Salt Therapy can Help Ease COPD Symptoms
Though the Lung Institute focuses mainly on stem cell therapy to promote healing, we also want to share helpful information about other alternative treatments that promise relief for those suffering from lung disease. Some people have found salt therapy to be an effective option for relieving symptoms and breathing more easily.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating and degenerative lung disease characterized by the restriction of airflow in and out of the lungs. COPD is the umbrella term foremphysema and/or chronic bronchitis. While research is inconclusive regarding salt therapy and COPD, many COPD sufferers report positive results from salt therapy (halotherapy).
History of Salt Therapy for COPD
Lung disease sufferers in Central Europe entered underground salt mines to relieve their breathing problems. Since those earliest experiments with salt therapy for COPD symptoms, several studies have been conducted to evaluate how salt affects lung function.
A recent study of 35 COPD patients using a dry salt inhaler revealed significant improvement in the six-minute walk test and demonstrated an improvement in quality of life, as reported on the Saint George Respiratory Questionnaire. The study concluded that, while there don’t seem to be adverse effects to using a salt inhaler, further studies are warranted to exclude a placebo effect.
Several clinical trials have revealed the benefits of salt therapy for:
- 85 percent of mild and moderate asthma cases
- 75 percent of severe asthma cases
- 97 percent of chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis cases
The Salt Cave, a clinic in the United Kingdom, specializes in salt therapy. One client with COPD reports a much better quality of life following salt therapy.
“The Salt Cave changed my life. Before my first visit I was on lots of antibiotics and steroids, basically confined to my house, and I hated to be around people as my breathing was so noisy. However, this has now changed thanks to Salt Therapy. The Salt Cave lets me live again and manage my illness in a way that means I can enjoy life again. When I walk out of The Salt Cave I feel high on life. I call it my heaven on earth.”
How Does it Work?
Salt therapy proponents claim that salt cleanses the respiratory system and speeds up the elimination of toxins. Salt has the following properties:
- Loosens excessive mucus and speeds up mucociliary transport
- Removes pathogens (ie., airborne pollen)
- Reduces IgE level (immune system oversensitivity)
Salt particles penetrate deep into the lungs to treat damaged tissue. Sometimes symptoms subside for up to 12 months following salt therapy.
For those who suffer from COPD, traditional drug and supplemental oxygen treatments, or a lung transplant, may not suffice. Many COPD sufferers experience positive results following salt therapy.
Stem cell therapy offers another alternative to traditional treatment options for COPD. The Lung Institute uses a patient’s own stem cells to accelerate the body’s natural healing process.
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