Natural Allergy Relief with Halotherapy
My earliest and strongest memory as a child to the downside of allergy relief pills was bearing witness to my mother chronically suffering from hay fever. She would painstakingly cut her allergy pills into small fragments to avoid the full on side effects. This is probably nothing out the ordinary aside from the fact she complained about it religiously and must have felt it equally relieving to protest against it to me and my young siblings all of our lives. On some days when she was acting out of sorts, tired, foggy and downright miserable, she would always announce in explanation and disgust, “Well I had to take a whole allergy pill today!” This is always how it was for her and I only wish the trend for holisitic and natural health remedies were more popular back in her day.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports some staggering numbers
on allergies. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. While there are a myriad of modern medicines available for allergy sufferers, many still come with unwanted side effects. Just listen to the fast talking at the end of a commercial advertisement: “Drowsiness, dizziness, constipation, stomach upset, blurred vision, a dry mouth/nose/throat may occur…” Which is worse, the allergy symptoms or the medication side effects? Choosing the lesser of two evils isn’t much comfort.
It is common to hear people with chronic allergies commiserating on how they avoid taking their allergy medicine because they don’t like how it makes them feel, followed by an unnecessary and shameful confession that they had to take it that day because their allergies were so bad which usually includes a disclaimer for any possible behavior that may be a result of that. And, yes, we are still talking about allergy medications here and I’m having flashbacks of my mother again!
If you suffer from allergies and are tired of choosing between suffering from the allergy symptoms or the medication side effects then it’s time to explore natural allergy relief. One therapy to consider is Halotherapy (Halo is Greek for salt.) Also known as Dry Salt Therapy, it is known to help relieve respiratory ailments such as cold/flu, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, sinus infection, sinusitis, rhinitis and hay fever (allergies). In addition, the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of dry sodium chloride aerosol has been shown to treat ear infections and conditions of the skin such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema and dermatitis.
The History of Halotherapy
100% drug free, scientist and researchers developed Halotherapy as a means of
concentrating the positive effects of salt observed in nature. For centuries, monks used naturally occurring salt caverns to treat respiratory ailments. They produced salt dust by grinding salt rocks against each other, which was then inhaled by patients. In 1843, Dr. Felix Bochkowsky, the state authority for occupational health in the Polish industry, published a book about the health benefits of salt dust. He saw that while metal and coal miners battled deadly respiratory ailments, workers in salt mines were actually healthier than average people, not to mention other miners. The first Halotherapy salt chambers opened in the 1960’s in Eastern Europe as an option for respiratory treatment. Into the 1980’s European health resorts began offering Halotherapy as a restorative treatment.
What is Halotherapy?
Salt therapy is a therapeutic, natural, drug-free and non-invasive method of inhaling pure, dry, micronized salt air particles. These particles reach the deepest area of the lungs absorbing bacteria and pollutants and providing an anti-inflammatory and cleansing effect. This process supports and strengthens the body’s immune system by eliminating toxins and allergens that are trapped within the mucus lining of the respiratory system.
How does it work?
Dry pharmaceutical grade salt is heated and then is ground and crushed into very tiny
micro-particles in a machine called a halogenerator. During a typical salt room session, these dry aerosol micro-particles of salt are then dispersed into the air. As the person relaxes, the micro-particles are inhaled. The particles penetrate deep into the lungs, bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli. Bacteria and pollutants are dissolved as salt enters the lungs and respiratory system by eliminating mucous and opening constricted airways.
What is it like in a Salt Room?
Salt rooms come in many different styles. Some are lined with white salt and floors covered in granular salt. Others offer beautifully, back lit himalayan salt bricks, stones and panels. The negative ions emitted by Himalayan salt is beneficial in offering a pollution free environment. A typical session is 45 minutes long and guests relax in zero gravity lounge chairs which helps open the lungs and takes pressure off the spine. Soft music plays and you are welcome to use your time as you’d like: nap, read, meditate or chat with friends if appropriate. Depending on how you look at it, the only possible drawback is that you must “unplug” since the use of electronics is prohibited due to the corrosive nature of salt. Lockers are provided for the secure keeping of your personal items. Clients are encouraged to dress comfortably or bring an appropriate change of clothes if they have skin conditions that need to be addressed by exposing those areas to the salt air. The room stays at an even, comfortable temperature throughout the session.
Taking fitness to a new level
You don’t need to have respiratory or skin issues to experience the benefits of a salt room. It is becoming increasingly popular to combine using a salt room while practicing other health modalities such as yoga, breathing, meditation and massage. Combining fitness and Halotherapy is a perfect complement as it opens airways, increases lung capacity, and promotes deep relaxation, skin wellness and boosts natural immunity.
Benefits of Halotherapy
The following conditions may be alleviated:
- Bronchial Infections
- Chronic ENT illnesses
- Sinus Infections
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Smoker’s Cough
- Ear Infections
- Stress and Fatigue
Who should avoid Halotherapy?
Halotherapy is recognized as a safe and effective wellness practice for preventive and
restorative health care. It is not a medical treatment and does not offer a cure! Halotherapy is not recommended for people with contagious diseases, fever, open wounds, cancer, severe hypertension, mental disorders and active tuberculosis. Pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using Halotherapy. Anyone with serious health concerns need to seek proper medical advice and care. Halotherapy is promoted as an aid to better breathing, healthier skin, sounder sleep, improved physical fitness and endurance and an overall feeling of wellness.
My personal experience with a salt room was in Florida in February 2016. I personally experienced relief of bronchitis on my first visit. My husband was skeptical, but afterwards exclaimed he forgot what it was like to breathe through his nose! We were so impressed with the results of this natural, holistic therapy that we decided to incorporate a Himalayan Salt Room in my business venture back in Maine and we are so pleased to offer an alternative therapy to those who may benefit. I wish my Mom could have traded her whole allergy pills for a holistic, natural relief when I was growing up. I’m sure she would approve of and use this method today!
Kat Shaw is a licensed Esthetician and owner of Craft Estética located at 17 Ash Street in Westbrook. Craft Estética offers the only Himalayan Salt Room in Maine, which may be used in single or multiple sessions or booked privately for groups of up to 6 people. Offering a modern fusion of science, artistry and the highest grade medical and organic products available allows the staff at Craft Estética to focus on health-centered beauty and well being for every client at every visit. For more information, visit: www.craftestetica.com or call (207) 854-0602.