Salt therapy is one of the ways I de-stress. There’s nothing like an Epsom salt soak to ease the tension in my muscles caused by daily demands. I’ve used Epsom salts for other things as well, including as a compress to draw toxins out of an infection. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush contaminants from our system. They also improve our absorption of nutrients, as well as helping migraines. You can see why I’ve sworn by Epsom salt for relieving pain. Its benefits are endless!

Magnesium is the main ingredient in Epsom salt, and also happens to be one of the critical minerals that make up the human body. The mineral regulates the activity of hundreds of enzymes and acts as an electrolyte to fuel muscles and nerves. Studies show that magnesium also helps protect the elasticity of our arteries, which may prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure. An Epsom salt bath is an excellent way to soak up magnesium. There are little to no side effects when the skin absorbs it into the bloodstream. On the other hand, people do drink magnesium as a laxative aid, but it can potentially cause cramping and side effects. When taking magnesium orally, it’s all about the dosage, so start small.

But this isn’t the only option when it comes to salt therapy. Here’s what you need to know so you can reap the benefits.

What Is Salt Therapy?

Using Epsom salt to soak in a bath and relax after a hard day is one way to do salt therapy. There are many other ways as well. You can bathe in it, ingest it, and use it as a solution to clean out nasal passages. If you want to get its full benefit, visit a salt cave or relax in a salt therapy spa room. Similarly, there are hundreds of products that use salt and tout its ability to do everything from relieving muscle pain to clearing up your respiratory system. When it comes to salt therapy, there are many options.

Dead Sea salt

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As with Epsom salts, Dead Sea salt contains magnesium, along with a variety of other compounds that are therapeutic. One such element is sulfur, which helps the liver produce the bile we need to rid the body of contaminants. Sulfur in our body aids with cell regeneration and production of hemoglobin for our blood, too. It also synthesizes collagen and formulates keratin that is essential for healthy skin and nails. Additionally, our bodies need sulfur for digestion and carbohydrate and vitamin absorption; it helps our cells breathe.

It has iodine for energy and potassium to help maintain water balance and expel waste. Like all salt, it has sodium, an essential electrolyte. Calcium and bromine are part of Dead Sea salt’s composition too, which strengthens cells, cleanses pores, helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and can work as a natural antibiotic.

Studies show that bathing in a Dead Sea salt bath reduces inflammation and hydrates the skin, alleviating redness, dryness, and irritation. You don’t have to go on a pilgrimage to get dead sea salt — you can order it online — but be careful to make sure you are getting authentic Dead Sea salt. You don’t want to end up with table salt for your cleanse, disguised as therapeutic salt.

Himalayan salt

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There’s not a lot of scientific evidence to support the claims of this salt’s benefits. However, some data suggest that negative ions in the air improve people’s mood. Under the proper conditions, Himalayan salt can emit negative ions. Himalayan salt is common in a variety of therapies, and regardless of the research, people who use this one for salt therapy believe in its benefits.

Imported from Pakistan, pink Himalayan salt gets its color from ore containing magnesium, potassium, and calcium. You’ll find it in salt grinders to use for cooking, or in large chunks as a Himalayan salt lamp. It’s also the salt that covers the walls of salt caves and halotherapy chambers. People use it for easing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, increasing energy, and improving their sleep. It cleans dust and pollen from the air and absorbs water molecules, thus releasing negative ions. Himalayan salt also helps allergy and asthma sufferers.

Salt therapy benefits

Salt therapy, otherwise known as halotherapy, is full of potential benefits. There’s one major caveat: Most of them aren’t scientific fact yet. If you look into people’s experience, you will find that many find salt therapy beneficial in aiding respiratory issues. Relaxing in a salt room is also part of some therapies that claim to help with anxiety and depression.

Salt therapy potential risks

There are risks with salt therapy, particularly if you have high blood pressure. Some people experience coughing, headaches, and shortness of breath. There aren’t enough studies yet to know all of the ramifications, so make sure to report anything you notice to your doctor. This article is not medical advice. You should always check in with your physician before proceeding with any halotherapy.

Where Do I Get Salt Therapy?

Salt therapy works in a few different ways. Wet salt therapy is soaking in the tub, using an inhaler, or using saline mist for a room. Dry salt therapy involves sitting and relaxing while soaking up the benefits of salt on the walls and floor that surrounds you. Some yoga classes also take place in salt rooms to make use of the respiratory benefits. You can do dry salt therapy treatments in a natural setting, such as a salt cave. Similarly, you can go for halotherapy sessions in a spa setting that mimics a salt cave.

