Adults worldwide are raving about Halotherapy, aka salt rooms. But Do Salt Rooms really work? My husband and I reviewed our local Salt Suite to see what all the hype was about. Our encounters couldn’t be more different.
What is a Salt Room?
The short answer, a room filled with dry salt. The formal name is Halotherapy, essentially t’s a recreation of salt caves.
The salt room had several comfy leather chairs with privacy dividers. Inside, the room was gorgeous and set up for optimal relaxation: dim lighting, warm, quiet spa-like environment. The dry salt atmosphere creates negative ions and allegedly promotes holistic healing.
What are the Health Claims?
According to the Salt Suite website, [salt is] 100% natural therapy that could help manage your nagging allergy and asthma. Also, the site boasted that people with respiratory, sinus, skin, fitness, stress and sleep issues may also benefit.
I should point out, there is a disclaimer on the paperwork stating that halotherapy is not FDA approved and not a lot of scientific research exists to support the claims.
According to Dr. Norman Edelman, Advisor to the American Lung Association, “When fine salt particles are inhaled, they will fall on the airway linings and draw water into the airway, thinning the mucus and making it easier to raise, thus making people feel better.”
Right now no medical evidence suggests salt therapy works, scientists aren’t sure why it works for some people and not others. Please contact your doctor before trying salt therapy.
What should you bring?
The Salt Suite staff recommended wearing loose, comfortable clothing. I suggest wearing lighter colors so the salt doesn’t ruin darker clothes. Headphones are available but I brought my own. Who knows how often those are bleached down. Salt is antibacterial but I’m a germaphobe and its flu season.
They also provided an iPod to listen to, but I ended up listening to a podcast on my phone. Warm blankets are also provided to snuggle with.
My husband and I booked an appointment in the Moorestown, NJ Salt Suite franchise and we had two very different outcomes after our 45-minute sessions.
The first session was free, so we were off to a great start! As soon as we walked in the staff greeted us and were very nice. We filled out paperwork and then headed back and put our things in a locker. Another staffer greeted us and prepared us for our salt journey.
Due to the salt, runny noses and dry throats are common, so tissues and lozenges were available. I asked the staff if they had margaritas to go with all this salt, and she forced a smile, as I’m sure it’s the 100th time she heard that little zinger.
My husband’s Encounter
First, you should know he suffers from terrible allergy and sinus problems. The room is library silent so we were texting each other during our salt journey. He loved it, from the quiet ambiance to the comfy chairs, he embraced the entire experience.
Post appointment his sinuses were clear and he felt great, he even received a burst of energy. The salt room gave him relief for his sinuses. He’s going to head back with some friends.
As for me, I had a much different take away from my time in the salt cave.
Lets set the scene from my perspective. I walked in and the dry salt smacked me in the face and breathing in the air felt unnatural. Needless to say, I did not the spiritual experience that my husband did.
Within two minutes I got a horrific headache, my nostrils felt raw, my postnasal drip was in overdrive and my throat hurt. I guess the halotherapy was clearing out my sinuses, but to be honest I’d rather just use a neti pot and call it a day.
The room is very calming and relaxing. My anxiety was fairly calm during the session, but it was calm prior to as well. Depression is another issue I suffer with and for some reason after leaving the room I felt a wave of sadness and a little anxious. As far as helping with my mental health, I think I’ll just stick to massages and medication.
My salt headache (is that a thing?) lasted 6 hours until I took 2 extra-strength Tylenol to kill it. I felt sick and napped for the rest of the day. Salt Rooms are not my jam and personally, I would give it a negative review.
However, my opinion is not popular or common. Our salt suite mates loved their time in the room and my Facebook mom’s group swears by them.
One more thing
The Salt Suite states you should go a few times a week and then has you see improvements you can get away with going less often. I’m always the skeptic, so I’m not sure if that’s a marketing thing or if it’s really beneficial. I won’t be going back to find out. Overall, I would say if you have respiratory issues and nothing else has worked, its worth a shot but always consult your doctor first.
If you have an experience with a Salt Rooms, sound off in the comments, I would love to hear your experience. Am I the only one that had a negative experience?