Salt Therapy Methods
Find out more about different salt therapy treatments and methods; distinguish between them and allow yourself to make an informed decision in treating your respiratory health condition.
Salt therapy has been used for a long time. It was first documented in the 19th century when a Polish physician noticed the health effects on rock salt miners. Many salt sanatoriums were settled in salt mines all over Eastern European countries… more here “Salt Therapy – from History to Modern Approaches“. Since travelling is costly, other salt therapy avenues were developed to fulfill this need. Today, in an inexpensive, convenient and effective way, salt therapy can be provided in the comfort of your own home. Here is a comparative analysis of the existing salt therapy methods:
1. Artificial Salt Rooms – Salt Room Therapy
Salt room therapy usually uses a halo-generator to create very fine salt particles that are dispersed into a room. The salt room’s walls and floors are covered in rock salt. A session lasts around 1 hour. Multiple people can relax or exercise in a salt room at the same time, while breathing in salt aerosol. The cost of a session can be anywhere from $40-$60. For lasting results, at least 6 consecutive sessions are recommended. Due to being exposed for only 45 minutes – 1 hour at a time, the salt aerosol concentration is relatively high.
There are also artificial salt rooms that do not have halo-generators and the salt aerosol is created by brushing a salt brick with a steel brush. As a result, the concentration of salt aerosol is usually lower than halogenerator operated rooms. Exposure time and cost are the same, but therapeutic effects are lower compared to halogenerator salt rooms. This is because the length of exposure and the aerosol concentration are not correlated.
– Easy to use – just breathe and relax
– Short but intense therapy
– Controlled environment
– May have physical exercise sessions; this is beneficial for getting the salt particles deep into the lungs and further accelerating the clearing process
– Expensive $40-$60 per one hour visit and minimum 6-12 visits needed for lasting results
– Travel to site
– No privacy! Most salt rooms are small but shared with others
2. SaltAir – Home Salt Therapy device
The SaltAir line of products are small devices that use ultrasonic technology to create microscopic salt particles that are then released into the indoor air for long-term breathing.
The salt aerosol is created from saline solution. It is similar with the seashore aerosol or the salt mine aerosol. Using the device during the nighttime sleep is best. This will provide 7-8 hours of exposure time that is absolutely necessary in chronic respiratory diseases for lasting results.The concentration of salt aerosol correlates with the length of time the device is on in the home. There won’t be any salt deposits on furniture and no harmful effects on electronics and people on low sodium diet or salt-free diet plans can also use this device safely. Salt particles deposit on the respiratory mucosa and get eliminated along with mucus.
– Can be used easily and comfortably at home
– No active user involvement, effective, and no side effects
– Inexpensive – Saltair device comes with 1 year warranty; lifespan is around 2 years, and with good care 3-4 years.
– Can be used by all family members, including infants, elders and pets
– Can be used from prevention to treatment of chronic respiratory problems
– Offers long term exposure; at least 7-8 hours during the night sleep is recommended in chronic respiratory diseases
– Constant concentration of salt aerosol every night, ensuring constant results
– Everyone in the room can benefit from a single device
– It can be used in an office setting and during work hours to maximize exposure in chronic respiratory diseases (SaltAir UV mini)
– It is also a salt therapy air purifier; the negative salt ions clear the indoor air from odours, dust, pollen and pathogens
– Upkeep; needs to be cleaned occasionally and refilled once a week
– Less portable than a salt inhaler but travel is possible; the SaltAir UV mini is the office / travel unit
3. Salt Inhalers
These are small, hand-held devices made from plastic or ceramic that are filled with rock salt. The rock salt inside generates micro particles of salt by rubbing against each other and the inhaler walls. You have to breathe through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Start with 15 minutes a day and then increase to 1-2 hours a day.
– Small and portable; fits in a pocket
– In chronic respiratory conditions it can be used in connection with the SaltAir device, to extend exposure during daytime
– Sodium sensitive people should avoid shaking ceramic salt inhalers every time they breathe through it
– They are not suitable for small children, under the age of 5
– Do not offer enough salt therapy exposure in chronic respiratory diseases by themselves; further exposure is necessary
4. Salt Lamps
Salt lamps are made from different varieties of rock salt and come in many colours and shapes. They have an aesthetic look and provide nice, smooth light that looks good in a living room or bedroom. It is claimed that, once they get heated by the light bulb inside, they release an increased number of negative salt ions. It is also known that rock salt emits negative ions of sodium naturally.
– Have an aesthetic look and provide relaxing, smooth light at night
– Have amazing visual impact on people
– Use natural rock salt known to have beneficial relaxing effects
– Use salt lamps in connection with Saltair device to extend the therapy in chronic respiratory conditions
– Used alone, they do not provide enough salt ions to make a difference in chronic respiratory diseases
5. Neti Pots / Sinus Rinse System
Neti pots are usually made of ceramic, glass, metal or plastic, have a spout near the bottom and a handle on the opposite side. They use saline solution to clean the nasal passages and sinuses. Using the neti pot or sinus rinse system, the saline solution is introduced into one nostril and let run through the nasal cavity. Using gravity along with head positioning, the saline solution goes through the nasal cavity, while the mouth can stay open for breathing. The use of saline nasal spray is another technique but is relatively inefficient in washing mucus in the entire nasal cavity. Some people also use a small amount of baking soda in the saline solution.
– Easy to use and inexpensive
– Help in cleaning the nasal mucus
– Can be useful in clearing the increased mucus production from nasal passages in sinus infections
– Not comfortable for many people; some may find it quite unpleasant
– Unable to reach small airways as dry salt aerosol does;
– Unable to offer the anti-inflammatory effect of salt therapy that is reached only with long exposure