Halotherapy as a Natural Treatment for COPD
DISCLAIMER: Always consult a doctor before undergoing treatment of any kind.
Of all of the natural cures for COPD that we’ve researched, halotherapy has the least scientific support. However, there is scientific support for the use of salt in the form of hypertonic saline as a COPD cure. Theoretically, halotherapy would have similar results as hypertonic saline though in halotherapy, salt is administered “dry” without water. As such, the salt goes into the lung as tiny particles and must be hydrated by water inside the lungs. Some COPD patients may have poor hydration which could theoretically exacerbate their issues and also make halotherapy less effective. Nonetheless, patients who live close to a legitimate salt cave that uses a machine to emit tiny salt particles into the air may experience benefits from this type of therapy. Patients may also wish to consider the use of a home halotherapy device placed next to their bed at night.
Halotherapy is an alternative treatment for lung diseases and disorders of all kinds. It utilizes natural salt, (sodium chloride), as a primary method of healing. There are a few different ways that halotherapy may be administered (either at home or in a clinical setting), but the primary method used for the treatment of lung problems is known as “dry” halotherapy. During a dry halotherapy treatment, the patient enters a salt “cave” that is dehumidified with the temperature regulated at 68 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. A halogenerator grinds salt into tiny, microscopic particles that are then released into the air. Thus, while a person is sitting in the salt cave, they’re breathing in tiny particles of salt from the air around them.
Halotherapy sessions generally last between 15-45 minutes. People who live right next to the ocean or another body of saltwater are also breathing air that contains microscopic salt particles every day, all day (natural salt caves in some parts of the world also may be an option for some people who don’t have access to spa-type halotherapy options). Be aware that some salt caves do not administer particles of salt, but rather provide an environment where there are salt bricks on the walls or salt on the floor. Without particles of salt in the air, salt caves like this provide little therapeutic value to clients.
A study completed in Russia on a group of 60 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients observed that 75% of the study participants experienced a reduction in their clinical symptoms as well as improved expulsion of respiratory fluids (such as mucus) after one year of treatment. During the study, the participants were administered 60 minutes of halotherapy for 10-25 days in a row. This10-25 day course of treatment was then repeated twice over during a year. The same study noted that no adverse effects were observed in any of the patients, even in elderly patients.
Other Important Links:
Rasleigh, R., Smith, S. M. S., Roberts, N. J. (2014). A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Retrieved March 11, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3937102/#:~:text=Halotherapy%20is%20the%20inhalation%20of,with%20the%20symptoms%20of%20COPD.
Rabbani, Bita, et. al. (2013). Efficacy of Halotherapy for Improvement of Pulmonary function Tests and Quality of Life of Non-Cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectatic Patients. Retrieved March 2, 2022 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153239/
McDermott, Annette (2020). Does Halotherapy Really Work? Retrieved March 2, 2022 from: https://www.healthline.com/health/halotherapy#research