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New Age Healing: Salt Therapy for Respiratory Problems

Updated on September 4, 2017

Salt therapy, halotherapy or speleotherapy

Salt therapy or halotherapy is the therapeutic use of salt mines, caves or other forms of exposure to salt air.

Halotherapy seeks to replicate the conditions of speleotherapy, a treatment that has been practised in old salt mines of Eastern Europe since the early 19th century.

Salt therapy is a common treatment in eastern and central Europe, but almost unknown elsewhere until recent years.

For centuries, eastern Europeans have been visiting natural salt mines to inhale the air to treat respiratory problems. Modern developments in technology have now made it possible to simulate a natural salt cave microclimate. Many artificial salt caves have been created in the United States, Europe,Canada and several other countries.

Simulated salt caves

The Salt Cave is a special chamber that uses a state-of-the-art diffuser that quietly disperses dry saline into the atmosphere. The floors and walls of the room are covered with salt deposits (about 1 – 3 cm thickness).

The experience is designed to resemble that in the natural salt caves in Eastern Europe. However, chairs, cozy blankets, music, magazines and TVs are provided for the comfort and relaxation of the clients.

The salt cave environment, extremely low in dust, reducing irritants, allows the body to respond and try to heal itself. The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) is higher than is found in the atmosphere. This gas is non-toxic. Carbon dioxide, in suitable amounts, has been known to influence the autonomic nervous system by inducing a deeper and more intensive level of breathing. This can help with respiratory problems like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, smokers who are short of breath, asthma, sinus, infections, etc.

What conditions can be treated by Salt Therapy?

Claims have been made that the mineralized air in the Salt Cave is helpful in treating conditions such as:

  • respiratory tract illness, e.g. rhinitis and sinusitis, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic inflammation of mucous membranes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), shortness of breath, cough, and respiratory allergies
  • tonsillitis
  • hay fever
  • ear infection
  • dermatological ailments such as acne, skin inflammation, eczema, psoriasis and even ageing skin
  • allergies
  • vascular-cardiac ailments: circulatory insufficiency, post-infarction conditions, hypertension
  • cystic fibrosis
  • hypothyroidism
  • psychosomatic illnesses: neurosis, depression, exhaustion, decreased stress-resistance

Benefits of salt therapy

After several salt therapy treatments in artificial Salt Caves, you could discover:-

· Breathing has improved.

· Sneezing, coughing, or shortness of breath was less severe.

· Dosage of prescription medications may be reduced, or totally taken off medications.

· Revitalized

· General health has improved.

Where to find salt caves

The following is some of the salt cave locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland and Singapore:

Complementary to orthodox treatment

Salt therapy can be used as a complementary approach to orthodox medical treatment. It is not an instant cure but something to improve the condition.

According to Verita Advanced Wellness Centre, the salt cave is safe for both children and adults, being 100% natural and drug-free.

At Galos Spa in Chicago, patrons can even dine in a salt cave – a concept that combines New-Age healing, culinary seasoning, and mineralogical sensorium.

The Salt Cave in Tunbridge Wells, London has produced some encouraging results, although there is still much skepticism about the therapy. Medical practitioners consider salt therapy a folk remedy, even though some past research suggests there may be something to it.

Side effects and counter indications

Salt therapy has few and rare side effects. In the beginning of the therapy, a dry throat and increased coughing may result. This is because pollution that has accumulated over a long period is now being expelled from even the deepest regions of the lungs. This is a natural part of the cleansing process of the respiratory system. The side effects will cease with the removal of pollution and pathogens.

In cases of skin irritation and increased dermal sensitivity, the frequency of the therapy sessions should be decreased.

The therapy is not recommended in the following cases:

· Tuberculosis

· Fever

· Acute inflammatory diseases

· Contagious conditions

· Severe heart disorders

© 2011 pinkytoky


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    • profile image

      Laura Benes 

      10 months ago

      Salt therapy has been used in Europe and Russia since the 1800s, but it is spreading fast in North America in the past 10 years. There are 200+ salt therapy businesses in the United States, and more than 30 in Canada.

      Some salt therapy centres have salt rooms, which may be a simple clinical environment: A room with a halogenerator (machine that disperses salt into the air for inhalation). Then there are man-made salt caves built to replicate the environment in the natural salt mines. These caves are often built with thousands of pounds of salt on the floor and walls.

      Images of man-made salt caves can be found at - a cave made of 12,000 pounds of Himalayan salt in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.


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