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My mom, 71, has COPD and emphysema. It is looking like she is coming to the end of the battle, she’s been hospitalized since Monday with pneumonia. Hopefully she will be released in a few days but the doctor there, who is NOT her regular doctor, has said overall the prognosis is not good. Anyway I am wondering if any of you or your friends or loved ones have tried salt therapy? It is supposed to help people with breathing issues. Once my mom is home, I would like her to give it a try. I know it’s not a cure but as her breathing gets worse, we are willing to try anything to help her breath easier. I have just heard about salt therapy myself so I haven’t really researched it yet.


I am feeling better after talking to her tonight but I still have a gut feeling we are headed down that final road. And I’m not ready. I’ve been a wreck for the last 24 hours. She’s not ready to go either which is what makes this so hard. I keep having all these memories come back, wonderful memories. But it makes me cry. And I need to call my dad and have an important conversation about finances when mom gets too sick to do it anymore. Moms plan is for me to take over paying the bills. She’s done it their entire marriage and he has never ever paid the bills or looked at the budget. He will not have a clue what to do. So I need to talk to him about that and make sure he’s ok with me paying the bills (out of their account). She has everything set up through online bill pay I believe. But my dad and I need to talk about it first. To make sure he is ok with it and I just don’t know how he will react. I don’t want him to think I am going to start controlling the money because I’m not. I’m not going to tell him what he can and can’t buy, I’m not going to complain about his purchases. I’m just going to find out how much $ is needed for the monthly bills and tell him he needs to make sure there’s enough money at the end of the month so I can pay the bills. God give me the strength! This is so hard!! So hard!! Can’t believe this is happening.

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Alva, I don't think the issue is ingesting salt in and of itself (and there's certainly far too much salt already in foods and we don't need any more of it), but rather an atmosphere that's created in a special room.    And apparently there are other methods as well that aren't used in special rooms.

This is good descriptive information on the processes and different methods of salt therapy:

https://www.healthline.com/health/halotherapy#methods

I was reminded of and did some quick checking of Bath in the UK, addressed in I think it was Northanger Abbey, wondering why it was such an attraction for people, as some springs are.   I was wondering if it was salt therapy, but apparently it's the thermal, mineral rich waters that attract people.
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Lealonnie, sorry for creating confusion.

You drink the concoction. So 15 to 30 drops of the tincture in a 1/4 cup of warm water and drink it. The warm water helps it work faster.
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lealonnie1 Jan 13, 2020
Ok.....so like a tea. Thanks!
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Please describe "salt therapy", what it is and how it works? I have never heard of anything like this and if you are talking about ingesting salt this could be very dangerous indeed.
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worriedinCali Jan 12, 2020
Ingesting salt? No one is talking about eat salt and the salt that is used is microscopic. If you want to know what it is, links to articles on it have already been posted.
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GA, I think it delivers a boost to our immune system. I have seen a lot of negative information on the internet about colloidal silver and it is not all created equal. Lots of silver water and silver sodium sold as colloidal silver and they are no good.

For several years the FDA has been trying to get it under regulations and make it prescription, because a good colloidal silver works for many different issues.

That is interesting about pharmaceutical salt. I have found those grades to be the purest. My acetic acid that I buy to make vinegar is pharmaceutical grade and you can even see it it is so clean. I have to research the salt now.

I use organic products and you do have to be mindful of the quality of ingredients. So nice to have a conscientious supplier.
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IsThisReallyReal, and Worried,

Amber:   I should have been more specific about the amber I used.    I initially bought it in a cream from an herbal supplier.   Her formulas are probably patented and/or copyrighted, so I don't want to share everything she used, but basically, it was amber resin along with several other organic ingredients, including shea butter.

She's adamant about using organic ingredients and ceased manufacture of the amber cream when difficulty arose obtaining the quality of amber she wanted.

Another supplier creates the face cream I use, which also has an exotic blend of ingredients, also w/o any preservative.   


Worried, I have some information from another forum.   One of the responders is a science teacher, another is someone who's been using all sorts of natural remedies for years.

Their suggested sites (I haven't checked these recommendations against other sites suggested here, so there's a possibility of overlap):

1.     https://lunginstitute.com/blog/salt-therapy-and-copd/

A brief but informative, medically oriented description of the use of salt therapy, basic and to the point.

2.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18019972

A brief, small study of the use of salt inhalers, as opposed to immersion therapy.

3.    A commercial site in Australia, with a blend of information and articles on use of salt beyond those considered for this post.   (I don't normally rely on commercial sites as they have a monetary interest in promoting their product, but this site referenced "pharmaceutical grade dry salt".  

