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Article: Himalayan Salt Sauna Benefits & How to Use It for Maximum Benefits

Himalayan Salt Sauna Benefits & How to Use It for Maximum Benefits

Himalayan Salt Sauna Benefits & How to Use It for Maximum Benefits

Written by Chris Lang

 The therapeutic nature of Himalayan salt was discovered centuries ago and embraced by various cultures. Given the many health benefits of Himalayan salt, it was only a matter of time before people found a way to harness its potential beyond visiting a salt cave. Enter Himalayan salt saunas.

A Himalayan salt sauna is just what it sounds like – a sauna enhanced with Himalayan salt elements. In other words, almost any type of sauna can become a Himalayan salt sauna. Read this article to understand why you should do just that – add Himalayan salt to a “regular” sauna, transforming it into your salt room. Let’s begin.

Unveiling the Himalayan Salt Sauna

Though the concept of a Himalayan salt sauna is as simple as it sounds, there’s more to this innovative wellness experience than meets the eye. So, let’s dig a little deeper.

What Is a Himalayan Salt Sauna?

As previously explained, a Himalayan salt sauna isn’t necessarily a separate type of sauna. A Himalayan salt sauna is any sauna that features Himalayan salt, most commonly in the form of a salt wall or a salt panel.

This is also the biggest difference between a Himalayan salt sauna and other popular types like a traditional sauna or an infrared sauna. You could argue that a Himalayan salt sauna looks more attractive due to the aesthetic appeal of Himalayan salt and the soft glow it emits when it gets heated.

Other than that, a Himalayan salt sauna typically heats up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is on par with infrared saunas. However, it operates at a much higher humidity (20% to 50%), creating a sauna environment that favors the natural process of salt ionization and mimicking the benefits of a wet sauna.

The Composition and Unique Properties of Himalayan Salt

Once you read about the numerous benefits of using Himalayan salt in a sauna, you’ll probably wonder where this seemingly magic rock salt comes from. So, let’s get that out of the way immediately.

Beyond Table Salt: The 84 Minerals in Himalayan Salt

Most Himalayan salt, also known as pink salt, primarily originates in the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan. As you can probably guess, this mine is located at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, hence the name.

Besides its many therapeutic benefits, pink Himalayan salt is known precisely for its unique color. This striking hue results from the presence of as many as 84 trace minerals and iron oxide in this natural salt. The following stand out as the most beneficial minerals in Himalayan salt:

  • Potassium (supporting proper nerve function)

  • Magnesium (supporting muscle function and regulating blood pressure)

  • Iron (formulating hemoglobin to carry the oxygen in the blood)

  • Calcium (aiding bone and teeth health)

  • Strontium (improving bone density and supporting new bone formation)

  • Molybdenum (eliminating harmful sulfites and toxin buildups in your body)

These minerals make Himalayan salt significantly healthier than regular table salt, which is processed to eliminate most minerals. The only mineral retained in significant amounts in table salt is sodium.

The Wellness Symphony of Heat and Salt

So, in one corner, we have the many proven benefits of sauna bathing. On the other, there are the clear benefits of using Himalayan salt. Now, imagine bringing these two wellness powerhouses together, creating a harmonious symphony of heat and salt. Except you don’t have to imagine, as that’s precisely what Himalayan salt saunas do. With this in mind, let’s dive into the incredible benefits of a salt sauna.

Harnessing the Power of Negative Ions

Most of the benefits of salt saunas come from the ionization process in the sauna air. When heated, Himalayan salt particles release negative ions into the air. These ions are believed to interact with the body in ways that contribute to its overall well-being. They’re also considered to increase the production of serotonin (“the happy chemical”), boosting your overall mood.

But that’s not the only way negative ions enhance mood. They’re also thought to counteract positive ions associated with stress and tension, thus creating a more uplifting and positive sauna environment.

Finally, negative ions are also believed to target bacteria and other contaminants in the air, effectively purifying the sauna atmosphere. Talk about power!

Synergistic Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Saunas

The humid microclimate rich in salt particles brings numerous Himalayan salt sauna benefits.

