Some people have found salt therapy to be an effective option for relieving symptoms of lung disease, resulting in easier breathing.
Different treatments have proven to be successful for different patients. Perhaps salt therapy is the right option for you.
What is COPD?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating and degenerative lung disease characterized by restricting airflow in and out of the lungs.
COPD is the umbrella term for emphysema 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
Historically, 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 being around people because 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. I feel high on life when I walk out of The Salt Cave. I call it my heaven on earth.”
How Does Salt Therapy 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 (i.e., 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.
Consult your doctor to see if salt therapy could be beneficial for you.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.