For the last two years, a salt therapy room in Istanbul's Beykoz district has attracted more than 5,000 people. As an alternative treatment, two-and-a-half tons of salt brought from the central province of Çankırı covers an entire room. Visitors with asthma, bronchitis and respiratory disorders can use the room free of charge.
The rock salt extracted from Çankırı's inns has healing effects, according to experts. Visitors can spend about 30 or 40 minutes in the small therapy room located at the Association for Çankırı Residents in Beykoz. Through a special machine, salt particles are spread around the room. Karabacak, the head of the association, said salt is also beneficial for stress and fatigue. Rock salt does not include chemicals, hazardous components or heavy metals; instead, they are natural, Karabacak continued.
"The salt of Çankırı has many minerals a human body requires. It has similar healing effects as Himalayan salt," he said. The therapy rooms also help patients with pharyngitis, eczema, psoriasis and seasonal flu.Those interested can make a reservation. Türkan Karakaş, an asthma patient, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that she frequently visits the therapy room. "I feel relaxed. It eases my shortness of breath and I take breaths more easily," she said. Deniz Yüksel, another Istanbul resident, said rock salt has many health benefits. Yüksel looked up the center after a friend's recommendation. "I recently discovered the therapy room. I have suffered from rheumatism since my childhood and have just begun salt therapy sessions there. I feel my feet and body are relaxed. I even consume rock salt at home," Yüksel said.
Ayşe Gülsen Özaltan, a retired staff member from Boğaziçi University, said she has frequented the therapy room for about a year. She stays for two sessions every time she visits. "I suffer from pain and rheumatism. I used to take antidepressant pills, but I stopped now. I recommend interested people to come here," Özaltan said. Generally, rock salt plays an important role in replenishing the body's electrolytes and sustaining its pH balance. It stabilizes blood pressure and helps with weight loss. Rock salt is frequently used as a home remedy as well.