Improving Sleep

The benefits of regular sauna use also include better sleep. However, Himalayan salt saunas take this benefit to the next level, calming the nervous system. This incredible benefit can be explained in several ways.

For one, negative ions released by heating the salt counteract positive ions, which often contribute to stress and restlessness. Also, past studies have found that low-salt diets can contribute to sleeping problems, supporting the idea that adequate salt balance is essential for sleep regulation.

Reducing Stress

Thanks to the release of negative ions, Himalayan salt therapy is also often used to relieve tension and reduce stress. An older clinical trial from Columbia University even found that these ions contribute to enhancing the mood of individuals with seasonal affective disorder, potentially offering a promising avenue for managing depression.

Improving Skin Health 

Himalayan salt in the sauna can help improve your skin health in two ways. One, as already mentioned, Himalayan salt helps combat stress. Since this is one of the primary causes of premature aging, Himalayan salt indirectly helps maintain firmer and more youthful-looking skin. And two, an older study published in the Journal of Dermatology demonstrated that a salt sauna bath can help alleviate symptoms of dry skin and skin inflammation.

The Holistic Impact on Body and Mind

As you can see, a Himalayan salt sauna can profoundly and holistically impact your body and mind.

When it comes to the body, arguably the most proven benefits of these saunas refer to treating various respiratory-related issues, from asthma and seasonal allergies to some lung diseases. As for the mind, the most promising benefit has to do with improving the severity of depression.

Though more research is needed to solidify these findings, the initial results are a reason enough to use salt during your regular sauna sessions.

Salt Saunas and Respiratory Wellness

As previously mentioned, salt saunas are believed to benefit your respiratory system significantly. Let’s discuss them in more detail.

Breathe Easier With Halotherapy

Breathing in salt air from a salt spa or sauna is known as halotherapy. This practice originated in the 12th century when people visited salt caves for therapeutic reasons. However, the modern version of halotherapy appeared much later, in the 1800s, after Polish salt miners realized they suffered from no respiratory issues despite working in mines all day long.

Of course, this therapy has long left the confines of a salt mine, moving to salt rooms made to resemble salt caves.

Since then, numerous studies have proven the benefits of halotherapy in battling the following conditions:

As you can see, most of these have to do with the respiratory system, thanks to salt’s mucoactive, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties. According to an older study published in the Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, as little as one hour in a salt cave is enough to ease respiratory ailments.

Skin Health and Himalayan Salt Saunas

Though the benefits of halotherapy are the most pronounced in respiratory issues, this unique therapy can also significantly boost your skin health.

The Natural Skincare Enhancer

During a sauna session, Himalayan salt can affect your skin in numerous ways, including the following:

  • Exfoliating the skin by helping eliminate dead skin cells

  • Reducing acne breakouts thanks to its detoxifying effects and magnesium content that restores your skin’s natural pH level

  • Brightening skin tone through improved blood flow

  • Nourishing skin cells with vital nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and calcium

  • Soothing swelling and irritation caused by inflammation

  • Hydrating the skin

  • Battling skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis

Mood, Stress, and Serotonin Levels

As was briefly touched upon earlier, the benefits of salt therapy are multifaceted. Though its health benefits take center stage, the mood-enhancing properties shouldn’t be ignored.

A Sanctuary for Stress Relief and Mood Enhancement

A 2013 report published in BMC Psychiatry found a correlation between the negative ions discharged by heating the salt and seasonal affective disorder. This promising result is usually explained by the belief that the negative ions released by heating the salt can significantly impact serotonin levels.

More serotonin means a better mood, as this neurotransmitter is primarily associated with promoting feelings of well-being. However, increased serotonin levels also lead to better sleep, memory, and appetite, all of which contribute to your overall mental and physical health.

Aesthetic and Design: The Salt Wall and Salt Room Experience

Though they are primarily used for their health benefits, Himalayan salt saunas are also favored for their stunning appearance. To transform a conventional sauna into an aesthetically pleasing marvel, consider the following design recommendations:

  • Choose saunas made with high-quality materials to make the design stand out.

