and cleansing.

How long is the treatment process?

According to medical experts, whether salt room theory can provide a permanent solution to respiratory or skin problems is still not clear but 10 to 20 sessions in a salt room can definitely provide long-term benefits from 6 months to a year.

Side effects

It is always advisable that patients with serious lung issues should consult doctors before going for a salt room therapy. So far no major side effects have been reported. But there can be cases of mild irritation to the skin and eyes, and scratchiness in the throat, which makes the patient feel very thirsty but it goes away after drinking water.