The History of Salt Therapy

Centuries ago, European monks noticed something interesting: when they treated respiratory ailments in natural salt caverns, their patients got better faster. The monks produced salt dust by grinding salt rocks against each other, which the patients then inhaled.

Dr. Felix Bochkovsky, the state authority for occupational health in Polish industry in the 1840s, saw the same thing was true with miners: while metal and coal miners battled relentless, deadly respiratory ailments, workers in salt mines were healthier than average people, let alone other miners.

In 1843, Dr. Bochkovsky published a book about the health benefits of salt dust. His successor, Mstislav Poljakowski, established the first salt clinic near Krakow, Poland, which is still in operation today.

During World War II, salt mines in Germany were used as bomb shelters. During bombings, people often had to remain in the mines for extended periods of time, breathing in the salt dust. Upon leaving, many asthmatics were able to breathe much easier.

By the 1950s, scientific studies (primarily in the USSR) were proving how effective salt therapy is in treating respiratory ailments. Handmade, above-ground salt rooms provided a controlled environment, and Halotherapy (from “halo”, Greek for salt) became a new option for respiratory treatment.

The first Halotherapy salt chambers opened in the 1960s in Eastern Europe. They were destination health sanatoriums and respiratory hospitals, paid for by the socialized medical system of those countries. As Halotherapy grew more popular in the 1980s and 1990s, health and beauty resorts throughout Europe and Scandinavia began to install salt rooms and offer Halotherapy as one of their restorative treatments.

Halotherapy is finally coming to North America. Be among the first in the Bay Area to experience the many health benefits of salt therapy in our yoga room and dedicated salt room at Breathe Salt Yoga!

 Salt Therapy is known to help with:

Respiratory disorders

  • Asthma

  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

  • Chronic Bronchitis

  • Allergies

  • Sinusitis

  • Smoker’s cough

  • Pneumonia

  • Allergic Rhinopathy

Skin conditions

  • Acne

  • Neurodermatitis

  • Psoriasis

  • Rashes

  • Eczema


  • Bronchial Infections

  • Cold or Cough

  • Sinus Infections

  • Flu

  • Ear Infections

  • Rhinitis

  • Viral infections

Stress-related issues

  • Stress

  • Depression

  • Headaches

  • Lethargy

  • Fatigue