Tags: salt | therapy | halotherapy

Salt Rooms Can Help You Breathe Easier

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 05:01 PM

In the United States, salt’s role as a health remedy is mostly confined to gargling with salt water to ease a sore throat and using it to rinse inflamed sinuses. But an increasing number of Americans are discovering what Europeans have known for centuries: Salt therapy is good for the entire body.
 
They’re discovering halotherapy (pronounced “hallow”-therapy), a treatment that involves relaxing for an hour inside a salt-lined room and breathing in microscopic particles of ionized, pharmaceutical-grade salt produced by a device known as a halogenerator.
 
“It’s truly a wonderful treatment,” says Dr. Sussanna Czeranko, of the Portland-based National College of Natural Medicine and author of the Origins of Naturopathic Medicine.
 
Dr. Czeranko describes halotherapy as a natural cleanse for the lungs, skin, and entire body.
 
While working at a clinic in Toronto she witnessed halotherapy’s profound effect on conditions such as asthma, allergies, chronic sinusitis, otitis media, and even migraines.
 
“After people sat down in the chamber, these huge migraine headaches would just disappear,” she tells Newsmax Health.
 
Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that halotherapy also is beneficial for bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, depression, eczema, emphysema, and chronic cough.
 
According to adherents, halotherapy is effective for such a wide range of ailments because it opens airways, relieves congestion, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and increases serotonin.
 
Only salt rooms that use a halogenerator meet the criteria for modern halotherapy. In the U.S., there are at least 50 such salt rooms, and their number is rapidly increasing.
 
To see if there’s a salt room near you, go to mysaltspa.com and then on the right side of the page click on “List of Salt Rooms in the USA.”
 
About 200 years ago, European doctors noted that salt-mine workers rarely developed respiratory ailments. Ever since, European patients have flocked to salt mines to breathe the healing air, a treatment known as speleotherapy.
 
“With halotherapy we’re able to create the microclimate of a salt cave in the middle of a city so you can deliver speleotherapy in a clinical setting,” says Dr. Czeranko.
 
Halotherapy has been extensively studied in Europe and found to be beneficial.
 
An Italian study published in a 2012 issue of the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology found that halotherapy was superior to placebo as a treatment for conditions such as sub-obstructive adenotonsillar syndrome, which often causes hearing loss in children.
 
In 2006, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine showed that inhaling hypertonic saline improved lung function and quality of life in patients with cystic fibrosis.
 
Another 2006 study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that halotherapy helped relieve coughing and congestion in smokers.
 
Dr. Czeranko says many of her patients become symptom-free after as few as six treatments. A single treatment typically costs $30–55, but some centers offer package deals that bring down the cost.
 
Because halotherapy is considered an unproven alternative therapy, it’s not covered by insurance. Dr. Czeranko remembers a mom who moved from California to Toronto specifically to get halotherapy treatments for her 7-year-old daughter, who had severe asthma.
 
“After a classical treatment protocol, which is about 12–15 sessions in the chamber, she no longer had asthma symptoms,” says Dr. Czeranko. “She now just gets halotherapy treatments a couple of times a year for a tune-up.”
 
As the number of salt rooms increases nationwide, halotherapy proponents are hopeful that conventional doctors will realize that it’s an effective complementary treatment for many different conditions.
 
The full version of this article appeared in Health Radar newsletter. To read more, click here.
 
 

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Salt's role as a health remedy is largely limited to its use in salt water to ease a sore throat and inflamed sinuses. But an increasing number of Americans are discovering what Europeans have known for centuries: Salt therapy is good for the entire body.
salt, therapy, halotherapy
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2015-01-07
Wednesday, 07 Jan 2015 05:01 PM
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