Breathe in, Breathe out… It’s a simple enough concept. We do it every day of our lives, without even thinking about it. What if you could improve your quality of life whilst doing exactly that?
Salt Therapy. Heard of it? Maybe not, but it is a relaxing, drug-free and non-invasive treatment that may just ease what ails you. Perhaps a little back story to begin…
What Is Salt Therapy?
Over 170 years ago, it was common for miners to suffer from lung disorders, but one observant Polish physician, Dr Feliks Boczkowski, noted that those working in the salt mines were fit and healthy.
He developed a therapy based on his theory that the salt caves themselves were responsible for the workers robust respiratory health.
Through repeated exposure to these caves with their unique conditions he was able to improve the lives of those in the community by alleviating their skin conditions and respiratory issues. Inspired by the Greek name for ‘Cave’ (Speleo) – he dubbed it – Speleotherapy.
How to bring it to the people en masse?
Several academics, who believed the Polish Doctor was on the right track with his initial assessment of the health benefits of natural salt caves, have spent the past 30 years or so developing and refining a way to simulate the salt cave experience for the general public throughout the world.
Halotherapy or Salt Therapy, are the terms commonly used for the modern day technique of reproducing the unique microclimate found in the natural salt caves of Europe. Halotherapy is derived from the Greek word, Halos, meaning ‘Salt’.
Wait… Salt? Isn’t that bad for you?
Yes, high doses of refined table salt that are ingested with meals, have been reported to have some adverse health effects. However, a little known and rarely reported fact is that salt does have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Not to mention, salt is an essential requirement for a healthy functioning body.
The pure unrefined naturally sourced salt used in Salt Therapy treatments has been found to exhibit a range of positive effects on the human system due to the purity of the salt and the fact it is dispersed in such low quantities via airborne particles that it doesn’t even come close to the recommended daily salt intake.
Understanding The Salt Therapy Process
Utilising a modern day medical device known as a Halogenerator, pure pharmaceutical grade salt is micronized or ground up into superfine particles that are then dispersed by fan throughout a salt room as a dry aerosol mist.
During this process, many factors relating to the ambient conditions of the room and the clients health needs are taken into account and adjusted to ensure the most suitable treatment.
In session, the level and consistency of the salt aerosol and its balanced distribution are monitored by a sensor within the room and that data is transmitted back to the Halogenerator when slight alterations are required.
The sodium particles in this aerosol are generally so minute, as to not be seen by the naked eye and are easily inhaled into the deepest parts of the respiratory tract for absorption.
The particles are then dissolved and assist in absorbing moisture within the lungs and nasal passages, clearing the airways and attracting bacteria and allergens in order to expel them from the body. The aerosol particles also settle onto the skin and for clients with dermatological conditions these can calm and keep at bay the unpleasant symptoms associated with these afflictions.
Benefits Of Salt Therapy
Some of the benefits experienced by those enjoying Salt Therapy include:
* Improved circulation
* Relief of dermatological conditions
* Easing of the symptoms of colds and flu
* Reduction of respiratory complaints and/or severity
* Revitalisation of energy levels
* Improvements to the immune system
* Clearing of the nasal passages and airways
* Reduction in stress levels
* A heightened sense of emotional well being
* Cleansing of the bodies toxins
* Reduction in general skin rashes and acne
What to expect…
When visiting for the first time, generally you will have a consultation with a staff member and fill out paperwork in order to establish the current state of your health, whether you are suffering from any known medical conditions, or illnesses you may have had previously, that may affect your type of treatment. This information is vital for staff to cater your sessions to suit you specifically. Usually treatments are offered for between 30 to 60 minute blocks.
Salt rooms can vary depending on where you go and the type of atmosphere the clinic wish to offer. Some rooms will just be standard with plain walls and floors but most will have layers of salt all over the floor, with walls that are either coated in salt or actually formed using imported salt blocks or bricks. It is believed these layers of salt assist in the stabilisation of the room’s climate and add a sense of ambience to your session.
Comfortable chairs and perhaps a side table, lighting than can range from bright to the subdued tones of Himalayan Salt lamps and temperatures that will range from 18-24 degrees. You may experience a slightly salty taste to the air during the session.
Whilst respecting the experience of other clients that may be in the room, feel free to read, listen to music, meditate or sleep… whatever leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Most Salt Therapy clinics will offer a special room designed for children to enjoy the benefits too. These rooms are brightly lit, have a range of toys, books and puzzles, a television, small tables suited to the little people and are obviously designed to keep them well occupied during treatment.
Symptoms And Illnesses That Can Be Treated With Salt Therapy:
* Hay Fever/Allergies
* Ear Infection
* Shortness of Breath
* Chest restriction
* Whooping Cough
* Smokers Cough
* Sinusitis/Sinus Infections
* Cystic Fibrosis
* Chemical sensitivity syndrome
* Respiratory Infections
Case studies… With any ‘new’ treatment, there are always questions within the health industry, regarding the safety, therapeutic benefits and possible side effects of the procedure, even with a non-invasive treatment like salt therapy.