I found it interesting that the only 3rd article specified pharmaceutical grade dry salt, which I assumed would be the type used in the first article.   But the NIH study used salt inhalers.    So apparently the delivery method can differ.

Hope this helps.


IsThisReallyReal, no I've never tried colloidal silver, in anything.    I've read a bit about it, not enough to be knowledgeable though.     Do you think it boosts the effect of a humidifier?

Did some quick checking and was surprised at the negative observations.    I'll check it out more though; I like to research as much as possible before using something new.
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GA, have you ever tries colloidal silver in your humidifier? I add a bunch when I feel like I am trying to get sick from the dryness and overnight I have kicked whatever was trying to get on me.

I am looking forward to trying your amber.
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Thanks GA, I’ll add amber to my shopping list. Mom could definitely use some soothing right now.

I know I went off on unrelated tangent about the bills but let me explain. My dad is no longer able to learn how to pay the bills. For one thing, he’d have to use moms laptop and he doesn’t know how to use a mac and complicating it is the fact that he is left handed and lost his left arm in a car accident. If it weren’t for the cognitive declineX I would gladly sit him down and teach him to the pay the bills even if it meant making the 6 hour trip once a month. But with the cognitive Decline, he is just not going to remember anything and he’s not willing to learn. For example, he has my phone number saved in his phone, I called him Tuesday after I found out mom was in the hospital. In the middle of the conversation he had to hang up because mom was on the other line. He thinks he doesn’t have my phone number saved so he calls my husband! Never mind the fact that he saw my name on his caller ID when I called or that it’s in his call history. He isn’t firing on all cylinders so he doesn’t think to check his call history and it doesn’t register with him that if he saw my name on the caller ID he has my number. So Hubby called me and I called my dad back and he tells me he doesn’t have my phone number saved and I tried to get him to “save” it and he wouldn’t even try! He said he’s technologically challenged. I was trying to walk him through it. This is the same guy that it doesn’t register in his mind to put away his ATM cars after he uses it. This is why he looses it 4 times a year. He keeps setting it on the counter after he takes it out of the pin pad and he takes his receipt and his bag and leaves without the card, instead of putting it in his wallet or pocket before he takes the receipt and bag. And don’t try to tell him that. He gets angry and defensive and has every excuse in the book why he didn’t put his card away first.

Believe me, I would much rather sit down with him and teach him to pay the bills. He’s just not cognitively able to learn it. And he’s not willing. My dad has always had an explosive temper. He had a traumatic childhood and saw a lot of chit in Vietnam. Probably did a lot of chit in Vietnam. I grew up with a dad that had absolutely no patience and we got screamed at over the littlest thing. And yes there was physical abuse too. My brother and I are both damaged because of it. To this day, I cannot tell my husband anything I know will make him mad. He doesn’t have an explosive temper, he doesn’t scream and get violent like my dad does. But I am still afraid to tell him certain things because of how I grew up. My dad gets very angry if he thinks my mom is trying to control him (or the money) or tell him what to do. I know he is gonna explode when I talk to him about the bills. He’s gonna lose his chit and think someone is coming in to control his money. He’s gonna lose his chit and there will be yelling and he’s not gonna want to listen and it’s gonna take patience on my part to explain it and get through to him. I’ve seen it happen with my mom
and brother so many times. I know how he’s gonna react and believe me, I wish he could take over the bills himself so we could avoid a screaming match!

And the reason I am worrying about the bills getting paid? If the electric bill doesn’t get paid, then the electric company will turn off the power. My mom is on oxygen 24/7, has been for years. No power=no oxygen. She has a small portable tank that is battery operated but the batteries need power to charge. A battery lasts 2 hours I think. The generator I gave her will only work for a few hours. So we absolutely cannot have the power turned off otherwise MY MOM WILL DIE.

If the car payment doesn’t get made, the car gets reposted. My parents live in the desert, in a rural area. No grocery delivery, no instacart, no bus service. Nothing. No car=no groceries. My dad is also in bad health and has to go to his dr appts
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Worried, add me to the category that reacts to the scents in perfumes, although I think it's more the additives and combinations that create the scents.   I used to get headaches just from being around someone wearing perfume.

