Salt Therapy: Speleotherapy & Halotherapy treatments & benefits

Published on: 2018/05/28

Jaime Savarese, Licensed Massage Therapist – Long Island Sports Massage, New York


Salt therapy was discovered in the mid 18th century by Polish health official named Felix Botchkowski. Salt therapy was originally discovered as Speleotherapy or cave therapy, ‘Spelenos’ being the Greek term for ‘cave’.

Interest Category

Salt therapy, Speleotherapy, Halotherapy, respiratory therapies

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Salt therapy, Speleotherapy & Halotherapy

Salt therapy also known as speleotherapy or halotherapy originated from the salt mines of Poland. Salt therapy is a natural treatment in which the natural salt cave is used to treat respiratory and skin conditions. Salt therapy has been in existence since the 18th century. In the 1960s, it was scientifically named as Speleotherapy and Halotherapy.

Benefits of salt therapy

Salt therapy on a whole is known to reduce respiratory inflammation, inflammation of skin and other organs of the body. Salt therapy improves the immunity and is also known to improve pulmonary health. Salt therapy has many benefits for people who have been exposed to pollutants, bacteria, or dust and chronic cough caused by smoking. The major benefits of salt therapy include:

  1. Makes breathing easier by clearing the airway
  2. Reduces the need for inhalers
  3. Clears mucus and inflammation from the lungs
  4. Improves resistance to respiratory diseases
  5. Alleviates sneezing, shortness of breath and coughing

Salt therapy treatments & conditions

Salt therapy is known to have a natural cure for many skin, pulmonary and respiratory conditions. Salt therapy broadly helps to treat the following conditions:

  1. Sinusitis
  2. Asthma
  3. COPD – Bronchitis and Emphysema
  4. Cough
  5. Hay fever and allergies
  6. Bronchiectasis
  7. Cystic Fibrosis
  8. Stress
  9. Viral infections
  10. Insomnia
  11. Anxiety
  12. Respiratory issues
  13. Ear infection
  14. Skin diseases

What do you do in a salt room?

A typical salt session would last for 45 minutes, in which you are expected to sit in the salt room or salt cave. The salt room is designed with comfortable chairs, where you can sit and relax or meditate.

Speleotherapy vs Halotherapy

Speleotherapy is inhalation and use of natural salt from the salt mines. Halotherapy is a man-made replica of salt mines using aerosol sprays in controlled settings. As many countries do not have this natural salt mines, many halotherapy spas have been set up to treat people with respiratory diseases or conditions.

In a halotherapy room, the wall and the floor are coated with salt using an aerosol spray machine and the ionized microparticles of salt are suspended in the air. Speleotherapy is practiced mainly in East European countries where we can find subterranean salt mines that have been converted into spas. Recently, Halotherapy spas have been gaining popularity all around the world.

Read more – Salt therapy: Relax, Rechange & Breathe Easy by Jaime Savarese – a Licensed Massage therapist and Owner of Long Island Sports Massage, New York