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A new trend in spas is to let people relax in salt caves. Is there any benefit to this?
Read transcript below or listen here
You lay comfortably in a lounge chair, perhaps snuggled into a robe of natural fibers, in a quiet, peaceful room. Soothing music plays softly. The cool air is dry and still, and has a slightly salty tinge. For you’re relaxing in a salt cave, perhaps in an exclusive modern spa, perhaps deep underground in a real salt mine, undergoing halotherapy or speleotherapy or salt therapy.
The room is entirely made of salt, but most spas use machines that grind up salt into fine particles and waft it into the air. The claim is that restful breathing in this environment brings health benefits unavailable in any other conditions. Now, don’t ask too quickly exactly what the benefits are supposed to be, or exactly what the specific environmental conditions need to be, because those aren’t really too clear. Instead, let’s just ask why people all over the world are turning to salt therapy.
So just for grins, I did a Google search for “salt cave therapy“. Here are a few specific claims for what conditions salt caves treat, from the first page of Google results. They come from boutique spas selling the service:
A small minority of spa sites I reviewed stated that salt caves do not treat any medical conditions, and merely provide relaxation. However, the majority are very clear that their service is a miracle treatment, even a cure, for most or all of these conditions. Clearly the salt cave industry has not yet reached any consensus on exactly what it’s selling.
Some of the sites I reviewed emphasized purity of the salt, while others credited all the many minerals in it. One site said that the unique combination of 94 (!) elements in natural salt is what makes it work. A number of sites say all 84 are needed. Another says that they only use Himalayan pink crystal salt, because that’s the only way to insure purity (pink salts are pink because they are contaminated with iron oxide). Analyses of Himalayan pink salt have found that it contains between 95-98% salt, with most of the rest being gypsum. Trace elements of about 10 minerals are usually found. Although gypsum is recommended in some alternative medicine schemes, no sound medical research has ever found any benefit from consuming it; so it’s not clear why salt therapy practitioners recommend it. Either way, the practice seems to present no clear consensus on whether pure salt or contaminated salt is best; it seems to be a pretty even split. But both sides sound pretty adamant that their way is best.
The mechanism for how salt caves treat these conditions is also in hot dispute. While about half emphasize the salt itself being beneficial once it gets into your lungs, the other half are all about ions. Ions, they say, promote good health. An ion is a molecule with an electric charge, either positive or negative, made so because it has more electrons than protons, or more protons than electrons. Negative ion generators have been a staple of alternative therapies for a long time, based largely on the sciencey-soundingness of the term and a misunderstanding of what they actually do. Negative ion generators use high voltage to add an electron to particles in the air. Electrostatic attraction then causes those particles to move toward, and bind to, a grounded surface such as a wall. Thus, an ionizer can help to reduce the amount of dust particles, allergens, and other particles from the air in a room.
Many of the salt therapy spas claim that the ionizers in their caves produce negative ions that destroy bacteria. This is also wrong. An ionizer can help draw bacteria out of the air, as just described, but . . .
- Skeptoid #376: Salt Therapies (skeptoid.com)
- Say Hello to Salt Therapy Ireland (mompreneursirelandblog.com)
- Salt Cave Salt Therapy Salt Speleotherapy/Halotherapy! Yes or No? (ctesthetic.com)
- Salt cave opens in Fairfield County (donnachristopher.wordpress.com)
- Pure Himalayan Salt Now Available with Complimentary Shipping (virtual-strategy.com)
|Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations.
Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂
The claim: Federal prison converted into forced-labor camp, UNICOR industries.
What it really is: There is a near by maximum security prison near by, but it’s run by the State of Kansas, not the Federal government.
The claim: Just north of Interstate 70, airport, near city of Manhattan.
What it really is: A large army post with many buildings located within it’s boarders, including civilian housing and businesses. It also has several museums.
The claim: WWII German POW camp used to exist at this location but there is no facility there at this time.
What it really is: So what was the point of listing this?
The claim: Federal death penalty facility.
What it really is: Completely bogus. There is no Federal death penalty facility or Federal prisons there.
The claim: US Marshal’s Fed Holding Facility, US Penitentiary, Federal Prison Camp
What it really is: Yes, there is a United States Federal prison there, an until 2005 it was a maximum security prison Today it is a medium security prison with a minimum security satellite prison camp.
This is all publicly known, and does not mean that it is a FEMA camp.
The claim: Northeast of Berryville near Missouri state line, on Hwy 65 south of old wood processing plant. Possible crematory facility.
What it really is: It’s just your typical small town, with it’s largest buildings being a couple of schools, some stores, and some churches.
- 5 things I’ve noticed about… FEMA camps (illuminutti.com)
- Is that a FEMA Camp? – May 26, 2013 Edition (illuminutti.com)
- FEMA Puts Out Contractors to Build Emergency FEMA CAMPS W/IN 72 Hours Of Notice (dprogram.net)
- Is that a FEMA Camp? – April 21, 2013 Edition (illuminutti.com)
- Is that a FEMA Camp? – May 11, 2013 Edition (illuminutti.com)
- Is that a FEMA Camp? – May 5, 2013 Edition (illuminutti.com)
- DHS Teaching KIDS TO GO TO FEMA CAMPS In “Crisis” (secretsofthefed.com)