FAQ - Halotherapy

What is halotherapy?

Halotherapy, or salt therapy, is an effective, natural treatment in which pharmaceutical-grade salt is aerosolized into our salt room, creating a microclimate that helps treat respiratory and skin conditions, just by sitting and breathing.  


How does salt therapy work?

When you breathe in salty ocean air or salt vapors in a salt therapy room, molecules enter the airways of your lungs to break down and release negative ions. The negative ions stimulate the linings of your airways, clearing mucous while boosting your immune response to pathogens. When the negative ions reach your bloodstream, they are said to produce biochemical reactions that boost serotonin levels. And, the airborne salt reacts with the skin to resolve a variety of skin conditions.


What should I expect during my halotherapy session?

During your halotherapy session, you’ll be invited to sit and relax in our salt room that gives off a beautiful, calming glow from the pink Himalayan salt tiles that illuminate our walls.

We have zero-gravity lounge chairs for you to relax in. We dim the lights and our room temperature is comfortable - not too hot, cold or humid!


What respiratory conditions does halotherapy treat?  

Halotherapy helps alleviate symptoms of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, frequent colds, hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, smokers’ cough, damage from smoking, and upper respiratory disorders.

Salt therapy is great for anyone who relies on their lungs for performance - athletes, singers, and everyone in between.

While we recommend halotherapy as an adjunct or complementary treatment to your existing treatment regimen, it may be beneficial for pregnant women, young children or others for whom medications are contraindicated or not well-tolerated.


What skin conditions does halotherapy help?

Halotherapy is great for acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.


Are there any other benefits of halotherapy?

Salt therapy helps tackle inflammation, as well as mental lethargy, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), stress and depression, including postpartum depression. It can also help with insomnia, ear infections and snoring relief.

While most of the known and reported benefits of halotherapy are for the lungs and skin, the beneficial effects of negative ions on mental well-being are of particular interest to our psychiatrist. Negative ions, such as that produced during a halotherapy session, have been shown to increase mental clarity and mental well-being.  The negative ions bond and neutralize the positive ions that are abundant in our busy city-dwelling lifestyle, which tends to cause mental fatigue and inflammation. Negative ions have been described as a natural antidepressant.

With reduced free radicals (or positive ions) in our system, inflammation decreases and there is a relaxing effect in the body which normalizes breathing rate, decreases blood pressures and relieves tension. There are several studies that indicate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression in the winter months, can be effectively treated with halotherapy and light therapy. It’s akin to taking a trip to the beach!

Research from the University of California showed positive ions can create anxiety, irritability and a hyper-serotonin state, whereas the negative ions, such as those created in a salt room, can neutralize the anxiety and irritability by normalizing serotonin levels which potentially improves one's mental outlook, mood and sleep.  Additionally, a “clarity effect” has been described when talking about the benefits of negative ions and the brain, which describes improved mental concentration and performance.


Is salt therapy safe?

Salt therapy is a natural treatment and very safe. There are no known side effects associated with salt therapy. Sometimes after a session, you might experience a little tickle in your throat, which is the body’s natural way of clearing toxins from your body.


Can children use salt therapy?

Yes! Kids often respond to salt therapy more quickly than adults, and since it’s natural, there are no known side effects of salt therapy.  Children can enjoy activities in our salt room, including a “sand” box with pink Himalayan salt, toys and a dry-erase board to draw.  We ask that an adult accompany their child(ren) at all times.


Who shouldn’t use salt therapy?

Those who are coughing up blood, or if you’re at risk for it, should not use the salt room. Others who should avoid salt therapy include: those with pulmonary insufficiency, acute or severe disease of other organs (unless you have clearance from your physician) and children under 12 months.


How long are these sessions?

Sessions are typically 30 minutes in duration and are semi-private for up to four people at a time.  The concentration of salt is adjusted for your specifications.  

Salty yoga sessions, offered in our salt room, last 60 minutes.  Please check the schedule on our website or call to find out more about our yoga classes for both children and adults.

We also offer private body-restructuring massage and hot salt stone massages that are an hour long.


What should I wear?

Dress comfortably to relax and breathe.  If skin conditions are your main focus, make sure to wear clothing that maximizes skin exposure.  Shoes can be removed prior to entering the salt room or shoe coverings be worn. Children should have clean socks to wear inside the salt room.  A locker will be provided to store small personal valuables.


Are the sessions private?

The sessions are semi-private, and each session can hold up to four guests.  Private massage sessions are available upon request.


You mentioned having massages, yoga and other events in the salt room. When will you offer those?

Yes, we look forward to having body-restructuring massages, salty yoga and more in our salt room! Please call us or check our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RadianceSTL.com) for updates.


What are some studies that prove salt therapy is effective?

Halotherapy reports its birthplace in St. Petersburg, Russia with Alina Chervinskaya, M.D. conducting research and observations in her patients.  A lot of research has been conducted in Europe where is it a popular form of natural treatment.

Specific studies can be found here: http://salttherapyassociation.org/research-education/research-articles/


How many sessions are necessary to achieve benefits?

Halotherapy offers the best results when practiced regularly. The benefits are cumulative and consistency and frequency is the key. Those with chronic issues will benefit greatly by visiting salt rooms at least 3-4 times a week.

Those who want to incorporate salt therapy into their regular wellness routine would benefit from a weekly session. Halotherapy is safe to use on a daily basis, if desired.