Have you ever heard of salt therapy? Well, I hadn't either until a few months ago. Basically, it's the act of inhaling fine sodium chloride particles into your lungs. And that's all. Simple enough concept, but how useful is it?
Salt therapy has been used to treat many health issues related to breathing. It can help people with respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other long-term respiratory problems. Due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, it's also supposed to be able to help people with various skin infections like psoriasis and eczema.
However, salt therapy is somewhat controversial because it hasn't been scientifically proved to be an effective treatment, but this hasn't stopped it from becoming very popular in spas and local clinics.
In this post, I break down everything you need to know about this type of treatment, including its cost, and speak about its usefulness in the real world.
What Is Salt Therapy?
Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, is a natural treatment for respiratory conditions. It involves sitting in a salt room or enclosed space with salt-covered walls and floor. In this room, the air will be saturated with fine particles of dry sodium chloride (salt).
Salt therapy offers an excellent alternative to medication for those who have trouble breathing due to asthma or allergies. It's also beneficial for people recovering from colds, flu, and other viral conditions.
How Much Does Salt Therapy Cost?
The price for salt therapy varies by location, duration of treatment, and which spa you go to. Prices can also vary depending on which package you choose to treat. Most spas charge per person, with group pricing available for a lower cost.
The Cost of Salt Therapy for Adults
Most salt therapy clinics charge about $30 for a single session. However, the price can go up to $45 per session if you visit a clinic in a big city.
The average cost of multiple sessions is around $250-$300 per month. You usually need 10-15 treatment sessions to see any positive effects of salt therapy on your health and well-being. Thus, the overall cost of halotherapy for adults ranges from $250 per month to over $600 per month (if you visit the doctor for checkups).
The Cost of Salt Therapy for Children
Prices are cheaper for kids than adults (you're welcome, parents!). While the average price in New York is around $45 per hour-long session, children under 16 pay only $35. Group sessions are also cheaper, ranging from $20 to $30 per person.
If you have health insurance, check with your carrier to see if they cover salt therapy. A handful of states—New York included—mandate that insurance companies cover medically-related costs associated with respiratory disorders and asthma.
If your child suffers from allergies or asthma and you're paying out of pocket for their treatment, it might pay off to look into what's covered by your health plan.
The Cost of Salt Therapy Devices
Salt therapy devices can be quite an investment, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Depending on how many family members will be using the device and how often you'll be able to use it, you'll need to decide whether such an investment is worthwhile.
On average, salt therapy devices, which are machines that simulate the conditions of a salt cave, start at around $200 and can run up to as much as $2000 depending on size and features. If you're interested in buying your own device, do some research to see what's available within your price range.
Other costs associated with salt therapy devices include replacement filters and salt stones. These are inexpensive compared to the upfront cost of buying a new device, but they add up over time if you're treating your symptoms frequently or for long periods.
What Are the Benefits of Salt Therapy?
Here are some of the important benefits of salt therapy:
- Reduces inflammation. Salt therapy helps reduce inflammation in the body and lungs, reducing symptoms of asthma and respiratory illnesses.
- Improves lung function. The negative ions, dry salt particles, and high salt concentration in the air during a salt therapy session all contribute to improved lung function. People with asthma notice that their breathing improves after just one session.
- Reduces respiratory stress. By improving lung function, salt therapy reduces the pressure on the respiratory system. This can also help people who suffer from cystic fibrosis, COPD, or other chronic respiratory illnesses experience less stress when breathing during daily activities like exercise or conversation.
- Improves sleep quality. The calming effects of a salt therapy session can carry over into your night-time routine and enhance the quality of sleep for those with poor sleeping habits or chronic sleep disorders like insomnia or restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Salt therapy can also help you fall asleep faster so that you don't lose valuable time tossing and turning before catching some ZZZs!
- Improves immune system function. Salt has been shown to boost immune function by increasing vitamins and amino acids in the bloodstream—including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, and Sodium Ascorbate (a form of vitamin C that is easier for our bodies to absorb).
These compounds are essential for fighting off viruses, colds, flu, and other toxins that enter our bodies through our food or environment by reducing inflammation in organs throughout the body (including your gut!).
How to Get the Most Out of Your Salt Therapy Session?
First, find a place that specializes in salt therapy. You can search Yelp or Google for "salt cave near me" or "halotherapy near me," but you can also see if there's a directory of local options from the Halotherapy Association. You can read reviews online, but if you have questions about what the session will be like, don't be afraid to call your chosen option and ask for more details.
Next, check-in with yourself: Am I prepared for the experience? If this is your first time at one of these facilities, it helps to know what you are getting into. Most places require that you take shoes off and wear loose-fitting clothes (pajamas are acceptable). Some will provide blankets or eye masks. I recommend earplugs if you have them.
Be sure to arrive 10 minutes early so you can relax and enjoy the entire hour; many places do not allow latecomers into their sessions because they want everyone to get their money's worth. You may bring water with you; eating beforehand is also recommended because they likely won't offer food during your stay (and it also helps with digestion during your breathing exercises).
Salt therapy can be a powerful, inexpensive way to treat inflammation, allergies, and respiratory disorders. It's not a miracle cure-all, but it could give sufferers of these diseases new hope.
The only downside? Gaining access to an adequately equipped salt cave costs $20 to $100 for a single session. Those looking for an economical treatment will have to stick with salt inhalers and masks for now—but given the cost of these treatments, this option can still be worthwhile.
If you have any questions about the costs associated with salt therapy or whether it's right for you, feel free to reach out to us! We'd love to chat with you about your needs and what we can offer.