Halotherapy for Respiratory Health
Halotherapy benefits people with a range of health conditions – from alleviating skin ailments to reducing stress, yet it is Halotherapy’s impact on respiratory health that is gaining the widest recognition. Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinus problems, frequent colds and related infections are common yet so detrimental to wellness. Other people, with more serious respiratory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (Stage III and lower), are also finding improvement with Halotherapy. To be clear, it is micronized dry salt mixed with air – or Dry Salt Aerosol — that is the active ingredient in Halotherapy. The inhalation of Dry Salt Aerosol improves the respiratory system’s own natural cleansing process by making it easier for the lungs and airways to expel mucus, and it reduces airway inflammation while simultaneously increasing microcirculation. Dry Salt Aerosol also has a natural antibiotic effect on harmful bacteria in the respiratory system. This action helps curb the immune system’s sometimes overzealous response to invasion – whether from bacteria, viruses or allergens, reducing inflammation and irritation. At the same time, Halotherapy can improve the local immunity of the respiratory tract, making people more able to fend off common respiratory illnesses and reactions. In countries where physicians recognize and utilize Halotherapy as a standard treatment, in parts of Poland, Russia and Ukraine, where Halotherapy is readily available, it is routinely prescribed for patients with respiratory diseases. Numerous publications in professional and general literature have shown that Halotherapy is beneficial for those who suffer from bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, allergic rhinitis and other ear, nose and throat (ENT) ailments, such as sinus infections and chronic sinusitis. Halotherapy both relieves coughing, by reducing inflammation, and makes it more productive by changing the viscosity of sputum, making it less sticky and more slippery, and therefore easier to expectorate. With opened airways, people find relief from coughing and shortness of breath. With effective Halotherapy, patients have been able to reduce the use of medications and decrease the rate hospitalizations. In general, many Halotherapy users have experienced prolonged remission between periods of illness. Halotherapy is also successfully used by ENT patients, with the best results achieved in cases of vasomotor and allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and adenoiditis. Halotherapy also helps those whose general health is good – enabling them to experience and even greater degree of wellness by reducing the chances of respiratory and sinus infections. It is especially beneficial for people exposed to airborne substances, seasonal allergens, dust, mold, pollution, tobacco smoke, or by occupational exposure to dust, gases, or chemicals. Halotherapy helps clear the airways and improves the immune response. It also helps prevent future respiratory ailments. For cigarette smokers, Halotherapy provides relief and had helped many smokers kick the habit. Due to the favorable effects of Dry Salt Aerosol on the respiratory immune system in the prevention of colds and other acute respiratory diseases, Halotherapy has been successfully used in patients with early-stage COPD. While many people seek out Halotherapy for relief from chronic or acute conditions, treatment is also recommended as a preventive measure for frequently sick (more than twice a year) adults and children. It has been scientifically proved that twice-a-week Halotherapy sessions during autumn and spring can prevent colds and decrease the risk of related complications.
Halotherapy safely and effectively promotes clearance the airways. It works as a “gentle brush” to clean the airways and lungs of mucus, allergens, pollutants and other impurities. When finely ground salt particles get into the airways, they gently stimulate cilia movement, which improves the expectoration of mucus, bacteria and any other irritants. Sodium chloride delivered via Halotherapy also changes the consistency of mucus, making it thinner, less sticky and more slippery, and greatly eases expectoration. Combined with its potential to stimulate cilia movement, sodium chloride is an important contributor to airway clearance.
Inhibiting the bacteria
Dry Salt Aerosol inhibits the growth of bacteria, which can cause respiratory tract infections. Photos above illustrate efficiency of this mechanism on the cellular level: the left photo shows respiratory epithelial cells colonized by S. pneumonia, a major cause of pneumonia; the right photo was taken after a 12-day course of 45-minute halotherapy sessions, showing the respiratory epithelial cells free of S. pneumoniae.
Improving local immunity
Dry salt aerosol strengthens local immunity of the respiratory tract and reduces its sensitization to common allergens.