• Gregory Uhl

Salt Room Therapy

As respiratory restrictions and social distancing recommendations are being adjusted, it is imperative that people who have dealt with the pandemic limitations find adequate ways to reduce stress, invest in their overall and especially respiratory fitness as well as improve their mental health. “They need to seek out wellness providers that stress safety in returning to therapeutic facilities that can improve respiratory well-being” according to Gregory Uhl MD, cardiologist and critical care specialist, a part owner of Tranquil Garden massage spa in Hendersonville, TN.

Salt therapy, aka halotherapy, is an evidence-based therapeutic modality that provides a noninvasive, touchless therapy that promotes respiratory hygiene. Dozens of published clinical studies demonstrate the efficacy of dry salt aerosol inhalation in the improvement of respiratory health, lung function and the immune system. Salt room therapy consists of grinding pharmaceutical grade salt which enters a well-ventilated room as a low concentration sodium chloride aerosol where patrons can relax, destress and inhale these micron-sized salt particles to penetrate the lungs and bronchial tubes. Dry salt therapy is known for having antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and hygroscopic (water absorbing) properties. Dr. Daniel Layish a pulmonary specialist and founding Salt Therapy Association director states, “It is too early to tell what impact halotherapy may have on this strain of the coronavirus, however… dry salt therapy has been shown to provide symptomatic benefit to lung inflammation.” Recently several salt chamber facility owners, including former nurses and respiratory therapists, have recovered from COVID-19 and have been using salt therapy during their infection and in their recovery.

Salt room therapy began in the United States about 10 years ago as a complementary/alternative modality to enhance respiratory hygiene. It has been recognized throughout Europe for several decades where this therapy is actually covered by their national healthcare system. Prior to the changes brought on by the pandemic, tens of thousands of Americans have gone to the over 1,500 salt therapy providers as part of their preventive and respiratory health regimen. These salt therapy rooms are specifically engineered to very high-quality standards with an emphasis on proper and clean HVAC ventilation which is the main element of filling a salt chamber with the salt aerosol. Every effort is made to sanitize the treatment room with UV-C light between sessions and to sanitize surfaces. A complete air exchange is accomplished between sessions. Only members of a single group of family or friends will be in a treatment session at one time.

While salt has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, according to John Carlson, an advisor to the Salt Therapy Association (also a Certified Indoor Environmental Engineer) states “dry salt aerosol does not kill the virus but it does capture the virus and drops it to the ground”. Salt chambers are beneficial in restoring respiratory hygiene in those from "long haul" COVID-19 infections.

Other non-contact therapeutics to enhance overall wellness such as infrared sauna rooms or Far infrared sauna blankets (which can be sanitized between treatment sessions) are often available in these wellness centers. Infrared treatments result in warmth and relaxation similar to the sun’s energy. The heat is not on the skin surface but from beneath the dermal layers and promotes blood circulation, relaxing muscles and tissues to help relieve pain and discomfort and in some cases detoxify the body and even decompose fat cell membranes. Tranquil Garden is the only massage spa in Tennessee to offer both services.

All established practices and protocols are in place to ensure proper physical distancing, sanitization, and disinfection and all guidelines are strictly followed to ensure safety and enhance health and well-being.

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