While salt therapy or ‘halotherapy’ has been used traditionally for centuries, the use of ‘salt rooms’ has become increasingly popular for its use in bronchitis, common cough, and skin conditions. These rooms are designed to replicate salt caves where salt drifts line the walls and floor as well as there being a low concentrate dry salt aerosol piped into the room.
It is thought that over one session microscopic salt particles are inhaled to produce the following benefits supposedly:
decrease inflammationimproves expectorationTo loosen up mucus in the respiratory airwaysworks to inhibit the growth of bacteria and potentially kill themincrease phagocyte activityoverall improved well-being and relaxation on the central nervous system
Due to the minimal research behind this, however, I decided to take things into my own hands and give it ago. I have suffered from asthma for most of my life and require taking a preventative every day. Asthma occurs when the airways become inflamed from excess mucus production causing swelling and narrowing here.
I was shocked by the benefits after trying this therapy at two different clinics in Geelong. Both experiences involved sitting in a room with multiple massage chairs, all filled with people. The first time I forgot to bring a book, so I got a bit bored towards the end. Immediately after coming out of the room, I was confused that I initially felt worse off than before I went in. However, the receptionist told me that this would subside after a couple of hours (which it did). I asked why this happens, but they weren’t sure. Going to bed that night I slept like a baby. The following day I was so surprised that I woke without being wheezy for the first time in a while. This relief lasted most of the day and well into the next. I still required my preventative medication the night after and for the remainder of the week, but my symptoms were less severe. My skin also felt and looked great. Win-win. As a student, I don’t think I could afford to spend $40 on a weekly trip there, but if I ever am experiencing a cold, or have an adverse reaction to my allergies, I would definitely come back for some relief. Next time you have a cold or flu with bronchial symptoms, consider a trip to the salt rooms!
Endre, L., 2015. Theoretical basis and clinical benefits of dry salt inhalation therapy. Orvosi hetilap, 156(41), pp.1643-1652.