Have you heard of Himalayan Salt Therapy, Halotherapy or using a Himalayan Salt Inhaler? I want to share with you the benefits and how to use salt therapy at home.
Salt therapy has been around forever. Seriously…for centuries! So it’s no surprise that “Salt Caves” have been popping up around the world. We even have a few here in Kentucky. These aren’t real salt caves, just rooms decorated like caves with tons of salt. They are designed for people to sit and relax, and breathe in the salt air. Kind of like lounging in a beach chair and breathing in the sea air. I saw on one of the websites that they offer sessions for kids to play in the deep loose salt on the floor with trucks and sandbox toys provided by the facility. That’s a pretty cool way for kids to get the benefits of salt therapy.
I read somewhere that 45 minutes to an hour in a Himalayan salt cave is equal to spending 4 days on a beach breathing in fresh sea salt air. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit one yet, but have heard positive comments from a couple of people who have spent time in a salt room.
Himalayan Salt helps to purify the air and when inhaled, is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent to the respiratory system.
I belong to a couple of forum groups for COPD patients, and whenever the subject of Himalayan Salt therapy comes up, several people will comment about how when they would travel to Mediterranean countries and they would be able to walk without supplemental oxygen. That’s a really big deal for COPD patients. Every one of the commenters attributed it to breathing in the salt air.
When we stayed in Florida and South Carolina for a few months each and would visit the beaches, I remember that my breathing was so much better, and I was rarely sick. I hadn’t made that connection at the time. So I am a firm believer in how beneficial sea salt air is.
Salt Therapy At Home
One way to incorporate salt therapy into your home is with a Himalayan Salt Lamp (pictured above). Without getting all technical, it absorbs the room humidity and indoor air pollutants, such as allergens, bacteria and mold. Similar to a filter, the pollutants are trapped within the salt, ultimately helping to clean the air in your home, which may improve your mood and help you sleep. These are beautiful in any room, emitting a soft glow from a low watt light bulb inside a hollow chunk of salt, usually on a wood base. I have one in our living room and one in our bedroom. You can also add one or two drops of an essential oil to your salt lamp for additional benefits. I wrote about the best essential oils in this post that are helpful for respiratory issues, colds and flu.
These lamps are beneficial to everyone that uses the room where the lamp is located.
Health Benefits Of Himalayan Salt Inhaler
For individual use though, a ceramic inhaler is a popular choice. The small ceramic pot holds Himalayan Salt. Ceramic inhalers are suppose to be much better for you.
I found this handy little InHealer Himalayan Salt Inhaler that I am happily using. It’s compact size is the perfect size to carry in a pocket or purse, and is a good a choice if you don’t have an aversion to using plastic.
When you inhale Himalayan pink salt, it’s helpful for many respiratory issues, including allergies, asthma, bronchitis, colds, congestion, cystic fibrosis, hay fever and smoker’s cough, making it easier to breathe. For many people, it has been helpful in reducing mucus and inflammation in the lungs, improving sinus issues, and removing bacteria and toxins from your lungs. Some people use it to help reduce flu symptoms.
It also seems to have a relaxing effect, which helps to promote restful sleep. If you have done yoga or any deep breathing exercises, you know the calming and relaxing effect that it has on your body. When salt therapy is used, using the same deep breathing techniques, it helps dry up the mucus in your respiratory system and helps clear your lungs so that you breathe better. If you are breathing better, you will probably sleep better.
I found this Dr. Oz video which explains how and why salt therapy works. I know it’s hard to believe that something so simple can actually work, if you are not familiar with it.
Some feel immediate results within just a few days, but it’s more likely that it will be a gradual improvement.
How to Use a Salt Inhaler
It’s super simple! Fill your inhaler with dry coarse Himalayan Salt, according to the package directions. Put your lips around the inhaler mouthpiece, then breathe in long and slow through the mouth, hold for a few seconds, then exhale through the nose. Do not breathe in to the salt inhaler. Do this for 15 to 20 minutes, once or twice a day to help relieve your respiratory symptoms
“When fine salt particles are inhaled, they will fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning the mucus and making it easier to raise, thus making people feel better,” said Dr. Edelman. “Also, these environments are allergen-free and thus good for people with allergies affecting their lungs.”Dr. Norman Edelman, Senior Scientific Advisor to the American Lung Association
It’s important to follow the cleaning directions for your specific inhaler. Depending on amount of use, replace the Himalayan Salt every month to every three months. After removing the salt, rinse the empty inhaler with warm water and let dry completely before refilling.
These inhalers are for personal use only and should not be shared. Each family member should have their own inhaler.
Salt Inhalation Options
For those that can not hit the beach or go to a salt cave, I have a couple of ideas to help you get the benefits of salt inhalation at home.
A cheap and easy way for adults to replicate breathing in sea salt air is to bring two cups of water to boil, then stir in ½ cup of salt. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the salt water into a heatproof bowl or another cool pan, then set it on a hot pad on the counter. Place a towel over your head, then lean over the pan. Carefully pull the towel around to cover the pan, creating a steam tent. Breathe in slowly with deep breaths for 5 to 10 minutes.
Another idea is to add a cup or two of himalayan salt to a tub of warm bath and soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Take this detox bath once or twice a week.
As with everything else in the world, some people may experience adverse reactions. If you are not familiar with salt therapy and are hesitant, start slowly.
- Initially, you may experience a slight cough, minor chest tightness or runny nose.
- It is suggested that you should avoid using salt therapy if you have a fever, contagious disease, open wounds, cancer, severe hypertension, mental disorders or active tuberculosis.
- If you are pregnant, you should consult with your doctor before using salt therapy.
Are there any other salt therapy dangers? According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Inhaling concentrated salts (hypertonic saline) has been proven to irritate the airways, causing cough and mucus, which can make asthma worse for some people. Halotherapy, or sitting in a salt room, is not likely to make your asthma better. For most asthma patients, halotherapy is ‘likely safe.’ Since you don’t know how you will react, AAFA warns that it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid salt rooms.”draxe.com
So, what do you think? Do you use any kind of salt therapy?