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Halotherapy: The amazing healing power of salt

Have you heard about halotherapy? “Halo” literally mean “salt” in Greek. For centuries, monks there and elsewhere in Europe used naturally-occurring “salt caverns” in their local regions for healing respiratory conditions and skin ailments as well as for energizing the mind.

Now modern practitioners are getting into the act, offering “saltroom therapies” for modern conditions like COPD, asthma and air pollution. Can natural salt really help you heal from chronic illnesses, including cancer? Centuries of practical use as well as modern research say yes – and here’s why.

Halotherapy inside the modern “Salt Cave” is enhanced by technology

These days, a person doesn’t need to seek out a cave in order to benefit from the healing effects of salt. Many modern “salt rooms” (called “halotherapy” or “speleotherapy” clinics) use “therapeutic dry saline aerosol microclimate” technology to ionize the air in specialized rooms and saturate it with low levels of NaCl (i.e. salt).

The total environment in the salt room, including temperature and humidity as well as level of salt concentration, is controlled by trained professionals through computer monitors and is based on the needs of the patient. Europe has a long and colorful history with salt therapy. Besides the testimonies of the monks, in the 1840’s Dr. Felix Bochkowsky, a polish occupational health doctor, noticed that salt miners were actually healthier than the average person, in stark contrast to their unfortunately coworkers in the metal and coal industries.

Then, during World War II, salt mines were used as bomb shelters in Germany and the same basic phenomenon was discovered. When asthmatics reemerged from the mines after the threat was over, they were able to breathe easier and were in better health overall.

Halotherapy is growing in popularity and science validates its healing power

After a slew of mostly-Russian research studies verified the health benefits of salt in the 1950’s, halotherapy chambers began to open en masse in Eastern Europe. Halotherapy soon became part of the prepaid socialized medical systems in many Eastern European countries. Today “spleleotherapy” clinics can be found throughout Eastern Europe, including Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Russia and Poland. There are also salt rooms (and salt caves) scattered throughout the United States, although at this time salt is not approved by the FDA as a “recognizable medical treatment.” Halotherapy “salt rooms” are mostly found in American spas and beauty centers.

Salt loads the environment with healing and life-affirming negative ions

Have you ever wondered why a trip to the beach always feels so refreshing? In large part, the invigoration you feel when you are near the sea has to do with negative ions released through massive amounts of salt water. In the same way, dry salt releases negative ions into the air; this is a large part of why salt is so healing to the body. These ions can attach themselves to harmful bacteria, as well as mold spores, viruses, and other air-born toxins which are positively-charged. As the air becomes saturated with negative ions, the “load” becomes too much for harmful positively-charged pathogens and they simply float away.

It is these kinds of airborne pathogens, as well as man-made chemical pollutants, that are the real harm behind both indoor and outdoor air pollution. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based on a half a million individual patient records, long term exposure to pollutants in the air can lead directly to cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer. Being immersed in and breathing natural salt, on the other hand, can greatly improve many chronic respiratory diseases and other chronic conditions.

“Dry salt goes deep into the recesses of your lungs,” says Ulle Pukk, cofounder of the US-based Salt Therapy Association, in a recent interview with Harpers-Bazarre. “It absorbs impurities from your body and helps break up mucus so you can cough out toxins. When you have clean lungs, you get more oxygen, which gives you more energy, impacts every organ in your body, and improves overall well-being.”

Use a salt lamp in your home to get the benefits of halotherapy

Salt therapy is 100% natural and safe for people of all ages, even babies. One easy way to gain some of the benefits of salt every day is to pick up a Himalayan salt lamp for your home or office. These lamps are usually illuminated by a candle or soft light bulb placed in a hole in the middle and can add up to 300 times more negative ions to your indoor space. Their wonderful glow is relaxing and you will also be subtly receiving the many benefits of salt for more health and a vibrant, energized life!

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