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Whole Living: Salt therapy used by some to treat respiratory issues

From babies to people in their 90's, salt therapy has become something some people say has changed their lives.

TAMPA, Fla. — Allergies. Asthma. Stress. Just a few things we've been talking about a lot lately. 

You probably have all kinds of ways to deal with those, but in our series "Whole Living" we are introducing you to Salt Therapy.

It may be the first time you're hearing about it, but it's been helping people breathe easier for years.

Monica Crabtree has been doing salt therapy for three years. 

"Having asthma, I was using my inhaler daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Using my nebulizer machine at least once or twice a week. And taking multiple allergy meds every single day," Crabtree said.

Within a month, doing a few sessions a week, she noticed a difference. 

"During my session I noticed a little drainage going on in my sinus area and then afterwards I noticed a little bit more," she said.

Like Monica, others have tried it out to help them feel better.

"The salt naturally strengthens the immune system and cleans it out. I think our biggest demo is upper/lower respiratory when you're talking about COPD, asthma in children and adults. I mean, I've had an 80 year old in here with asthma his entire life and after a month of three times a week he was finally off his inhaler," says Danielle Howard, the owner of The Salt Room in Wesley Chapel. 

She walked us through the process. 

The four tons of salt in the rooms are for the ambiance. The real magic, she says, is happening through the dry salts. 

"We take dry salt and we pump it through a halo generator, so it's 100 percent pure sodium chloride that we pump through. And it breaks it down into these micro particles and you breathe in that dry salt aerosol for the 45 minutes while you're in the room."

The salt then absorbs the mucus. She says it's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.  

In the beginning of the pandemic, she says people were scared to come in.

"And then we started to see a lot of people post-COVID that had it that were coming back for rehabilitation of their lungs and their lung function. We have pulmonologists that are referring to us now."

There are of course protocols in place like social distancing, and only one family to a room. 

The safety of her clients is important. Danielle says if you have a fever, you're not allowed. On your first visit, you're in a room to yourself so they can get to know you and your needs. 

She says consistency is key. That's what Monica found out. And she says it changed her life. 

"I'm no longer on allergy meds, no asthma medication, no inhalers."

Children can also use salt therapy. Monica's son has been doing it since he was a baby. 

It's always important to do your own research and ask questions before you start a therapy. 

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