  • Introduce aromatherapy elements to enhance the overall sauna experience.

  • Add ambient lighting to create a welcoming atmosphere.

  • Incorporate Bluetooth speakers to provide soothing music or nature sounds.

  • Choose a cohesive color scheme that complements the warm tones of a Himalayan sauna.

Creating a Tranquil Spa Environment With Salt Walls

As previously explained, any sauna can become a Himalayan salt sauna. All you need is a Himalayan salt wall. And to build that wall, you’ll either need Himalayan salt panels or Himalayan salt bricks.

Incorporating salt in the construction of your sauna gives you the benefit of consistent heat and mineral-rich air. If you only want to add salt to your sauna without structural elements, you can purchase Himalayan salt crystals, lamps, or salt blocks. Besides creating a calming atmosphere, these elements can add visual interest to your sauna.

Practical Considerations for Using Himalayan Salt Saunas

If you’re set on using Himalayan salt in sauna construction, here’s what you need to know.

Types of Saunas and Installation of Himalayan Salt

Different types of saunas can incorporate Himalayan salt in various ways:

  • Traditional sauna. A traditional sauna allows for integrating Himalayan salt panels or blocks into its construction. You can purchase these panels independently and do it yourself or send your sauna measurements to professionals to receive custom-made panels for your cabin. Regardless of the choice, installing these panels shouldn’t take more than an hour.

  • Infrared sauna. You can introduce Himalayan salt panels or blocks to an infrared sauna, but make sure to keep them away from infrared lamps or heaters.

  • Steam room. Steam rooms and Himalayan salt are a match made in heaven. The only thing to remember is to keep the salt panels away from steam sources.

The Dos and Don’ts of a Salt Sauna Session

With a salt sauna, you can experience the enhanced benefits of a sauna in the morning, afternoon, and evening. However, it would be best to keep a few guidelines in mind to ensure your sauna experience is safe and enjoyable.

  • If you have any health conditions, consult your healthcare provider before using a salt sauna.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the sauna to stay hydrated.

  • Let your body cool off gradually after exiting the cabin. Then, take a cold shower to wash away any residues and restore your body temperature.

  • Don’t overdo it with the temperature to prevent overheating.

  • Limit your sauna time to 10 to 20 minutes per session.

  • Introduce essential oils to your sauna session to provide additional relaxation.

Comparing Himalayan Salt With Other Forms of Salt in Sauna Use

The salt mines, where the idea of halotherapy was born, had nothing to do with Himalayan salt. So why use this salt in saunas? The answer is simple – Himalayan salt reigns supreme in the wellness industry.

Why Himalayan Salt Reigns Supreme in Saunas

Himalayan salt is known as one of the purest forms of salt on the planet, as well as one of the richest in minerals. As such, it offers unique qualities that make it particularly suitable for use in saunas.

For a better perspective, Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals, while regular table salt has only two – sodium and chloride.

But let’s bring other, more beneficial salt types into the mix. Some experts advocate using Epsom salt or sea salt instead of their Himalayan counterparts. But while these are worthy options, Himalayan salt’s unique composition, including negative ions, sets it apart in creating a more comprehensive and rejuvenating sauna experience.

Voices From the Heat: Users’ Testimonials

Most users who’ve tried sauna bathing in a Himalayan salt sauna have nothing but praise for this holistic experience. Our favorite quote about relaxing in this sauna is that it “feels like you are in a womb.”

As for the feelings after a sauna session, users noted that they felt “a dazed peacefulness,” a “sense of calmness,” “lighter on [their] feet,” and “more awake.”

At-Home Therapy

There’s no doubt about it – regular use of a Himalayan salt sauna will make you feel physically and mentally rejuvenated. To reap the benefits of salt sauna therapy without any hassle, consider purchasing an at-home sauna from Komowa and adding Himalayan salt blocks (or other elements) into the mix. This will allow you to customize your sauna while enjoying the quality construction of Komowa units.

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