By in Healing Environments, Health and Wellness
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Crystal Salt Therapy can aid in some ailments

By Tracy Dye

 Saying goodbye to summer is never easy. One thing that can make bidding beach trips, barbecues and sunshine adieu even more difficult is the onset of seasonal allergies. Allergic rhinitis — otherwise known as hay fever — normally begins in August and ushers in hay harvesting season. Symptoms are similar to that of a cold and can exacerbate other respiratory issues, like asthma.Crystal Salt Treatment

While prescription and over-the-counter medicines are available to alleviate symptoms of both allergies and asthma, complementary and alternative medicines have also grown in popularity as a luxurious way to find relief. Salt therapy, also known as Halotherapy, can alleviate various respiratory ailments, such as asthma, sinusitis and hay fever, among others. The treatment can also provide relief for skin conditions that have a tendency to flare up during seasonal changes, like acne and eczema.

Originally developed as an ancient European healing technique, the treatment has gained popularity throughout the United States, with crystal salt therapy rooms making their way into many spas and wellness retreats. An added bonus is that these rooms provide a relaxing escape from the everyday rush.

“It’s kind of like spending time in the salty sea air by the Mediterranean or by the ocean,” said Amy Ebling, Administrative Assistant for the General Manager at Haven on the Lake.

At Haven, guests and members can sign up to spend 40 minutes in the crystal salt therapy room. Heated to a balmy 88 degrees, salt is infused through the air and also emitted by a wall of himalayan salt bricks. A ceiling resembling a starlit sky and soothing melodies augment the experience, making for a truly meditative session.

Ebling said she sees many Haven guests exit the crystal salt therapy room ready to offer rave reviews about their experience.

“They mention the differences that they notice themselves,” She said. “Their color is better and they have a little bit more of a pep in their step.”

What does the research say?

 Hailed as an ancient practice, salt therapy has also been observed in the world of science. Several clinical studies tout the benefits of inhaling salt and spending time in salt chambers .

A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that a majority of asthmatic participants who used salt chamber treatment as a complement to standard steroid histamine inhalers experienced a decrease in bronchial hyperresponsiveness, which is characterized by spasms in the airway and can be triggered by seasonal changes.

In a 2009 study published in the 2009 issue of the European Respiratory Journal, Russian pulmonologist Alina Chervinskaya found that inhaling aerosol salts similar to those found in salt rooms helped prevent the common cold.

Although American studies on the benefits of halotherapy remain sparse, a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that inhalation of vapors made from saline solution improved respiratory function in 24 patients with cystic fibrosis — a disorder that causes potentially life-threatening damage to the lungs and digestive system

The total (holistic) package

At Haven, the crystal salt therapy room is one of seven amenities that make up the wellness retreat’s healing environments. These amenities include: a cold plunge, hot tub, movement and relaxation pool, sauna, steam bath and tropical rain shower.

“Everything is really going to be enhanced when you look at the entire package that you’re getting at Haven on the Lake,” Ebling said. “When we combine the crystal salt room with the therapeutic environment it’s set in, that’s when you’re really going to notice the exponential benefits.”

Find more information at HavenontheLake.org or call 410-715-3020.

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