What is Salt Therapy?

Speleotherapy, or salt therapy, is a natural, drug-free and non-invasive form of holistic alternative therapy. It can be administered in either wet or dry methods.

Dry salt therapy, also known as halotherapy is the process of inhaling micron-sized, negatively ionized salt particles in a temperature and humidity controlled microclimate that is antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.

Wet salt therapy involves treatment methods involving salt crystals that have been dissolved in water.

Both methods have been shown to improve respiratory conditions, skin conditions, reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and offer a host of other health benefits.

Benefits of Salt Therapy

Recently we’ve written several articles that show how salt therapy can profoundly benefit various health conditions, including respiratory diseases and skin conditions — and we’ve provided the clinical studies backing up these claims.

Specifically, salt therapy has been proven to relieve symptoms of colds and flu, allergies, asthma, COPD (Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema), Cystic Fibrosis, skins conditions like Eczema and Psoriasis, boost immune function, and even promote anti-aging.

In this article we will discuss the various types of salt therapy, and how you can implement these practices from the comfort of your own home.

See related article by Andrea Lozoya (Porch.com):
How to create your own at-home spa: expert advice

Halotherapy, Salt Lamps, and Salt Rooms

Some of the more common forms of salt therapy that you may have heard of include salt baths, the use of salt lamps, and parttaking in halotherapy sessions at a Salt Room.

Today we are going to look at methods of salt therapy that you can do exclusively at home.

At-Home Salt Therapy Options

Wet Salt Therapy can be administered via:

  • Use of a saline nasal spray, or a saline solution that is evaporated into the air and breathed in.
  • Use of a neti pot for nasal irrigation.
  • Gargling with salt water.
  • Saltwater Flush.
  • Soaking in a salt bath.
  • Use of a detox dome.

Dry Salt Therapy at home can be administered via:

Taking a Salt Bath

How to take a salt bath
How to take a salt bath
The proper way to take a salt bath is to first clean and prep by taking a shower. The idea is to clean your skin of dirt and oils, and also to remove perfume, soap residue, or conditioner that could throw off the composition of your bath.

Fill your tub with relatively warm water — the warmer the water, the easier for the salt to dissolve.

You want to add anywhere from 2.5 lbs (1 kg) to 4 lbs (2 kg) of bath salt into the tub. Common choices are Sea Salt, Pink Himalayan salt, or Epsom Salt.

It’s important not to add soap, shampoo, bath bombs, bath bubbles or anything else that will counteract the rejuvenating effects of the bath salt. The only exception to this rule is essential oils such as eucalyptus oil or lavender oil — you can add upto 3 drops to your bath as it fills with water, and these can enhance your bath experience and soothe your skin as well.

A soak for 20 to 30 minutes, about once per week is ideal to start. Once you get used to them, you can take a salt bath up to 3 times per week.

Using a Neti Pot

Using a Neti Pot
Using a Neti Pot
A neti pot is a nasal irrigation system, or simply a small ceramic pot that holds a salt water solution, which allows you to draw in a salt solution through each nostril, in order to detox and flush out toxins and mucus from your nasal passages, and reduce inflammation.

You can use a neti pot up to twice per day.

As an important safety precaution, Global News suggests using only distilled, sterile or previously boiled water in the salt solution used to rinse sinuses.

Saline Nasal Spray

Similar to a neti pot, a saline nasal spray is just an easier and simpler method to coat your sinus cavities with the saline mist. Some people prefer this method as it’s simpler, and doesn’t require that you boil water to prepare the salt solution as you would for a neti pot. Simply spray into each nostril while taking in a deep breath.

Gargling with Salt Water

This may seem relatively simple, but it works wonders if you suffer from a scratchy or sore throat, due either to a bacterial or viral infection.

The Mayo Clinic recommends mixing 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt into 4 to 8 ounces (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of warm water, then gargle with the solution for 30 seconds (then spit it out). Repeat as necessary.

A report on WebMD via Sorana Segal-Maurer, MD, chief of the Dr. James J. Rahal Jr. Division of Infectious Disease at New York Hospital Queens states, in reference to gargling with salt water:

“You’re creating a high-salt barrier and you’re pulling out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat area, so you’re washing the virus out. The salt functions as a magnet for water. It’s good for symptomatic relief. And you end up swallowing some of it, so it’s sort of helping you with dehydration as well.”

The Saltwater Flush

A saltwater flush involves drinking a solution of warm water and non-iodized salt. This method is a short term therapy only, and should not be used on a regular basis.

Healthline reports that drinking warm salt water can have a detoxification effect, and a laxative effect, and can help with constipation or bowel irregularities.

Warm salt water is a natural diuretic, and will dehydrate the body. During the process of removing fluids through the digestive, endocrine and urinary systems, toxins are flushed from the body.

To perform a saltwater flush (typically done first thing in the morning):

  1. Dissolve two teaspoons of non-iodized salt (such as Pink Himalayan salt, or sea salt) in one quart (four cups) of warm water.
  2. Add lemon juice to improve the taste, if desired.
  3. Drink the mixture as quickly as possible on an empty stomach.

Note: Be aware of the risks and warnings, before performing a saltwater flush.

Using a Salt Lamp

Using a salt lamp
Using a salt lamp
Probably one of the simplest methods to benefit from salt therapy is the use of a Salt Lamp.

Basically, it consists of a pure Himalayan crystalline salt lamp mounted to a rosewood base.

Available in various sizes, these lamps add soft, ambient lighting to your room while releasing negative salt ions into the surrounding atmosphere from the heat generated by the light bulb within.

The reported results, besides enhancing mood, are soothed allergies, decreased sinus inflammation, easier breathing, and a better night’s sleep.

The Salt Detox Dome

Salt Detox Dome
Salt Detox Dome
A Salt Detox Dome, also known as a Foot Detox Dome, is an illuminated pure crystalline Himalayan salt dome mounted onto a beautifully crafted rosewood base.

The use of a salt detox dome supports blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the hands and feet. It’s a soothing way to warm and detoxify your hands or feet on cold days.

When not in use, the salt detox dome doubles as a Himalayan salt lamp, and adds a beautiful ambient glow to your room, while releasing negative salt ions into the atmosphere, further enhancing your body as you breathe, helping to detox your nasal passages and lungs.

Using a Salt Inhaler

Himalayan Salt Inhaler
Himalayan Salt Inhaler
A salt inhaler, also known as a Himalayan Salt Inhaler, is a device that allows you to breathe in micronized salt particles, by breathing in fresh air that is drawn through a layer of salt. As you draw air through the device, the moisture in the passing air absorbs microscopic salt particles, and enters into your respiratory airways.

A salt inhaler can temporarily relieve symptoms associated with asthma, allergies, sinus conditions, hay fever, and various other respiratory conditions.

A 2007 study published in the journal Pneumologia showed that dry salt inhalers, used up to 30 minutes each day, five days per week for three months, showed significantly improved symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Using a Portable Halogenerator

A halogenerator is a highly sophisticated device that is used to create an artificial microclimate to emulate the anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory salt-rich atmosphere of Himalayan salt mines, and is generally used in the production of artificial salt rooms. These devices are relatively expensive and not feasible for home use.

Portable halogenerators have been under recent development, however, and can offer some of the health benefits experienced in salt rooms.

The drawbacks are that they are still relatively expensive, and are not as reliable, long-lasting, or sophisticated as their original counterparts.

We hope you found the information above useful. Leave a comment below, or contact us if you have any questions.

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