Hoosiers suffering from respiratory issues finding healing through ‘salt therapy’

LAWRENCE, Ind. -  A new wellness trend claims to use salt to help people suffering from allergies, asthma and even Lyme disease. It’s called salt therapy or halotherapy.

Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center is helping people heal and find relief from their symptoms. It’s in Lawrence inside an old Fort Benjamin Harrison fire station.

Owner Stefanie Patterson says one 45-minute session is like being by the ocean for a week.

“Whenever I have a cold or sinus infection or anything like that, the cave is super beneficial for me,” Patterson said, “So I go in there, I do a session, that salt that is going through the air is really clearing out that gunk in your respiratory system in your lungs and your airways and it’s helping you get that all out.”

A customer of the salt cave, Donita Johnson, turned to salt therapy because she was tired of living in constant pain from Lyme disease.

“Once I started coming and seeing how much I started to improve I wasn’t walking, and I started walking better and stronger,” Johnson said.

Not everyone sees the possible health benefits. Allergy specialist Dr. David Patterson says there’s not enough research yet.

“There’s reports in the literature of salt therapy possibly making some things for asthmatics worse so, you know, asthma can be triggered by a lot of different things,” Dr. Patterson said.

He also acknowledged salt has some benefits.

“People who may have sinus problems feel better by the ocean, but that’s not unexplainable because we have people with sinus problems do salt washes in their sinuses and that helps them, and we’ve known that for years,” Dr. Patterson said.

Stefanie Patterson says she’s seen firsthand how it helps people.

“Even people with eczema and psoriasis because the salt that is going through the air is going to fall on your skin and kill the bacteria that causes things like that,” she said.

Whether you believe in the salt therapy or not, Stefanie Patterson says some go to the salt cave just for a place to relax and meditate.

Dr. Patterson recommends consulting your doctor and doing some of your own research before trying any form of alternative medicine.

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