Salt Rooms: healthy or hype?

With so many wellness trends hitting the market, it can be hard to keep track of what is what, let alone do the research to find out what’s actually backed…

With so many wellness trends hitting the market, it can be hard to keep track of what is what, let alone do the research to find out what’s actually backed by science. Salt room therapy — where people relax inside salt rooms — sounds like something that might be more fad than fact. However, the newly resurrected halotherapy dates back to the 12th century and has proven to have significant health benefits.

In some senses, it sounds like magic: people with respiratory problems or cystic fibrosis enter the caves, breathe in a mineral that they eat on a daily basis, and have said to leave feeling healthier (often after most other treatment options have failed them).

Originally, salt caves were literally caves and mines, although they were used accidentally. Centuries ago, people noticed that workers who spent time in the salt caves and fewer respiratory concerns, while people who hid in salt caves in World War II were found to have healthier lungs. Soon, it became a health treatment and now, you’re no longer required to traipse to European caves to reap the health benefits (although that doesn’t sound too bad to us.)

Salt rooms typically have pink Himalayan salt bricks as the walls, more salt making up the floor. From between 30 to 45 minutes, you’re invited to relax, nap, listen to music, or meditate. In that time, you may feel relief from allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and other respiratory symptoms, as well as clearer skin. Studies have also shown that it can improve energy levels, reduce stress, and bolster the immune system while killing harmful bacteria and improving blood flow. We could go on, but the list of claimed benefits is massive — essentially, the salt rooms are said to be your strongest weapon in whatever ails you, from acne to fatigue to congested lungs.

So how does it work? This specific type of salt releases negative ions, which cancel out positive ions. Positive ions, which, it turns out, are released by electronics like laptops and cellphones. In the salt rooms, a generator forms the salt into a mist, dispersing it throughout so it can latch onto the positive ions, neutralising them. Sound familiar? It’s the same benefits you get at the ocean at a more intense level: one session is allegedly comparable to a weekend by the sea.

Salt room therapy, and other wellness practices, are only part of a clean lifestyle. Choosing a plant-based diet like our Soulara meals is a critical component of feeling and looking strong, energised, and healthy.

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Published: 30/07/17

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