As many of you know, I am half of Sanjati, an electronic-organic hybrid group that specializes in music for healing and meditation. Sanjati is fast becoming known in Columbus, Ohio and beyond as a source for healing music through our meditation concerts and sacred sound journeys. We are very grateful that creativity in Columbus is alive and well, and that our music is a part of the movement of realization that the creative arts facilitate profound healing.
One of our favorite places to play in Columbus is Tranquility Salt Cave. It’s a constructed cave made with thousands of pounds of Himalayan salt bricks and rocks with a beach-like, heated rock salt floor. The salt brick walls and the ceiling are backlit with colorful LEDs, and the cave is peppered with massive salt lamps. The space has an incredible vibe – truly magical! – and sets the perfect tone for our concerts and guided meditations.
However, the vibe is only one reason we love playing here. Another good reason is halotherapy, the dry salt aerosol treatment that goes on inside the cave during sessions.
So, what is halotherapy, and why is it so awesome? Check out the facts!
What is Halotherapy?
Halotherapy (salt therapy) is a therapeutic method based on speleotherapy, a medical treatment pioneered in Europe involving exposure to the specific microclimate of salt caves and mines.
Halotherapy is a more controlled and accessible form of speleotherapy. Rather than spending time in the depths of an actual salt mine shaft, recipients of halotherapy relax in comfortable chairs in a specially constructed salt cave room, breathing a specific concentration of pure salt aerosol dispensed by equipment housed in the cave.
While many countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, and Poland, currently offer speleotherapy clinic services in natural caves, here in the US we replicate and even improve upon this method by using halotherapy under controlled conditions.
The History of Halotherapy and Speleotherapy
How did we come to know that the special environment inside natural salt caves is therapeutic for humans? It all began with salt mining.
The mountainous regions of Europe and Asia are known for having the best mines for ancient sea salt.
In the 1950s, salt mining companies in Poland noticed that none of their miners suffered from tuberculosis or respiratory disease.
In acknowledgement of the cave’s innate healing effect, the first underground salt therapy center was then established in Velicko, Poland, to treat lung disease.
Scientific research of the efficacy of speleotherapy started over 30 years ago at the Hospital of Allergic Diseases in the city of Solotvino in the Ukraine. What began as a small clinic carrying out treatment and research now serves up to 6,000 patients from all over the world each year.
What’s the Difference Between Halotherapy and Using Salt Lamps?
While salt lamps are a beautiful addition to any space, and offer health benefits of their own, they do not have the same therapeutic potential as halotherapy.
What makes halotherapy work is that the salt particles are extremely fine and are highly dispersed in the treatment room as aerosol, in specific concentrations.
This allows the salt particles and beneficial ions generated to do their work inside your body.
Even if you were able to grind up your salt lamp into particles tiny enough for inhalation, the wide variety of minerals and other contaminants that it contains would make it inappropriate for use in aerosol therapy.
In accordance with halotherapy modality standards, only pure, untreated sodium chloride must be used for dry salt aerosol generation.
Who Benefits from Halotherapy?
Everyone can benefit from halotherapy, particularly people who suffer with respiratory or skin problems.
Your skin and lungs are constantly exposed to airborne and waterborne pollutants every day. Breathing indoor air toxins or outdoor air pollutants can trigger allergies, asthma, respiratory infection, dermatitis, and chronic cough.
The salt aerosol used in halotherapy dissolves phlegm in the bronchial tubes and kills microorganisms that can cause infection, both in the respiratory tract and on the surface of the skin.
Halotherapy has been shown to relieve:
- Chronic bronchitis
- Sinusitis and sinus infection
- Chronic cough (particularly one that arises at night or after exercise)
- Colds and respiratory infections
- Seasonal allergies
- Mucosal edema and mucus plugs
- Rhinitis and adenoiditis
- Sore throat
- Pneumonia (after the acute stage)
- Smokers cough
- Chemical sensitivities
- Allergies to industrial and household pollutants
- Eczema, psoriasis, and some forms of dermatitis
After halotherapy, people find that breathing becomes easier, and symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath are relieved.
Salt cave visitors also report feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated, and experience increased feelings of well being.
What Kind of Salt is used in Halotherapy?
Only pure, clinical grade sodium chloride (salt) is used to create the dry aerosol that is fed into a therapeutic salt cave.
The use of any other kind of salt is a red flag that the cave has not been set up according to what has been proven effective in clinical studies and treatment facilities in Europe.
Tranquility Salt Cave in Columbus uses only pure sodium chloride for its aerosol treatment.
Is Halotherapy Proven Safe and Effective?
Halotherapy is a 100% natural, safe, and drug-free alternative that provides effective, long-term relief. It can be used as a complementary treatment to prescription medications or as a sole treatment. Halotherapy is safe for people of all ages, but do consult your doctor before taking halotherapy if you have acute lung disease or other serious medical conditions.
If you would like more information about clinical research on halotherapy, please see the following resources:
Halotherapy for the Treatment of Respiratory Diseases
Nebulized Hypertonic Saline Solution for Infants with Acute Bronchiolitis
We hope to see you soon at Tranquility Salt Cave in Columbus!
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