Salt Air Therapy: Real or Myth?


Salt Air Therapy is real or is it just a myth?

I moved back here to the beach a little less than 3 years ago to be closer to my growing family after many years on the road.  And, true it was a big change in lifestyle for me, but was it the change in environment or the salt air therapy?

Sunrise at the OC Fishing Pier, Ocean City MD | Salt Air Therapy: Real or Myth

Salt Air Therapy vs. City Living

Downtown Houston Tx Viewed from Minute Maid Park | Salt Air TherapyNow, if you check out the picture at the right, that’s downtown Houston TX, where I was living before moving back here to OC. So, if we compare the view above with this one on the right I would have to say that the Ocean view is enough therapy to heal most of what ails you, at least mentally.  Don’t get me wrong, Houston was great, but only in moderation.

If you know Houston you know it has a population of over 2.2 million people (4th largest city in US) in less than 600 square miles, or over 3,650 per sq mi.  And, with about 1.3 million cars owned, plus all the other vehicles in use, it may not be the most conducive environment for wellness.

So, let’s conclude that living in a town of a little over 7k is lots (during off-season), almost 350K on weekends in season, in a little over 4 sq mi, it is probably healthier!

Think about the numbers where you live, the view that you have every day, and let me know if you think this environment may be healthier?!

Salt Air Therapy: Real or Myth

Let’s get back to the gist of this article, Salt Air Therapy.  First, let’s take a look at a Wall Street Journal article from August 11, 2014 titled “Does the Sea Air Have Curative Powers?” The article’s author, Heidi Mitchell, investigated the work of Thomas W. Ferkol, the President of the American Thoracic Society and a pediatric pulmonologist at Washington University in St. Louis.

There is very little sound clinical evidence from those bygone times to suggest that breathing in sea air had any true health benefits. Still, the anecdotal evidence, even today, is substantial, particularly among children with cystic fibrosis, a chronic lung disease. “We’ve had more than a few families come back from the Gulf Coast and ask if they should move because they feel so much better,” says Dr. Ferkol. “I’m not sure how much of the improvement is spiritual, metaphysical or physiological, but I suspect it’s all.”

Watching Sunrise on the beach in Ocean City MD | Salt Air Therapy

How Long Has Salt Air Therapy Been Around?

  • Hippocrates (c 460 – c 370 BC), the father of modern medicine, prescribed saltwater inhalation therapy for bronchial and lung disorders
  • The ancient Greeks used what they called Halotherapy (Halo is the word for salt in Greek), for respiratory ailments.
  • Salt spas have been popular in Europe since the mid 1800s
  • Speleotherapy originated in Poland in the 1950s, when medical providers noticed that salt miners rarely suffered from tuberculosis.
  • Modern salt therapy involves sitting in a room coated with salt crystals and pumped full of salt-laden air. The best-known hub for salt therapy is the Ukrainian Allergologic Hospital in Solotvyno, Hungary.  Staff at the Allergologic Hospital report a remarkable 90% effectiveness in reducing asthma symptoms for up to 3 years!

Sunrise Surfing Ocean City MD | Salt Air Therapy: Real or Myth

Is Surfing Healthier Than You May Think?

“Some data does exist to conclude that inhaling salty air can clear the lungs. Patients in Australia with cystic fibrosis had long reported to their doctors that they could breathe more easily after surfing” Dr. Ferkol says.

In a 48 weeks study Dr Ferkol administered inhaled hypertonic saline in the belief that this salt would help draw more water onto the surfaces of the airways. Published in 2006 it was reported that ‘Patients had fewer pulmonary flare-ups and required fewer antibiotics.’ It is now standard practice for doctors to prescribe a 7% sodium chloride inhalation solution to cystic-fibrosis patients.

Surfing not only helps your balance, gets you some great exercise paddling out in those waves, but it appears to assist you in breathing as well…

Salt Air Therapy: Real or Myth

Research shows substantial improvement in…

  • Improved lung capacity
  • Decreased microbial contamination of the upper respiratory tract
  • Inhibits respiratory allergies
  • Cleanses and detoxifies your body naturally

So, when is the next time you’re coming down to the beach?

References
  1. Does the Sea Air Have Curative Powers? ~ WSJ – Aug 11, 2014
  2. Salt Therapy A Powerful Healing Detoxifier ~ Underground Health Reporter – June 26, 2012
  3. Airway Response to Inhaled Hypertonic Saline in Patients with Moderate to Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ~ ATS Journals – Volume 164, Issue 10 (November 15, 2001)
  4. Is seaside air really as healthy as many claim? ~ Reader’s Digest

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About Ocean City Cool

Bringing you all the coolest stuff from around Ocean City MD. Articles about the past, the present and the future, lots of coupons and discounts, where to eat, shop, dance and play, and a whole lot more... We are big on taking cool pix from the beaches, bays and boardwalk, the people, the events and all the other cool stuff... Join us on our adventure! Hashtag your OC pix... #oceancitycool cause we'd love to see and share them! And, this website is a work in progress, so keep coming back, share it with your friends and we'd love your comments & suggestions!

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