Salt therapy cave

Modern dry salt therapy originated in the salt mines of Russia, where miners inhaled micro-sized salt particles. The air pressure, circulation, humidity, and temperature, along with the salt they were mining, gave them many health benefits. Unlike coal miners who ended up with black lung, salt miners rarely had breathing issues and looked younger, somehow. Realizing the potential benefits, Dr. Feliks Boczkowski opened the first salt cave at the Wieliczka salt mine in Poland in 1839. Fast forward to Odessa, Russia, in 1985 at the Institute of Balneology, where salt cavers from Uzhgorod developed the first halotherapy device, mimicking the salt cave’s dispersion of the particles into the air. Soon afterward, the West picked up the technology and human-made salt therapy spas began popping up all over the United States.

Salt therapy spas

Salt caves are rare; however, salt rooms are easy to find, and they mimic the environment of a salt cave. Not all salt rooms provide the same benefits. For example, passive salt rooms contain massive amounts of Dead Sea or Himalayan salt, embedded in the walls, or loose stone, and covering the floor. These rooms provide a sanctuary for relaxing. The name for this type of treatment is speleotherapy, and it’s all about the atmosphere.

Speleotherapy mimics the climate of a salt cave but doesn’t use anything to disperse the salt into the air. Only activated Himalayan salt provides the therapeutic effect from negative ions. That’s why active salt chambers have a halogenerator that crushes salt and disperses it into the air. The particles provide benefits to the respiratory system and help with skin conditions. The halotherapy room doesn’t need massive amounts of salt to achieve benefits from salt therapy, but the atmosphere inside the salt chamber is also part of the draw.

Salt therapy devices for home use

If you don’t want to spend the money going to a spa, it’s relatively easy to set up a salt therapy room in your home. You can make it as elaborate as you want, depending on the space. You can get loose salt, salt lamps, and salt air purifiers. If you’re interested in salt therapy, there are plenty of ways to experiment to find what works for you.

Himalayan salt lamp

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Science doesn’t support the therapeutic effects of Himalayan salt lamps, as far as the claim that they emit negative ions that improve air quality and provide a host of benefits. However, people who use them say that the lamp promotes a sense of well-being. Color and shape vary, with deeper pinks and oranges being of higher quality. Usually, there’s a range of both within the rock. They provide a soft, soothing light and are used to accompany a variety of therapies. Himalayan salt lamps do remove the water in the air that carries pet dander, dust, bacteria, and a host of other nasty stuff.

Himalayan salt crystal inhaler

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There’s some evidence that a Himalayan salt inhaler has numerous benefits, including boosting your respiratory system and lung capacity. It also helps cleanse the sinuses of harmful organisms that make it hard to breathe, and many smokers find it helpful to use the inhaler as they kick the habit. Himalayan salt is high in potassium, which means it may help in lowering blood pressure. Being able to breathe deeply also helps us relax. Another benefit is to those who have sleep issues due to snoring. Salt therapy with an inhaler provides a natural expectorant that helps clear mucus.

Salinetherapy salt therapy ultrasonic salinizer

Saltair is used to aid respiratory problems by reducing inflammation and unclogging passageways, making it easier to breathe. It may help prevent allergies, colds, and the flu by cleaning and strengthening the respiratory system.

The little dispenser uses ultrasonic frequency vibrations to transform saline solution into salt particles, which then release into the air. The microparticles penetrate the lungs and clean mucus, killing bacteria, reducing inflammation, and soothing the respiratory system. It also claims to be an excellent way to clean the air indoors because of negative ions which neutralize dust, bacteria, and other airborne pathogens.

Salin Plus salt air purifier

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Turn a room of your home into a salt therapy spa with the Salin Plus salt air purifier. It relieves allergies, clears respiratory and sinus congestion, and eases coughing with cleansing salt ions. The purifier is a lightweight little machine with a filter that helps remove contaminants from the air.

What’s Right for You?

Salt therapy is gaining in popularity even though there’s not a ton of scientific evidence backing its benefits. Perhaps the reason is that we hear about the benefits so often from people who have given it a try. As long as you have the green light from your doctor, there’s no reason not to try a relaxing spa day in a salt chamber. At the very least you’ll come out relaxed and refreshed from the softly lit rooms that feel somehow ancient.

Last update on 2021-10-28 at 04:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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