Salt therapy is a conventional treatment in eastern Europe, but has only recently made its way to western Canada.
The remedy, also called halotherapy or speleotherapy, requires patients to enter either a natural or artificial salt cave where they inhale the dry, salt-enriched air for an extended period of time.
Vio Cobuz, owner of Salt Infusion Therapy, brought the practice to St. Albert in early February after his daughter underwent treatments in Europe to lessen the effects of her asthma.
“Our daughter did gymnastics for seven years and she got asthma,” he said. “We’ve been to Europe in a salt mine with her for five days and after those five days, she didn’t have to use the puffer for a couple of months.”
The treatment is used for a variety of respiratory ailments like asthma and bronchitis, as well as things like sinusitis, influenza, skin conditions, snoring and stress.
Cobuz imported a large quantity of Himalayan salt for the artificial salt cave, including salt bricks to line the walls and coarse salt for the floor.
“This is the best salt in the world and contains 84 minerals,” he said. “People come in and they sit and breathe in the salty air from inside and it will clean out all the bacteria from inside the lungs.”
He said he recommends clients undergo the treatment at regular intervals to get the full benefits, adding many individuals undergo one-hour sessions daily.
“It’s a natural remedy and a slow remedy,” he said. “After they come here a few times, they will feel the difference.”
He said there are no side effects of the treatment, although individuals with cancer or who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer are prohibited from doing salt therapy.
The treatment is used for individuals seeking relief from a variety of ailments, while others use it simply for relaxation or prevention.
“We have customers that don’t have anything – they’re not sick – they just come here to relax,” he said. “They bring their books with them and as soon as they got in there, after three to four minutes, they fall asleep.”
In the few months the clinic has been open, more than 200 clients have passed through the doors, with many becoming return customers.
Cobuz said he is importing a variety of products to enhance the treatments, and will soon be selling cooking salts and bath salts. He said he hopes to open more businesses like this in the province in the coming years.
For more information about salt therapy in St. Albert, visit www.saltinfusion.com.