I never have that problem with the organic lotions and creams I buy, one of the reasons I love them.     In fact I used to take my jar of amber with me to the hospital and sniff it if the news was too bad.   It was a soothing agent for me.
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It is a holistic therapy, but can you get her to a salt cave? So the big question is can she tolerate getting out. Holistic means it falls under vitamins and massages. The person experiences some well being without lasting effects. If she is on oxygen then she will get less benefit. Absolutly do not nebulize a high concentration of saline. The is reserved to cystic fibrosis and it would cause bronchospastic coughing for the rest of us.
Now the second part is you went off on another tangent. She has pneumonia with a poor prognosis. Stop with the finances and ask for a hospice or palliative consult. I think you are missing the bigger picture.
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worriedinCali Jan 11, 2020
I’m not missing the bigger picture here. If I was, I wouldn’t be worried about the bills getting paid. And I can’t ask for anything. She’s entirely coherent and competent and making her own decisions. She’s being released tomorrow and she will see her lung doctor in a few weeks and take it from there. I’ve been down this road with my MIL, I know exactly what is happening here. Hence my emotional state the last 72 hours.
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Cali, I can't wear any perfumes, a good quality essential oil would probably not bother her. However, you can go to a good health food store and smell a couple and see if it bothers her.

If you are having bad allergies can I recommend that you check out stinging nettle tincture. Pretty amazing stuff.

I am sorry that your mom is not able to try different treatments. So frustrating for you no doubt.
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worriedinCali Jan 11, 2020
Thank you. You just sent me down memory lane, we used to have stinging nettle in some overgrown areas of my childhood home and remember getting poked by it and how NOT FUN that was! But hey I will try a stinging nettle tincture, I personally do not like taking medicine so I am willing to try holistic remedies. Looks like my local vitamin shoppe has nettle products so I will give it a try!
Her sensitive to smells has been difficult to deal with over the years, I can remember having to leave the mall in a hurry because perfume counters at Macy’s and penny’s were right at the mall entrances and they used have to salespeople standing there spraying perfume as you walked by!! Always made my poor mom wheeze and we’d have to get out there. it’s Because of that dang asthma! I’ll take your advice and sample some scents before I use any around her. She is open to trying anything that will help her breath easier because obviously, the road from here is only going to get worse :(
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Yes garden she has a humidifier and an air purifier but I don’t believe they help much. As far as essential oils, I am afraid to try anything with strong scents because she is a life long asthmatic and is very sensitive to smells. There are very few perfumes she can wear. I’m afraid essential oils would make her wheeze! I may have to try the frankincense myself. I’m dealing with congestion and an itchy throat and I’m thinking I’ve bad allergies to what, I have no idea. I’ve been suffering since thanksgiving and I am just over it! I’d like to try a salt room myself.
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lealonnie1 Jan 11, 2020
For my itchy throat and nose, Rhinocort otc nasal spray works well....then I get the doc to prescribe Azelastine nose spray for VERY bad days, as needed. It's straight antihistamine spray. The combo is miraculous for nose/throat issues both. The generic for Rhinocort is Budesonide......cheaper at CVS or Rite Aid. My allergies are always worse this time of year for some reason.
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Worried, is there a humidifier in her house?   I bought one for my father b/c the higher heat during the winter dried out the air.   I've used them in my house as well, although it's not as dry as Dad's house was.

Something else I've done over the years when I've had bad sinus problems:  I heated water, added crumbled sage and inhaled the vapors.  I've also done that with chicken soup, which is my go-to for solving a lot of things beyond dryness.

I had a deviated septum which closes easily and then I'm breathing "only on one cylinder", so I often have to keep that nostril's airway open.    Sage in heated water, and especially chicken noodle soup really helped.

IsthisReallyReal, I hadn't really thought about frankincense and other scents, but I haven't had sinus problems (unless I eat too much chocolate) since I began using an herbal facial cream with frankincense and myrrh.    Interesting...

I also love the smell of amber; I used to keep a jar of it in my go-to-pack so it was available when 911 events occurred.   I used to sniff it for calming as I was sitting in the ER with my father.
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MargaretMcKen Jan 12, 2020
Amber is a fossil and it doesn't smell. Perhaps something else is in the jar.
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Cali, maybe get her an induction cooker and a large pot so she can do a good steam in her room or even the living room. You could get some good salt to add. I would also do some research on essential oils that are beneficial for the lungs, like frankincense and eucalyptus, rosemary and oregano can help but are not so pleasant smelling.

Mine can be programmed to run for 99 hours and they are energy efficient.

Vicks on the bottom of your feet helps you breathe easier as well.

