Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Traffic-related air pollution, ozone, particulate matter, noxious gasses, volatile organic compounds and wildfire smoke are among the many lung hazards all around us on a daily basis- especially if we live in a city. The health implications are serious and pervasive, not only with the marked increase in respiratory diseases, but also in regards to cancer and cardiovascular health.
If a small fraction of the claims about the benefits of salt therapy for the lungs are true for you, then it's certainly worth doing! Salt has long been known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and it is also anti-bacterial anti-fungal, and anti-viral. The improvement of lung hygiene and function has obvious rewards, and Eastern Europeans have known this for more than a century after noticing that salt miners have fewer lung issues than other miners and everyone else. Hanging out in salt mines and utilizing them as sanatoriums has long been a complementary therapy.
That hasn't been as good as mining salt though, so in the 1990's man-made salt mining conditions were created with the invention of the "halo-generator." And halo-generators have only improved as the science has evolved regarding the right size particles for getting to the deep lobes of the lungs, and the right kinds of air conditions for eliciting a positive effect.
Getting the right concentration of salt, and doing it at least a few times the first week is key to notice results and give you the best idea of the benefits. If you're in a salt-therapy chamber or cave or room, and there's a cloud of salt in the air, then the particles are too big! This is done for the perception of getting enough salt, for a thicker layer on the skin, or because the location doesn't have a good quality halo-generator. It can be more irritating to the lungs, and you may be spending your session coughing. The ideal, micron-sized pharmaceutical grade salt particles are basically invisible. You'll eventually taste the salt- not only later in your session but sometimes for days after.
Each person is different re: how many sessions are best for optimal results. In my experience after 3 sessions the first week I could pare back to 1-2 per week, and then 1-2 every two weeks. It's important to simply pay close attention to how you feel- even for days after a session because the effect of the salt in the lungs and respiratory tract isn't immediate, but does linger. I notice more productive coughs 1-2 days after a session, and it feels like a gentle melting sensation in my lungs. I believe that's a softening of the mucous. So nice, and so worth experiencing yourself!
Todd Olson, founder-
Boulder Salt Therapy