A halotherapy spa resort was first mentioned in records dating back to 12th century Poland. Since then, halotherapy has found its way all over the world. As an alternative medicine, many forms of salt therapy exist today, the benefits of which are well documented, including treatment of allergies, asthma or skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
Halotherapy remains popular in Europe; however, it’s not easily found in Canada and the US. It was especially difficult to find halotherapy services on the West Coast- that is, until Helen and Keith Tong opened their wellness centre, Pure 5 Wellness Hub, in Burnaby in January, 2016.
“There’s no place like this in Burnaby or Vancouver,” says the Tongs. “Back in the day people would sit in a salt cave and feel better just because they were breathing in the micronized salt, which cleans out the airways.”
Today, halotherapy chambers come in several different forms: natural formations of salt caves (known as speloetherapy), rooms made from salt blocks and equipped with air-filtering systems, or rooms with a coating of salt on the walls.
With speleotherapy, one takes advantage of the natural climate in salt caves, some of which are 300-million years old. But speleotherapy may be harder to recreate and enjoy as it depends on natural formations.
Popular halotherapy spas in Belarus and Slovakia provide lounge chairs for clients to use while the aerosol works its way through the air, into the lungs. Conducted movement and breathing sessions help the aerosol make its way to the affected regions of the respiratory system.
Most will breathe easier after a salt halotherapy session, and several studies have shown that it boosts your immune system. It’s not uncommon for asthmatics to use their inhalers less frequently after halptherapy and for sufferers of seasonal allergies to see their symptoms significantly decreased.
Salt therapy is also used for irrigation and cleaning of human cavities. Orally, it may be best remembered for helping heal ones throat from the Strep virus: gargling with salt water. Saline irrigation and lavage is used for some respiratory system, colonic, or gynecological treatments.