PS: I know someone that had stem cell therapy and it changed his world. I think that it is difficult for us to overcome the origin of the research and feel comfortable with the treatment.
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worriedinCali Jan 11, 2020
My mom was real ghung hoo about the stem cell stuff a few years ago after watching dr oz or the doctors. She was gonna have my dad pull money out of his retirement and go to Arizona for the treatment but she researched it and said it was all a scam! I don’t know if she was talking about the treatment place being a scam or the treatment herself though. My dad can’t pull money from his retirement until late summer I believe so stem cell treatment is probably out of the cards :(
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Thanks everyone. Salt therapy isn’t a placebo, it’s been found to help thin mucus which makes it easier for people to breath especially those with COPD. My mom lives in a high altitude area where the air is drier. She always has trouble in the winter but not the summer when it’s hot. There’s no salt saves anywhere around but there are “salt rooms” at some local spas that I would take her to. She can get out of the house, she can’t walk far but she has a motorized scooter and a rollator so we’ll make it happen! She says hot showers help but getting her to take one every day is hard, since I’m not there to tell her to do it. I’m sure a daily shower in a hot steamy bathroom would be beneficial.

Garden, thats awesome your dad lived so long after being given a poor prognosis’ and far as the hospitalist, that’s exactly what I told my mom—that this doctor doesn’t know her and her history and to take what she says with a grain of salt.

as far as teaching my dad to pay the bills, that isn’t really an option. Cognitively, he’s not going to be able to learn. And I wouldn’t be able to trust him to do it right. I can see it now—he’ll go to pay a $250 electric bill and accidentally enter an extra zero and pay them $2500 and we’ll be up chit creek trying to get the overpayment reversed! My mom has tried getting him to sit down and learn it but he has always refused. And again with his cognitive decline, he’s not going to remember things and he’s going to make catastrophic mistakes!
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MargaretMcKen Jan 11, 2020
If you give your father a choice about the bill paying, the chances are he'll get you to do it. If he wants the 'teach me' option, say you'll do it until he has learned, and make the 'teaching' as complicated as you can. Still, your choice.
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As a severe asthmatic, I have found warm moist air to be the most beneficial treatment outside of medications. I close the drain on the shower tub and run the shower with the water temperature as high as it goes to steam up the bath and often adjacent bedroom. I add Epsom salts, both plain and with eucalyptus, to the bath water and take a good soak. When I'm having problems, I steam up the bathroom and then soak in the tub. I also have a humidifier running in my bedroom all winter long.
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lealonnie1 Jan 11, 2020
Oh that exact thing used to help my daughter when she had horrible bouts of croup as a little kid and her throat closed up!
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Worried, I'm not familiar at all with salt therapy, so I did  a lot of thinking, not that that educates me, but it does suggest options.

First, I'm not familiar with it, but I think people who use alternative medicines might be.    I'm reaching out to a few friends on another forum, one of whom is very knowledgeable about oriental medicine, which has  long tradition of alternative healing.

Second, you might want to try to find hospitals in her area that do incorporate nontraditional medicines and ask if there are clinics or practitioners who practice it.    Sometimes these hospitals plus alternative medicines hold informational classes for patients.  

Before being acquiring by a profit corporation, one of the large and top notch local medical chain of hospitals offered extensive free classes.  I learned a lot from these classes.  That kind of public outreach was a real boon to learning directly from practitioners.

Third, I did some quick research, from a different angle, searching on "Oriental medicine, salt therapy" and got some hits, one of which refers to salt therapy as "halotherapy".  

https://www.bing.com/search?q=oriental%20medicine%2C%20salt%20therapy&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=oriental%20medicine%2C%20salt%20therapy&sc=1-31&sk=&cvid=505F4CE89E1B4536830A79028B2D40D6

Did another search on Halotherapy and also got some interesting hits:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=halotherapy&form=IENTHT&pc=EUPP_DCJB&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&msnews=1&refig=ce89751470b34b55d3da890ffe802e15&sp=-1&pq=halotherap&sc=8-10&qs=n&sk=&cvid=ce89751470b34b55d3da890ffe802e15

Apparently salt therapy dates back to the 12th century, well before Big Pharma and giant corporations peddled their meds through doctors and in  extensive tv ads.

Henry Ford Hospital in this area is one that trends toward the nonmedicine healthier side of treatment.   It even has its own greenhouse in which organic produce is grown for patients in its hospital, as well as for a weekly market for anyone interested.  

One of its satellite facilities held a non-traditional open house over a decade ago.   Not one doctor or medical practitioner at the open house practiced western medicine.   And there was a free acupuncture demonstration.

