Breathing Room

Salt therapy offers a natural treatment for respiratory ailments and skin conditions.

Your mom had good reason to tell you to gargle with salt water when you had a sore throat: There’s actual science behind the folk remedy. Sodium chloride has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, helping relieve ailments like inflammation, sinus congestion and sore feet.

While eating salty foods may be bad for you, inhaling salt-infused air does the body good. Salt therapy, or halo-
therapy, is the inhalation of microscopic salt particles as a treatment for a myriad of respiratory disorders, including asthma, common colds, sinus infections, bronchitis and cystic fibrosis. It’s also touted as an effective aid to cleanse toxins from the body, and to protect it from stress.

The Salt Room is just what its name implies—a room of salt, albeit of pharmaceutical-grade quality, covering every inch of space from top to bottom. Here, clients can either relax on lounge chairs or practice yoga, get a massage or facial, or even undergo an acupuncture treatment as they breathe in the ionized air for 45 minutes.

“Salt’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties work to open the airways and then act as a natural expectorant,” says Ashley Lewless, owner of The Salt Room. The room’s dry aerosol properties also provide relief from such skin conditions as psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema, Lewless says, adding that halotherapy “cleanses your airways, so your immune system doesn’t have to battle all the allergens you’re exposed to on a daily basis.”

Dr. Daniel Layish, of the Central Florida Pulmonary Group in Orlando, says he has seen halotherapy bring relief to patients with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease that causes thick mucus to collect in the lungs and block airways. Layish is the medical adviser to The Salt Room and also teaches at UCF’s College of Medicine. “Because so many of our patients with cystic fibrosis have reported benefits from halotherapy,” he says, “we are beginning a prospective study to try to gather objective evidence that can be presented to the scientific community.”

The Salt Room (1804 N. Mills Ave., 407-965-3065, offers several treatment packages, but individual sessions are priced at $45 for adults, $20 for children.


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