Everything You Need to Know About Salt Therapy

A few years ago, Himalayan pink sea salt became a trendy grocery store staple. How funny that people were rushing out to their local market to trade their good ol’ Kosher salt for a bottle of this pink stuff. Beyond the pink hue, people caught on to the health benefits of sprinkling a bit of this salt over their entree. And then came the Himalayan salt lamp. See? Salt is trendier than you may think.

The latest innovation: Salt therapy.

What is salt therapy?

This holistic form of therapy is rooted in the ranging health benefits of this pink sea salt that we’ve all come to know (and love). Considered an “instant detox,” this form of therapy refreshes and rejuvenates one’s respiratory system and skin.

What does salt therapy do?

Salt is much more than something to top your French fries (we kid, we kid). “Dry salt therapy is a holistic approach to detoxify the lungs and skin with salt’s natural healing properties,” Marta Dulaba from BREATHE tells us. When you breathe in salt particles in a salt room, they help loosen congestion, increase oxygen intake and rid the airways of smoke, dust, pollution, pollens and other allergens. In addition, salt particles can help cleanse, balance, and rejuvenate tired skin. “As a whole, dry salt therapy helps with many ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, eczema, psoriasis, common cold and flu, snoring, sleep apnea and more,” she explains.

What to expect from salt therapy

Salt therapy studios like BREATHE offer two options: salt room and salt bed. According to Dulaba, they reap the same benefits so the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. “ The beds are designed to offer a private experience where a client can fully undress and expose affected areas of the skin,” she explains. “Rooms are communal. Here, you can either sit in a chair or lie down on a yoga mat on the floor.”

In both instances, you simply sit back for 25 minutes, close your eyes, and breathe. There’s no need to change clothes and you can choose to spend the time meditating or catching a few zzz’s. One thing to note: If you struggle with respiratory issues like asthma, she recommends sitting in the chairs since it will help keep your lungs open.

Who should try salt therapy

Everyone. Seriously, everyone’s lungs and skin could use a refresh — and that’s exactly what salt therapy does. People who suffer from asthma are some of BREATHE’s top clients — and for good reason. “As a runner living in Williamsburg, I suffered from exercise-induced asthma from running outdoors by so many construction zones. I do a session while at work (about 3 times a week) and after about 3 months my asthma completely disappeared,” she told us. Well, there you have it.

What is salt therapy good for?

Think beyond your sodium levels: When you breathe in salt, you breathe better. It’s that simple. “ Salt is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal,” explains Dulaba. “These properties help to open up passageways for better breathing, as well as clear any pathogens affecting our lungs and skin.” But if you really want to dig into science (we know you want to), heated Himalayan salt also emits negative ions, which counterbalance the positive ions from electronics. This ultimately allows for a balanced state of healing a.k.a. bliss.

Callahan is a fitness enthusiast who moonlights on the growth team at ClassPass. She's a certified fitness trainer, with years of fitness experience both inside and outside of the gym. When she's not working you can find her pursuing her passion projects as editor of Trek Montana, contributing writer to the Ultimate Nashville Bach Planning Site and Plan Your Bach.
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