If you want to see a very nontraditional hospital setting, check out these photos, some of which are the organic gardening on site in the W. Bloomfield Hospital and Med Center:

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1280&bih=561&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=yAgaXp3NDYKMtAbUhoaQBA&q=henry+Ford+Hospital%2C+W.+Bloomfield+organic+garden&oq=henry+Ford+Hospital%2C+W.+Bloomfield+organic+garden&gs_l=img.3...186267.190678..190833...0.0..0.80.1025.17......0....1..gws-wiz-img.......0i24.73wwby2taO8&ved=0ahUKEwid0YSEjPzmAhUCBs0KHVSDAUIQ4dUDCAY&uact=5#spf=1578764679271

My point is that this is like no other hospital I've ever seen, and its treatment is similarly nontraditional.

Fourth, my father was given a death sentences by a pulmonary doctor (not his own doctor but one who treated him during a massive, complicated breakdown).  He had bilateral pneumonia, was in CHF, had more conditions than I can remember (there were 6 co-morbidities), was in a medically induced coma for 3 weeks, and more.   That was 17 years ago.   As some of you know, he lived until 2018, still with emphysema and periodic bouts of CHF and pneumonia but still active and walking down to the lake in his area the year before he died. 


Please don't despair - some doctors predict death a lot quicker than others.
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lealonnie1 Jan 11, 2020
Wonderful info and such great news about your dad after he was given such a grim prognosis!
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I looked up Salt Therapy on the net, and it really does sound like a way to make money out of a placebo. However placebos can work, so that isn’t a No if the money is reasonable. It might be a very enjoyable outing for you both to try.

I’d suggest you offer Dad the option of you ‘teaching’ him how to handle the money, or you doing it for him. That way he makes the choice, in his mind he stays in control.

My mother died from cancer at 78, and I miss her a lot. It’s different when they are still ‘themselves’, I think it’s easier to miss them. Keep those happy memories. Best wishes, Margaret
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lealonnie1 Jan 12, 2020
Looking up something on the internet and then speculating on it to be a placebo isn't having firsthand experience with it, which is what the OP is asking for. Just sayin.
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Cali, I just read about 2 salt caves they have here where I live. I am not sure if she would benefit from that or how you would be able to get her in there, but if might be something you could do together, just to be together.
I'm sorry you and your Mom are going through this. And your Dad.
Hugs and prayers for you all.
I didn't word that right. You say you found salt rooms, but recently I read there are 2 new salt 'caves' in my town. There is white sand on the floors. I don't know if salt rooms are the same, but the concept is.
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pamzimmrrt Jan 11, 2020
Yep, the salt rooms here in MD sound like that.. sand on the floor, relaxing chairs.. I think the wording is just for marketing. I am sure they work the same. I was interested in hearing about the monthly subscription.. sounds very nice if you like them!
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Cali,

I am so sorry. Salt rooms? I don’t know about it. I can see where it may help. Salt is a natural substance that aids in breathing. Saline solutions have been around a long time. I would ask her doctor but I don’t think it would be harmful.

My mom did all the bill paying too. Daddy died first but I was also concerned that if my mom had died first how daddy would manage.

I think you will handle it fine by telling him exactly what you have told us, that your only interest is in helping him. You are honest and have integrity. Your dad knows that.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care, Cali. Hugs! 💗
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worriedinCali Jan 12, 2020
Thank You NHWM! I Know it will be ok and we’ll be able to get the bill situation handled.
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Thanks ITRR. Yes she’s looked in to stem cell treatment but she said it was a scam. I don’t think my parents have the cash to pay for it anyway :(
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So sorry cali.

Have you checked into stem cell treatment for COPD?

I have seen some interesting and promising information, well worth checking out since she is so young.

Never heard of salt therapy.

I hope that you find something that helps her.
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Thank you Pam. I found a health spa with a salt room not far from my parents house, so I am going to go try to take her there in February when I get up there. I don’t know if there are home treatments but I’ll be looking in to it. Baths are not an option because she has a large garden tub and does not have the strength to get in and out of it and there’s no way I could get her to agree to get in it.
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pamzimmrrt Jan 11, 2020
I know the garden tub dilemma. We have one at the river house.. I have it all kitted out with bath bombs, bubble bath .. you name it. And then I tremble at the idea of getting out of it! And I am only 61! It is a relaxing idea I love to imagine,, and it has a nice step inside to use.. but no rails. I always tell hubs when I am getting in, in case I need help getting out!
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Oh worried I am so sorry. As to the salt therapy, I have only seen articles about the salt rooms, that you go to and sit in for 30 minutes or so. I have no idea how you do this at home. People love the salt rooms from the articles I have read.. I would like to try one myself. I do know a lot of people use "bath salts" like the scented ones you can buy in their tubs, and soak,, scents like menthol and such that open your airways. It cant hurt to try.
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