Sitting in a room full of salt is a natural remedy for sinus problems, as DAWN CHEN ﬁnds out.
As someone who has suffered from on-and-off sinus problems since I was a kid, I was deﬁnitely intrigued when I heard about halotherapy, which is also colloquially referred to as salt therapy. I ﬁrst came across the treatment four to ﬁve years ago, but there weren’t any centres offering it at that time. Recently, Breathya opened in Marine Parade, and they’re currently the ﬁrst halotherapy centre in Singapore.
Halotherapy is mainly used to treat two groups of problems: respiratory ailments and skin conditions. Salt is a naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inﬂammatory and anti-microbial ingredient.
Breathing in the micro-crystals is supposed to help open up your lungs and airways to loosen mucus, reduce inﬂammation and improve breathing. The salt particles act as anti-histamines and help to alleviate asthma, bronchitis, sinus problems and chronic upper respiratory conditions.
Skincare-wise, the salt particles are supposed to help balance pH levels and boost reparative and regenerative processes in the skin. It is recommended for those suffering from acne, eczema and psoriasis.
<b>PHOTO</b> SALT ROOM BREATHYA
At Breathya, there are two salt rooms where the walls and ﬂoor are covered with Himalayan salt crystals. In each, a generator disperses micro particles of pharmaceutical salt into the air. According to the staff, these rooms are safe for children and expecting mothers, as the air is completely natural and drug-free.
Before heading into the rooms, you have to remove all your footwear and put on disposable socks and a shower cap. You’ll then be led to the rooms where you can relax in one of the chairs to breathe in the salt-infused air.
Prior to Breathya, my only experiences with salt rooms were the ones at gyms. I went into Breathya’s fully expecting it to be nice and warm, but realised very quickly that this was quite a different set-up.
Here, the rooms are temperature- and humidity-controlled to optimise the efficacy of the treatment. In short, the environment is quite cold and dry.
I settled into a chair and could almost immediately “taste” the saltiness of the air. Once you breathe in the salt-infused air, the saltiness lingers at the back of your throat.
Just ﬁve minutes into the treatment, my nose started getting slightly tingly. It was a similar feeling to breathing in medicated oil where your airways clear up, just without the prickliness of mentholated products. Soothing background music was played throughout the 30 minutes I was in the room, and it felt like the perfect place to take a quick nap.
By the end of the session, my nose was a lot clearer, and I felt rested and calm. The only downside? My lips felt pretty dry and my dark grey top and black skirt were peppered with salt particles.
That night, I also slept relatively better. The salty taste at the back of my throat lasted well into the next day as well, but my morning sinus had returned. Perhaps the short trial wasn’t quite long enough to experience long-term beneﬁts. You can expect to see improvements to your condition after going for three to ﬁve sessions.
I’m glad my curiosity about salt therapy was ﬁnally satisﬁed. While it is an effective treatment for clearing your airways, I’m not sure how lasting the beneﬁts are. Give Breathya a try if you’re a chronic sufferer of respiratory or skin ailments. As a 100 per cent natural, drug-free option, you have nothing to lose. The sessions are also relaxing, but remember to bring along a jacket as it gets chilly in the salt room.
A single session of halotherapy for adults starts from $110 and lasts one hour. It is best to wear loose-ﬁtting, light-coloured clothes, as the salt crystals will stick to your outﬁt and leave whitish streaks. Visit http://www.breathya.com for more information.