Loosening Up Your Cough With Salt Rooms
Alternative health therapies have been rapidly growing in popularity in the western world. With the emergence of these novel, non-traditional remedies, it becomes difficult to know which of these are evidence-based approaches to medicine and which are not. New to the medicinal market is Halotherapy, a salt based therapy more commonly known by its commercial name: Salt Rooms.
This therapy, based on the healing powers discovered by people relaxing in caves leftover from old salt mines, appears to be beneficial in many ways to health (Chervinskaya & Zilber, 1995). New salons offering salt rooms consist of relaxing furniture aligned in a room filled with similar varieties of salt as would be found in the mines where these health benefits were initially discovered. Patrons are encouraged to relax and meditate while sitting in the room to receive the most benefit. These rooms claim to decrease anxiety, reduce snoring and improve sleep, increase resistance to sickness, and reduce the symptoms of numerous lung related illnesses among numerous other health benefits (SALT WAVE, n.d.).
Related Article: What is Conscious Breathing?
How It Works
Although this therapy may initially sound suspect, much of the salt room’s mechanism of action can be supported through scientific evidence. In the salt room, particles of the salt become suspended in the air and breathed in (Chervinskaya A. , 2011). By binding to pathogenic particles in the air, the aerosolized salt speeds the settling of these substances, purifying the air. These particles act on the tissues of the lungs in a number of ways.
Firstly, these particles create an osmotic gradient that draws water into the lungs, loosening phlegm, allowing it to be more easily coughed up.
Secondly, this altered osmotic gradient also acts on the lungs to reduce swelling (pulmonary edema).
Thirdly, these suspended salt particles carry an electrical charge that stimulate respiratory cilia (finger-like projections in the lungs that assist in clearing phlegm), increasing activity.
These three mechanisms, among the many others proposed in the literature, ultimately result in less obstructed, increasingly sterilized lungs. This therapy has the additional benefit of being relaxing which we know has positive effects on cardiac and metabolic health (Chervinskaya & Zilber, 1995).
Give a Salt Room a Try!
Although not yet widely recognized by the academic community, Halotherapy has been repeatedly supported in academic journals and has been incorporated by medical physicians in treating numerous lung related illnesses as a substitute for pharmaceutical drugs (Chervinskaya & Zilber, 1995). With these points in mind, a salt room may very well be worth trying, especially if you have a persistent cough unresponsive to other therapies. Keeping an open mind is key to keeping in touch with new discovery! Happy training and keep healthy!
Related Article: A New Way to Strengthen Your Lungs: Harmonica
Chervinskaya, A. (2011). Halotherapy in controlled salt chamber microclimate for recovering medicine. Balneologia Polska, 6(1), 24-32. Retrieved from http://www.alergologia.org/component/content/article/65-index-allergologicus/741-Halotherapy-in-controlled-salt-chamber-microclimate-for-recovering-medicine.
Chervinskaya, A. V., & Zilber, N. A. (1995). Halotherapy for treatment of respiratory diseases. Journal of Aerosol Medicine, 8(3), 221-232. Retrieved from http://www.saltspaasheville.com/uploads/Halotherapy_for_Treatment_of_Respiratory_Diseases1.pdf.
SALT WAVE. (n.d.). What does halotherapy help? Retrieved from SALT WAVE: http://www.saltwave.ca/what-does-halotherapy-help-.html
You Might Like: