Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • June 2018
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What is halotherapy?

The term halotherapy comes from “halos,” the Greek word for salt. Halotherapy is often referred to as “salt therapy.” During a halotherapy, or salt therapy session, people relax in salt “caves” or rooms to breathe in salt particles. Sessions usually last thirty minutes to an hour.

Halotherapy was first discovered in the 1840s when a Polish doctor named Feliks Boczkowski realized that the men working in salt mines didn’t have a lot of the respiratory issues that other people had, and was able to link this to their regular inhaling of salt dust. Poland is also where the first halotherapy center was opened for the public. A German doctor named D.K.H. Spannahel noticed that people also had improved respiratory symptoms while hiding in the salt mines during WWII, so he continued to study halotherapy.

By the 1950s, a lot of hospitals in Europe had salt therapy rooms for patients to use. Halotherapy has gained popularity in Australia, Canada, Asia and now the United States. Dr. Margaret Smiechowski grew up in Poland, so she grew up learning the benefits of halotherapy. She helped to open the first public salt therapy room in the United States in Vermont. There are now over 130 salt therapy rooms in the United States and more are opening all the time as knowledge of their benefits becomes more known.

Salt therapy works by using the natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of salt. Being an all-natural treatment makes it a great and much safer alternative to prescription medications. When you breathe in the salt particles, they help to clean out the airways, kill harmful bacteria, reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system. This can be helpful for many conditions, such as asthma, allergies, sinus pain related to congestion, dry eyes and sinuses, bronchitis, rhinitis, ear infections, cold and flu, cough, COPD, emphysema, and more.

Salt therapy has benefits for more than just sinus and respiratory issues, though. Salt therapy can also be good for many skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. The salt helps to balance the skin’s pH levels, helps healthy new skin cells to grow, and increases the oxygen levels in the circulation system. Salt therapy can also help to improve sleep as well. Many people report better sleep after just one session. The reason for this is very simple: when you breathe better, you sleep better.

Halotherapy is growing in popularity and is a great option for anyone who is struggling with any of the conditions listed above. If this is you or someone you know, consider giving salt therapy a try. 

References: Salt Therapy Association.

“Unique Salt Therapy. First in US. Graduation Brine Tower.” 2011.

Vermont Salt Cave Spa & Halotherapy Center.

Sheryl Bauer

Sheryl Bauer and her husband, Ben, are the owners of The Salt Room Appleton, the Fox Valley’s first salt therapy location. She is passionate about helping others to “Inhale. Exhale. Stay Well.” The Salt Room is proud to be a fragrance-free facility. For more information, please visit


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