Summer allergies? A salt room can help!

Hot days during summer can encourage time spent outdoors but the downside, among others can be, if you're suffering from allergies, having a flare up on particularly hotter days experienced in these parts of the country.






Summer allergies can leave those who experience them in great discomfort. Among many traditional treatments for allergic rhinitis or hay fever, skin allergies, rashes and sensitivities, individuals can make use of alternative therapy in a Salt Room, also known as halotherapy or salt therapy.



Summer is a time of fun and spending time enjoying the outdoors, but if you’re one of the many people suffering from summer allergies, you’ll dread a flare up on a particularly hot day.



Of the most common summer allergies is allergic rhinitis or hay fever, commonly caused by grass pollen, resulting in a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes, nose and throat. Skin allergies, rashes and sensitivities also often flare up in the hotter months, leaving sufferers in great discomfort.

An alternative therapy that could help alleviate these conditions is a salt room. Also known as halotherapy or salt therapy, it’s a wellness trend that involves spending time in a room with walls made of salt or with a salt generator that disperses microscopic salt particles into the air.

Many people have positive experiences and improvements in certain health conditions after salt therapy sessions, including feeling less stressed, being able to breathe more easily and even sleeping better!





Respiratory health

Halotherapy is often promoted as beneficial for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, the common cold and allergies. Salt has natural anti-inflammatory properties and the theory is that inhaling microscopic salt particles may reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, particularly in the airways and lungs. This could potentially benefit individuals with respiratory conditions characterised by inflammation, such as asthma and bronchitis.

Salt is also believed to have a mucolytic effect, meaning it may help to thin and loosen mucus. By making it easier to expel mucus, salt therapy proponents argue that it could alleviate congestion and improve breathing in people with respiratory allergies and conditions.

Salt has known antimicrobial properties, and inhaling salt particles may have a cleansing effect on the respiratory system by helping to remove harmful microorganisms, allergens or irritants from the airways.









Skin conditions

Some people believe that salt's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can benefit skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Proponents suggest that inhaling salt particles in a salt room could potentially reduce skin inflammation, and that exposure to salt in the air may have a cleansing effect on the skin, helping to reduce the risk of infection in eczema-affected areas.

While some individuals with eczema may report feeling temporary relief or improvements in their symptoms after spending time in a salt room, it's important to approach these claims with caution. Scientific evidence supporting the use of salt rooms specifically for eczema is limited, and individual responses can vary.

If you have eczema and are considering salt therapy, it's crucial to consult with your dermatologist or healthcare provider before trying it, cautions Lerato Tlhame, spa manager at Amani Spa & Wellness at Radisson Hotel & Convention Centre, Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo. “It's essential to prioritise evidence-based medical treatments for eczema, and salt therapy, if considered, should be viewed as a complementary or alternative approach rather than a primary treatment. Always follow the guidance of your healthcare professional for managing skin conditions like eczema or respiratory conditions.”



Stress reduction

“Salt caves and rooms are a remarkably serene and calming environment to be in, which helps to contribute to overall well-being,” adds Tlhame. “Stress is known to exacerbate certain skin conditions, and being in a relaxed state may positively impact overall skin health and positively impact respiratory function for some,” says Tlhame. “Many people also report that the stress-reducing effect of a salt room helps them to sleep better after a session.”





Detox and immune booster

Advocates of salt rooms claim that the exposure to salt particles can help the body detoxify by promoting the removal of toxins through the skin and respiratory system. And because salt is believed to have immune-boosting properties, some proponents suggest that regular sessions in a salt room may help strengthen the immune system.

It's important to note that while many people report positive experiences with salt therapy, scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited, and more research is needed to establish its effectiveness. “It's advisable to consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have pre-existing respiratory or skin conditions,” advises Tlhame.

Allergies are complex conditions influenced by various factors, and individual responses to salt therapy can vary. Salt therapy should be viewed as a complementary or alternative approach to respiratory health, not as a replacement for evidence-based medical treatments.

“Additionally, it's essential to choose a reputable facility with trained staff to ensure a safe and effective experience. Our sessions typically take 45 minutes, and even though salt has such stringent anti-microbial properties, we follow strict protocols to ensure our salt room is a sanitary space,” Tlhame concludes.