Halotherapy – What Is It And Why You May Need It?

The salt therapy dates back hundreds of years, with people noticing the respiratory benefits of spending time in salt caves or mines.

halotherapy salt therapy

Have you ever seen any spa interiors with the walls made of pink Himalayan salt? Surely, it makes a great design but there is actually more to it. Turns out, breathing salty air may be very beneficial for your health, and you don’t have to travel to the sea to enjoy this activity.

What is halotherapy?

Halotherapy is an alternative method of treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of different health conditions. It is based on breathing air with tiny salt particles in it, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.

Although, this unique procedure has been known for a long time, it is under-researched, and should receive more attention from the scientific community. The existing trials show that salt therapy is efficient in fighting respiratory and other diseases, when compared to placebo groups. It may also be a great addition to conservative therapies.

Where did it originate?

Contemporary halotherapy takes roots in 1840s as a continuation of speleotherapy. Speleotherapy is a method of treatment by long-term stay in the microclimate of karst and other caves, salt mines, and grottoes.

It is believed that the beneficial properties of salt caves became known after the research of Polish physicians, specifically Feliks Boczkowski, who actively promoted this way of treatment.

Currently, speleotherapeutic hospitals in the karst caves are available in a number of countries – Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Austria, Germany, Georgia, Uzbekistan. The main healing factor in these hospitals is the air, highly saturated with particles of rock salt. There have been many attempts to reproduce the microclimate of salt treatment caves in terrestrial conditions, which resulted in creation of salt rooms and halogenerators.

How to do salt therapy?

There are different ways of doing salt therapy, each of them has different level of salt aerosol penetration and, therefore, different effect on health.

1Salt rooms

Spas, wellness centers, and specialised salt therapy facilities offer salt rooms or caves where you can relax and breathe in salt-infused air. These rooms are typically designed to mimic the microclimate of natural salt caves, with the walls made of salt or with the help of halogenerators – special machines made to release tiny salt particles into air. Sessions typically last around 30-60 minutes, during which you can sit back, relax, and breathe deeply.

2Salt inhalers therapy

Portable salt inhalers are available for personal use. These devices typically contain Himalayan salt or other forms of therapeutic salt. You inhale through the mouthpiece, allowing the salt particles to enter your respiratory system. This can be done for a few minutes each day, at your convenience.

3Salt baths

Adding Epsom salt or Himalayan salt to your bathwater can create a soothing and detoxifying experience. The salts can help relax muscles, soften skin, and potentially provide respiratory benefits as you inhale steam.

Bonus: Salt lamps – cute but not effective

While not as concentrated as salt rooms or inhalers, salt lamps can help create a calming ambiance in your home. These lamps are made from large salt crystals and emit a warm, amber glow when lit. Some people believe that salt lamps can help improve air quality by releasing negative ions into the air.

salt lamp halotherapy therapy

The unique conditions of salt rooms

Most of the times, halotherapy is done in special rooms or booths, called ‘halochambers’.

The air in the halotherapy room is usually saturated with a fine salt mixture, which includes sodium chloride particles. These salt components are very small in size and are close to 1-5 microns. Due to their small size, salt particles penetrate into the deepest parts of the respiratory tract. Having an antiseptic and antibacterial effect, they effectively cleanse the bronchopulmonary structures and upper respiratory tract.

The microclimate of the halochamber is usually very clean and hypoallergenic. There are no pollutants or aggressive allergenic particles in the surrounding air. These chambers are also maintained with constant pressure, minimal humidity and stable temperature within them.

Benefits of halotherapy

1Improved respiratory health

Halotherapy may help improve respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and COPD by reducing inflammation, clearing mucus, and promoting easier breathing.

2Better skin

Salt has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so halotherapy may benefit certain skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis by reducing inflammation and promoting healing.

3Stress reduction

Spending time in a halotherapy room or salt cave can provide a calming and relaxing environment, potentially reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being.

4Supported immune system

Inhaling salt particles may help cleanse the respiratory system and support the immune system by reducing the presence of harmful bacteria and pathogens.

Sleep Disorder,Health,Brain&Mind

5Increased sleep quality

Some people report better sleep quality after halotherapy sessions, possibly due to the relaxation effects and the potential respiratory benefits.

6Sinus relief

Halotherapy may help relieve sinus congestion and promote sinus drainage, which can be beneficial for individuals suffering from sinusitis or sinus infections.

7Improved exercise performance

There is some anecdotal evidence suggesting that halotherapy may improve exercise performance and recovery by enhancing respiratory function and reducing inflammation.

Who may need salt therapy?

Short answer is: everyone. Halotherapy is a low-cost and very potent way to boost your well-being and relief stress, even if you don’t have any underlying conditions.

However, salt therapy is mainly recommended for respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and allergies, as it can reduce inflammation and clear mucus, improving respiratory function. Those with skin conditions such as eczema and acne may also benefit from salt therapy due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Who should avoid salt therapy?

While salt therapy is generally considered safe for most people, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting it. Salt therapy should not be used as a replacement for conventional medical treatment but rather as a complementary approach to support health and well-being.

Let’s sum up

Halotherapy is an alternative health treatment, which involves inhaling salt particles or staying in environments mimicking salt caves. Originating from speleotherapy in the 1840s, it gained popularity mostly within European countries. Benefits of halotherapy encompass improved respiratory health, skin conditions, stress reduction, immune support, better sleep, sinus relief, and enhanced exercise performance. While it’s generally safe, it’s advised to consult with a healthcare professional before starting holotherapy.

Hungry for knowledge? Here is more from our colleagues

The below are couple of very interesting videos from our trusted source of knowledge – Dr. Eric Berg on salt’s help in fighting bacteria and mucus. Watch it if you want to learn more on how to protect yourself from respiratory diseases and keep your lungs and nose clean.

Healthypedia FAQ

Halotherapy is an alternative health treatment involving the inhalation of salt particles or exposure to environments simulating salt caves. It's aimed at improving respiratory health, skin conditions, and overall well-being.

Halotherapy is generally considered safe for most people. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting halotherapy.

Halotherapy should not replace conventional medical treatment for serious health conditions. Instead, it should be used as a complementary approach to support health and well-being. Always follow the advice of your healthcare provider regarding medical treatment.

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