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Salt isn't just for making food taste better (or throwing over your shoulder for good luck!) -- it can actually be therapeutic.
Dr. Ian Smith visited Montauk Salt Cave West in Huntington, New York to check out the therapeutic benefits of “Halotherapy.” Watch the video above to get a glimpse into his calming experience.
Shannon, co-founder of Montauk Salt Cave West claims the salt is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory.
“As you’re inhaling through your nasal passageways, it’s going exactly where it needs to go whether it’s arthritic pain or a respiratory condition,” says Shannon.
Dr. Ian says that you can actually feel the air going into your lungs easier (so cool!).
READ: Forget the Spoonful of Sugar! THIS is the Right Way to Take Medicine
If you’re loving everything about salt caves, just wait until you hear about his floatation therapy session at Floating Lotus in New York City.
Dr. Ian described the experience as if he was “floating in space.” Jackie, co-founder of Floating Lotus says that the water and air temperature is the same as your skin so you don’t feel anything, and that there is no gravity so you’re just floating. The best part is she says you’ll reap the benefits right away.
“You’re going to go home, your serotonin levels are raised and you’ll feel happy from those hormones and you’ll have a good night’s sleep,” claims Jackie.
Think you can’t float? Dr. Ian didn’t think so either. But not to worry, he says there’s so much salt in the water that it’s like the Dead Sea and it actually supports your body so you don’t sink (the water is 10 inches deep, in case you’re wondering).
“I fell asleep, it’s wonderful!” says Dr. Ian. “For people who are highly strung, I think this could be a way for them to disconnect and kind of allow their body to go into a semi-vegetative state. I enjoyed this immensely.”
WATCH: What a Full Body Scan Can Tell You About Your Health
If you’re interested in reaping the benefits of salt therapy right in your own home, Dr. Ian has some suggestions.
Fill them up with Himalayan salt and slowly breathe it in. If you have congestion or a sinus problem, Dr. Ian says it’ll actually help thin the mucus allowing you to breathe easier.
Gargling might seem old fashioned, but hey, it works! Just add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, gargle for 30 seconds three to five times a day, Dr. Ian says it’ll clear congestion and your sinuses. He says the reason it cleans is because nothing grows in salt!
Dr. Ian says salt candles create water vapor which grabs irritants in the air. They increase negative ions and neutralizes negative particles. Simple, and pretty!
SALT + OATMEAL BATH
Adding half a cup of salt and half a cup of oatmeal into your warm bath can go a long way. Dr. Ian says it’ll hydrate and soothe your skin and increase your circulation.
If you suffer from earaches or headaches, Dr. Ian says pillows filled with Himalayan salt filter the air while you’re sleeping and could help with breathing.
READ: Putting Garlic in Your Socks + Other Ways to Stay Healthy