We Tried Salt Therapy And It Was… Strange But Effective

Testing Out Halotherapy With My Fiancé at the Old Mill Inn Spa.

Hearing the words ‘Halotherapy’ had me immediately wondering “What is that exactly? It that some aura-cleansing thing?” It turns out that it’s Salt Therapy. And it has been used to treat many ailments, ranging from skin conditions, respiratory issues, and, more recently, chronic stress. More on those claims later.

This past week, Dusan and I visited the Old Mill Inn Spa in Toronto’s west end for some R&R. I booked a couple’s aromatherapy massage, which was wonderful. But it was the Halotherapy that really surprised us. And my stuffed nose, to be specific.

Photo by John Westrock on Unsplash

What the Heck is Halotherapy?

Halotherapy refers to the exposure to air heavily concentrated with salt particles. This can be either a natural phenomenon, like within a salt cave, or artificially created with the use of a machine that disperses microparticles of salt into the air. Kind of like a humidifier, but with dry salt. We tried the later. Our session lasted only 10 minutes and was done within a small, wood-paneled chamber inside a larger spa facility.

Does Salt Therapy Work?

As for the “stress-relieving” claim, I would say the aromatherapy massage did a far better job at that. Perhaps we were naive about what to expect, but our Salt Therapy session was more intense than we anticipated. Dusan and I exchanged nervous glances as the air in the chamber became thicker and cloudier with salt particles. We joked that our nostrils were drying up. And it became a little difficult to breathe without coughing. “I feel like I’m in a hot-boxed car!” he said after coughing a bit. I agreed.

So, no, in all honesty, we did not find the Halotherapy to be relaxing. I even panicked a bit in the beginning because I wasn’t expecting the treatment to be so harsh. (Perhaps if I was better aware of what to expect, that wouldn’t have happened.)

However, within 5 minutes of sitting in the concentrated, salty air, I started noticing a difference. My airways were clearing up, fast. After I left the salt chamber, I did have to blow my nose to release all the gunk. (Sorry to be graphic.) But my nose, throat, and lungs felt so clear and light afterward!

Earlier during my massage, my nostrils were plugged to the point where I couldn’t breathe through them. I even had to interrupt my masseuse to get a tissue while she was working on me. After the 10 minutes in the Salt Chamber, I felt like I had new lungs! Even 24 hours later, as I write this, I’m breathing much deeper than I have in a long time.

What About Halotherapy for Skin Conditions?

My Experience With Salt Treatments to Clear up Acne.

During the salt session, I opened my spa robe up wide around my collarbones to expose more of my skin. Because of the claim that Halotherapy can help with skin conditions, I thought it might help with the scattering of pimples that had popped up across my chest and shoulders. (You would think turning 30 would end the vicious cycle of acne, but nope.)

In the photo, you may notice the two large red spots on my chest that I was hoping to address. Dusan also had some active pimples around his hairline. I feel like we were ideal guinea pigs candidates to test the benfits of Halotherapy on acne.

Looking at my skin now, 24 hours later, it looks good. A lot better than when I went into the spa. The spots on my face, chest, and shoulders are hardly noticeable and, dare I say, nearly gone! Keep in mind, I don’t have cystic acne, it’s more the small, stubborn, topical kind that leaves faint red marks. Areas that I didn’t expose directly to the salty air don’t show much difference though. Perhaps next time I’ll wear a swimsuit instead of the plush robe. (I’m not brave enough to go in the buff, but good on you if you are!)

The big angry pimple on Dusan’s temple is nearly gone too.

I also want to mention that the Halotherapy didn’t irritate my eczema. Although, I only have mild eczema, so it may be best to talk to a dermatologist first if you have particularly sensitive skin. I went in with massage oil all over my body, and I would recommend doing the same so your skin doesn’t dry out too much.

Final Thoughts

Would I do Salt Therapy again? Yes, I think so. Especially if I’m feeling congested or have a round of bad face or body acne. Like many spa treatments, there may have been some over-promising with the Halotherapy treatment. I wouldn’t go so far as to claim I felt “less stress” coming out of the session, but I was definitely breathing better, my stuffy nose was gone, and my airways felt clear and light. If you don’t have mucus build up, you probably won’t notice much difference here.

Now that some time has passed, my chest, face, and back acne has diminished significantly. For me, naturally salty environments like the beach or the ocean have always helped clear up active pimples. So this did not surprise me. But cost wise, this was far more reasonable than booking a trip to Florida.

Because of how harsh the Halogenator machine made the environment inside the “Salt Chamber,” I would not visit more than once a month. And my throat does feel a tiny bit on the dry side today.

Have you heard of Halotherapy? Do you think you would ever try it?


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