It’s a fair question. We often hear that eating too much salt is bad for your health as it can raise blood pressure and potentially lead to heart issues. This happens when excess dietary salt makes the body retain fluid to dilute the salt. The excess water increases the volume of blood and thus raises blood pressure. Blood pressure that regularly flows above 120/80 increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease1. If eating too much salt can be harmful, then would salt therapy cause the same problem – raised blood pressure and cardiac disease? In short, no salt therapy is not the same thing as digesting too much salt. Let’s explore what the experts have studied regarding this mater.
Is it the same thing as eating salt? Human blood has a salt concentration of 0.9%. Cry, and you will taste a saltiness on your cheek from saline in tear ducts. Our bodies are naturally a little bit salty. But, in a 45-minute salt therapy session, a client’s salt intake is 100 times less than the daily recommended value. Most of the salt is inhaled, and as it thins mucus, it exits the body2.
What about people with heart conditions? Another study specifically looked at elderly patients with concomitant cardiac pathology. The study concluded that long-term use of halotherapy benefited these patients. The same study showed that patients with coronary artery bypass graft surgery also benefited from salt therapy showing a reduction and stabilization of arterial blood pressure3. A separate study researched the effects of salt therapy on patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and either hypertension or coronary heart disease and found that salt therapy offers positive effects on the lungs as well as on blood pressure4.
So, does salt therapy create water retention and raise blood pressure? Quite the opposite. Studies show that salt therapy improves blood pressure and has positive effects on heart patients. Furthermore, a 45-minute salt therapy session does not count toward your daily salt intake.
- The Trouble with Excess Salt, Harvard Health Publishing, 2019
- Mechanisms of Halotherapy, Speleotherapy and Salt Therapy Explained: A Better Breathing Guide, Richard Zagrobelny, 2010
- Halotherapy of Respiratory Disease, Alina Chervinskaya, Clinical Research Respiratory Center, Saint Petersburg, 2003
- The Use of an Artificial Microclimate Chamber in the Treatment of Patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease, R A Chernekov, E A Chernenkova, G V Zhukov, 1997