The Benefits Of Sea Air, Without Hitting The Beach

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Have you ever vacationed on a beach near the ocean, and breathed in the salty air?  Some say that air from the ocean can actually help you breathe easier.

Jake Moran never takes breathing easy for granted.  He’s battled Cystic Fibrosis – a genetic and potentially deadly respiratory condition – since he was a kid.  He spends hours every day on a number of treatments to help keep his lungs clear.

“It takes hours of therapy daily,” Moran said.  “Brocho-dialators, to expectorants, to anti-inflammatory, to antibiotics, and of course saline.”

His wife Emily says she’s constantly looking for something to add to what his team of doctors has already prescribed.  That’s how she discovered Plano-based Salt Escape, and it’s very unusual rooms.

“This is the only salt therapy center in Texas,” said Jim Rizzuto who owns Salt Escape.  “What we’re reproducing is the microclimate of the salt caves.”

For 45-minutes each session, Moran sits inside this sealed room while pharmaceutical grade salt particles are pumped into the air around him.  When breathed into his airways, the salt acts as an expectorant helping Moran cough to clear out any excess mucus.

“The salt acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, so as you’re breathing it into your membranes, it’s going to open you up,” Rizzuto said.

But, Cystic Fibrosis patients aren’t the only ones who might benefit from sessions here.  People with severe allergies, or chronic bronchitis may also get relief.  In fact, Rizzuto says the treatment isn’t just for adults either.  He says kids can benefit from it, too, which is why he created a kid’s room.  But, does this simple therapy really work?

“There’s not a lot of science about the use of salt,” said Dr. Gary Weinsten, a pulmonologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.  Dr. Weinstein says there’s no scientific data that proves salt rooms help patients with pulmonary conditions.  However, he was not aware of any data that proved it was a harmful process either.

” If it helps them feel better, and they can afford it, and it’s not too expensive, then I think it’d be a reasonable thing to try,” said Dr. Weinstein.

Moran has only had a few treatments, but plans to have more.  He hopes this – coupled with his arsenal of other therapies will help him stay healthy, longer.

“I don’t anticipate it being some kind of miracle cure, but it certainly could help,” Moran said.

Sessions cost approximately $45 each, and are not covered by insurance.


One Comment

  1. Max says:

    Actually, doctor Weinstein, there are volumes of scientific data supporting this therapy, having been used in the Russian health care system for over 20 years. As for being affordable, salt therapy can help most participants save plenty on the absurdly high prices that the USA healthcare system charges for its commercial products and services, most of which only treat symptoms instead of the cause.

  2. Jim Rizzuto says:

    Stated in a Dallas Morning News article on Salt Escape….there is one small scientific study on the effects of salt rooms, published in June 2006 in the medical journal Allergy. Also, research at a hospital in Lappeenranta, Finland, raised the prospect that salt treatment might reduce bronchial problems as an add-on therapy in asthmatics.

    There are many studies conducted on salt therapy but unfortunately they are all done in Europe – where the concept was born. Somehow Europe always has these cutting edge things way before America, then when it finally hits America it comes like a storm.

    People are tired of medicines with awful side effects, it’s about time they take charge of their own medical issues and find alternatives that work.

  3. Etya Novik says:

    Jim is right. There have been several studies conducted in Eastern Europe. Some of them have been translated into English. The following page on our website links to some of the translated studies: With a doctor’s recommendation, salt therapy is partially covered by some countries in Europe and Canada. Some of my clients at Respira Salt Wellness Center in NJ have submitted to their flexible healthcare account with success. We have allopathic MDs referring their patients to us. I think we can all agree that if a natural therapy can–at a minimum–help you reduce your dependency on steroids, bronchodilators, and other strong medications (some having serious side effects), that is a first line of defense. You shouldn’t throw allopathic medicine out the door but why not consider natural options in addition? Americans are just starting to learn about this therapy. Let’s hope that the medical community and insurance companies will embrace it and make salt therapy more affordable for all people who suffer from respiratory illnesses.

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