HELP! I am interested in halotherapy (salt therapy) but I don’t know where to start.
There are salt caves/rooms popping up in various existing businesses these days so how do you know if you will get a true halotherapy (salt therapy) session? Do they really offer “halotherapy” or are they charging you to sit in a room with salt décor on the walls and possibly crushed salt on the floor? Would that be relaxing? Possibly. BUT…no halogenerator = no salt therapy. It really is that simple.
Before you schedule and pay for a session, ask them to explain how salt therapy works and ask what the benefits are. Ask if you can stop in and see the space along with the halogenerator. Don’t be afraid to ask to see the equipment and get an explanation how it works. They should be more than happy to show you and offer a detailed explanation.
What does a halogenerator look like? Here are pictures of one of our actual units (before assembly and after). Our units are designed and manufactured in Poland where salt therapy started. The first salt therapy spa opened in the late 1830’s and these units are actual medical grade halogenerators in other countries. They run continuously during a session and they are solid units. We have one for our Healing Salt Cave® and one for our Halo Room. This is the machine that grinds the pharma grade salt and disperses it into the air as a dry salt aerosol. This creates the “treatment”.
Also, make sure they are knowledgeable about halotherapy and not a facility that had an empty room and looking for a way to make a quick buck. Believe it or not, this is happening, and it is wrong. It hurts the salt therapy industry and it does nothing for you.
The salt cave/room should have its own ventilation system and should not be tied into the existing HVAC system. Why? First, it would most likely damage their existing HVAC unit. Second, the salt aerosol would travel through the existing duct work and would most likely circulate back through the salt cave/room. They should have a way to ventilate the room between sessions. What do we mean by that? When the salt cave/room has its own ventilation system, stale air is pulled out while outside air is pushed in. Most facilities that do this properly utilize inline fans to make this happen. We have two inline fans for our Healing Salt Cave® (one to pull stale air out and one to push outside air in) and two for our Halo Room that work in the same way.
Again, ask them to explain how they “rotate” the air. They should be able to explain how it works. If it doesn’t have its own ventilation system, you will be sitting in stale air. Yes, salt is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory; however, you should be able to have a session in an environment that is as sterile as possible.
Does the room have to have salt on the walls and the floor to be a salt cave/room? No! You get a halotherapy treatment from the salt aerosol produced by the halogenerator, not from the salt on the walls or on the floor. Does having salt on the walls and/or floor help create a cave-like feeling? Most would say yes, but again, it is not necessary for a treatment.
Ask if they have a camera in the salt cave/room and if they monitor it during a session. If they say no, how do they know if the machine is working and if there is salt circulating in the air during your session? Halogenerators tend to clog, especially when it’s hot and humid outside, so they should have a way to monitor your session. That is our opinion, anyway. We have a camera in each space, and we monitor them on a computer screen in the reception area. We are happy to show you if you would like to see. Just ask us! If we don’t see salt circulating in the air, we immediately check the machine. Generally, we just need to add a bit more salt. On occasion, we will have to clean a clog, but it only takes a minute or two and your session is not interrupted at all.
Ask them if their salt cave/room is ADA compliant. This might not apply to you but it’s always a good question to ask. We added a second halotherapy room, our Halo Room, and there is no crushed salt on the floor which makes it wheelchair accessible without any problems. It is also easier for those that tend to lose their balance while walking on uneven surfaces such as a floor with 3-4 inches of crushed salt. Pictures below are so you can see the difference in the floors and the look of the spaces. Both provide the same treatment.
Other questions to ask the facility:
- If the answer is no, there is no halotherapy. Some places might not even know what you are talking about. If that is the case, RUN! Unless you just want to pay to sit in their room.
- Simply having salt bricks on the walls or salt décor in the room is NOT halotherapy and there are no proven benefits.
- The answer should be pure grade (or pharma / pharmaceutical grade) sodium chloride.
- Other types of salt such as Himalayan, Dead Sea, Rock Salt are NOT to be used per clinical studies, halogenerator manufacturers and researchers. Why? Because they contain minerals that are not water soluble and will not dissolve in your lungs. Honestly, this can be quite dangerous.
- For a larger cave, the average session is 45-minutes.
- For smaller rooms that are 150 sq. ft. or less are approximately 25 minutes.
- Smaller spaces such as salt booths can be as little as 10 minutes.
- The answer should be “it depends”! That is vague but it is the truth. Everyone is different and likely treating a different condition. Plus, everyone’s system reacts differently.
- In general, studies show between 8-14 sessions are generally needed to see improvement with more advanced conditions.
- For example, if you have a common cold or sinus drainage, you could see improvement with just 1-3 sessions.
- Studies show this is not the case because the salt enters your respiratory tract, you are not ingesting it.
- If you have high blood pressure and concerns, please talk to your physician.