A couple of years ago I interviewed a woman, in her early twenties, who had cystic fibrosis. She had become an ambassador for an organization called “Pipeline for a Cure” which touted the therapeutic benefits of surfing for cystic fibrosis. The salt in the water helps to open up the airways and clear mucus, making breathing easier for a patient with cystic fibrosis. This was the first time I had heard about salt and it’s healing properties.
Fast forward to today and the Health section of the LA Times. There was an article entitled, “Salt Room Sanctuaries” which explored salt rooms and the healing properties in which users claim they have. Called Halotherapy, a user will sit in an all white room, made to look like an ice cave, with salt plastered on the walls and floor, while a generator fans out salt into the air. The article concentrated on exploring the Salt Chalet, a salt room treatment center that recently opened in Encino, CA–the first of it’s kind on the West Coast. Users vary from allergy sufferers, to those with psoriasis, and the aforementioned patients with respiratory problems.
Although doctors state that the claimed benefits of salt therapy are unproven, they can understand why it’s become popular. The salt used in most centers comes from the Dead Sea. As the LA Times reports, the Dead Sea is special because, “. . . of the sea’s unique properties — it is the lowest point on Earth and has the highest concentration of minerals in a body of water. . .” As a result, many claim that it treats a variety of ailments, especially skin conditions.
If you Google Salt Therapy, you’ll see everything from companies who make salt therapy machines to use in your own home, to blog entries stating it was “the only thing that worked” to advertising for salt room treatment centers across the globe. Whether or not it works, this is one trend that seems to be gaining momentum.