Spending time in a salt room can help alleviate symptoms like congestion and sore throat

Halotherapy cold and flu season It’s that time of year again: the dreaded cold and flu season. Both the cold and the flu, which originate from different viruses, become more prevalent when temperatures drop. Why? People often spend increased time indoors, causing these viruses to spread more easily. Furthermore, a decrease in vitamin D, due to fewer sunlight hours in winter, also impacts the immune system. Ultimately, this makes people more susceptible to catching these nasty viruses. Major symptoms of the common flu include a cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose. Common colds also afflict many with symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and chest discomfort. Scientists may be hoping that llama blood is a possible cure-all for influenza. But for now, we might have to accept that flu and cold are as inevitable as death and taxes. But what if there was an alternative that could alleviate these symptoms before the flu or cold has taken hold? Halotherapy might just be the answer.

Preventative Steps

Whatever afflicts you this season, be sure to consult your medical professional for the best road to recovery. Staying home and resting is key to feeling better once you’ve gotten sick. If you’re at the stage where you’re not quite in the throes of sickness, there are many steps you can take. Of course, washing your hands and avoiding large crowds are well-known prevention techniques. Moreover, many health professionals recommend getting the annual flu vaccination. And others argue that strengthening your immune system is a great way to bypass the viruses. If the virus is oncoming, there may also be ways to stop it in its tracks. Research suggests that taking a nice hot shower may provide relief for some of your symptoms. The same goes for breathing in menthol or eucalyptus oil from a bowl of steamy water. Both these methods share a similar principle to those of halotherapy, or salt therapy. This spa and wellness treatment encourages users to breathe healing properties deeply into their lungs. While you’re still healthy, or if you’re starting to just notice the beginning stages of a cold, you can enjoy salt therapy as a way to relieve congestion and inflammation. Just ask Vogue writer Lauren Lipton who swore that halotherapy stopped her burgeoning cold at the source.

How it Works

According to research from the New England Journal of Medicine: “Inhalation of hypertonic saline produces a sustained acceleration of mucus clearance and improved lung function. This treatment may protect the lung from insults that reduces mucus clearance and reduces lung disease.” Simply put, breathing in the saline-rich environment of a salt room clears congestion by thinning mucus blocking the airways. Salt rooms use halogenerators and water cascades to disperse rich salt ions containing nutrients and minerals into the surrounding environment. These nutrients include calcium, magnesium and potassium, and carry various healing properties that are passed on to the user. Once absorbed into the lungs, these particles make their way throughout the body. They’re great for dissolving blockages in the airways and lungs, clearing the sinuses and allowing for deeper breathing. Halotherapy has of course been credited for helping cold and flu sufferers. But it has also been recognized for alleviating symptoms in those suffering from asthma, allergies and even COPD. Furthermore, the tranquil and calming environments found in salt caves also have the added benefit of providing relaxation. And this can go a long way towards helping you improve your overall sense of wellbeing. That’s why many health and wellness centres are adding salt therapy to their list of services. It gives them the opportunity to provide a holistic wellness approach. So, before you resign yourself to the fact that these common viruses will afflict you this winter, be sure to look to solutions like halotherapy to complement your physician-prescribed healthcare routine. You might finally see some relief from this year’s cold and flu season.