Whilst there have been very few extensive or long term studies into Salt Therapy at this stage, one clinical trial conducted to test the effects of salt therapy on those suffering from Asthma, Cystic Fybrosis or respiratory illnesses showed an improvement in the medical state of 75% of chronic Asthma sufferers, 85% of mild Asthma sufferers and 97% of Bronchitis and Cystic Fybrosis patients.
Some possible but rare side effects include mild irritation to the skin, eyes and throat. Asthma sufferers should receive a lower dosage during therapy to avoid possible irritation to their airways and those with allergies may find the salt is too stimulating to their nasal passages which may worsen their allergic susceptibility.
Like a lot of health treatments, what works for one person may not work for another, as always, listen to your own body and your doctor’s medical opinion.
If you are suffering from a medical condition – always notify your salt therapy provider and check with your doctor before commencing treatment. Those clients already enjoying the benefits of salt therapy should never cease or alter their medication doses or medical care plan without first being advised to by their physician.
Salt Therapy is now gaining popularity and is currently available in many parts of the world including America, Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Russia.
Salt Therapy is a complementary treatment designed to assist and enhance your standard medical care or general wellbeing.
Regardless of your medical situation, in this modern world of computers, traffic, fast food, pollution, stress, mobile phones and busy lives, an hour spent in a clean, quiet and technology-free environment that allows you to rest and rejuvenate can only have a positive effect on your physical and mental health. Soothe your symptoms and breathe a little easier…
Our Top Places For Salt Therapy In Australia
Salt Halo Salt Studio | Bald Hills, QLD
Head to the Northside of Brisbane to experience the tranquillity of Salt halo Salt Studio. Staff at the studio approach your care holistically and believe in treating your entire body for overall health benefits.
Complimentary colour therapy… Relax on the comfy chairs and enjoy the soothing music while being treated to special lighting to help regain your natural balance.
A 1hour session is $40 and new clients receive a buy 1 visit get 1 free deal.
Salt Sanctuary | Cleveland, QLD
Pioneers in the industry. The Salt Sanctuary, were the first salt therapy clinic in Brisbane and boast the most up-to-date salt therapy equipment.
The Breeze Tronic Pro will emit a dry Sodium Chloride solution into the air of the salt room whilst you sit back and read or just breathe in its natural healing properties. For the kiddies… a separate salt room with a tv and toys is provided to entertain them whilst they receive the benefits.
Children under 13 are free when accompanied by a paying adult. Sessions are $40.
Saltuary | Five Dock, NSW
Fully qualified Naturopath Tiina Hogg, founded Saltuary as a haven for the Sydney community. She is passionate about the industry and wants every client to leave feeling richer in body, mind and spirit.
As natural as it gets… The salt rooms are hand built using natural products and the Halogenerator disperses very finely ground Himalayan salt throughout the ambient atmosphere of the room.
An Introductory price of 4 sessions for $99 is great value. Many additional holistic therapies can also be selected.
The Salt Spot | Neutral Bay, NSW
Relax and Breathe… The salt will do the rest. This is the view of the staff at The Salt Spot, they have taken great care in developing just the right environment for you to rest and rejuvenate.
Enjoy the specialised microclimate in the salt room, surrounded by pure salt block walls. Read, draw, listen to music or meditate while soaking up the benefits.
$40 for a 45 minute session or for $80 enjoy a relaxing massage during your salt therapy treatment. (Saturdays Only)
Dr Salt | Hampton, VIC
The team from Dr Salt are highly trained in natural therapies to provide you with complementary treatments that treat your health issues, not just the symptoms.
The ultimate source… The salt rooms are created using salt bricks mined in the Ukraine, one of the purest source of salt in the world. Ease life’s stresses and toxins during your 1 hour visit.
$45 per treatment and Sunday sessions are available by appointment.
Salts of the Earth | 11 Locations in NSW, VIC & WA
David Lindsay founded Salts of the Earth after witnessing his own father’s respiratory relief thanks to the use of salt therapy in conjunction with medical treatments.
Respiratory and hip pocket health… The clinics offer an extensive range of health and wellbeing management plans which focus on your personal requirements whilst saving you money.
Casual price – $35 per visit or try the ‘Kick Starter Management Plan’ that includes unlimited sessions for only $49/week on a 4 week plan.
Salt Serenity | Woodville Park, SA
Established in 2012, and the very first offering of salt therapy to the people of Adelaide. Salt Serenity takes pride in their high standards of quality control for maximum therapeutic benefits.
Zero gravity recliners… stretch out during your 45 minute treatment on these specialised chairs that are designed to reduce pressure on your spine whilst inhaling the healing salt particles.
Bookings essential for sessions after 3pm. $40/session or save $10/ session when booking 10 sessions for $300.
All information & pricing above was correct at time of publishing.
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