Halotherapy Shows Increased Lung Function for Athletes
In addition to providing valuable resources to members, the World Halotherapy Association also conducts pilot clinical studies on the usage of halotherapy or dry salt therapy. Led by Dr Cindy Hollenbeck, the World Halotherapy Association is the only independent halotherapy industry association. The following information was provided by Dr. Hollenback at a webinar held by the Global Wellness Institute and its Halotherapy Initiative led by Halotherapy Solutions CEO Steve Spiro.
The most recent pilot study most recently was titled “The Effect of Halotherapy on Peak Expiratory Flow and Forced Expiratory Volume in One Second in Recreational Athletes Above the Age of 40”. Basically what they did is look at improvement in lung function after Halotherapy in recreational athletes. This could be important for fitness businesses, gyms and CrossFit boxes looking to add performance improvement services. Halotherapy also provides the natural anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of salt both of which may have some benefit in the time of coronavirus.
In order to participate in the study, you had to exercise 3 or more days a week, have no prior use of Halotherapy, be a non-smoker, and able to undergo peak flow meter testing. This is the test that determines improvement in lung function. Prior to the studies start, each participant completed a HIPAA consent, and a quality of life and study questionnaire. Lung function testing was done at study’s start and study’s completion. Participants received 12 sessions of Halotherapy which were 25 minutes each, completed twice a week over a six week period.
Results of this pilot study showed that there was a mean increase in lung function of 13.6% among all study participants.
The quality of life questionnaire showed improvement in sleep, increased energy in athletic activity, and decreased feeling of stress.
The plan moving forward from here is larger scale studies with athletes, to also incorporate randomization. When you randomize a study, the study participants are unaware of whether they are receiving treatment or non-treatment.
Two other studies were done following this study with the athletes. The first looked at improvement in lung function after a single 45 minute treatment. What they found here is that a single treatment alone has no immediate measurable improvement in lung function. The second looked at sustained improvement in lung function from the study participants six weeks after stopping Halotherapy. This study showed that the improvement achieved during the study wasn’t maintained six weeks after stopping Halotherapy treatments.
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