Salt Therapy – Have you ever been told to visit the seaside, as “the sea air will do you good”? Ever wondered whether this is true, and if
so, why sea air is so beneficial for health? The reason is that sea air is full of salt, which has incredible healing properties, one of which is its natural anti-inflammatory effect.
The anti-inflammatory effect of salt comes from its ability to draw fluid. Sea air is already moist and has less of an anti-inflammatory effect; this is where salt therapy comes into play. Salt therapy is a medically tried and tested natural therapy that has proven to help reduce congestion and inflammation of the airways and skin.
When you inhale dry salt aerosol in a salt room, the minute particles line your airways and draw out the fluid from the inflamed area. This fluid, now mixed with salt, continues to work on cleaning the airways, thereby clearing the congestion. It can be used as a treatment to complement other treatments, and is suitable for everyone, including children, pregnant women.
A Brief History Of Salt Therapy
While salt is now plentiful, until the Industrial Revolution it was difficult to come by. Salt was once so rare that it was used as currency. Sourcing salt was an expensive and dangerous operation, and salt mining was often done by slave or prison labour. In 1843, a physician working at a Polish salt mine recorded that there were very few incidents of lung and respiratory diseases in the miners. He also observed an improvement in the breathing of the salt miners.
Until 1987, underground caves and mines were the only available method of Salt Therapy. In 1987 a new system of speleochambers, or salt rooms, was developed in Russia to replicate the environment of the salt mines. Today, millions of people visit hundreds of salt therapy facilities located throughout Europe. Salt therapy is now gradually gaining momentum and popularity in Australia, and here we take a look at the beneficial properties of salt therapy.
Benefits of Salt Therapy
The healing nature of salt therapy stems from the healing properties of negative ions, formed as a result of the breakdown of sodium. Salt rooms are therefore full of these wonderfully beneficial negative ions as the salt is broken down. The many healing properties of negative ions include:
- Relieving symptoms of respiratory and sinus problems
- Salt therapy is a natural therapy that helps relieve congestion, inflammation and allergies of the airways. When dry salt is breathed deeply into the lungs, it lines the walls of the airways and draws out any inflammation or fluid and loosens congestion for easy expulsion.
- The minute salt particles also help to open up the airways and increase oxygen intake. Salt can also help cleanse the airways of smoke, dust, pollutants and other allergens to allow for easier and improved breathing.
- Salt therapy also offers relief for sinus conditions such as sinusitis. When inhaled through the nose, salt coats the inner lining of the sinuses and helps relieve inflammation, congestion, pressure and allergies.
- Furthermore, by relieving the symptoms of a respiratory or sinus condition, medication will be more effective at treating the condition, resulting in even greater relief.
- Aiding sleep
Salt has a naturally relaxing effect on the body which helps stimulate sleep. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, salt helps to open up the airways and nasal passages, allowing for an increased oxygen intake and helping the body to relax. By promoting abundant oxygen levels in the blood, negative ions help normalize brain function, resulting in relaxation, increased calm and better sleep.
- Improving skin conditions
Salt is a natural antihistamine, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Exposing the skin to dry salt helps to relieve irritated, dry, red, itchy and flaky skin caused by conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Salt also helps to balance the PH levels of the skin and stimulate healthy cell rejuvenation and skin elasticity, all whilst improving the skin’s protective properties and good bacteria. After regular salt therapy, irritated skin will gradually be healed as the salt naturally cleanses the skin of bacterial infections and reduces swelling.
- Aiding sports recovery and improving sports performance
Salt therapy is a natural, medically proven and drug-free therapy, that aids sports recovery and helps improve sport performance. A salt therapy session after a strenuous workout session helps ease potential muscle and tendon strain so your body recovers to its peak fitness levels in as little time as possible. By cleansing the respiratory system from congestion and inflammation, athletes can inhale oxygen deeper into their lungs. This helps maximise airflow and increase oxygen delivery into the bloodstream. Salt therapy also improves sleep quality and has a relaxing effect on the nervous system, accelerating recovery.
- Relieving tension and easing depression
Negative ions calm and relax the nerves by normalising breathing rate, decreasing blood pressure and relieving tension and stress. As you inhale dry salt,, your blood carries the negative ions to your brain and stimulates the release of a brain chemical called serotonin. This is particularly helpful for those suffering from depression, low moods, seasonal affective disorder or winter depression due to lower levels of serotonin in the brain. Clinical studies have shown that negative ion therapy is an effective treatment for depression and anxiety disorders and is a natural alternative to chemical antidepressants.
- Increasing metabolism and promoting better digestion
By stimulating the exchange of electronic substances in cell walls, negative ions help increase metabolism and ease tension in the stomach and intestines, thereby promoting the production of digestive enzymes, and enhancing digestion.
Ultimately, salt therapy can rejuvenate and revitalise all of the body’s systems and cells, promoting a stronger overall health and a sense of well-being. All you need to do is relax, and breathe.