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If you live long enough, you find out that the things that you thought were bad for you are actually okay.  Butter, eggs, and coffee all spring to mind.  Of course, some things that you thought were good for you (red meat, artificial sweetener, Bill Cosby) can also end up being not so good.

But of those things that were once taboo, salt may be ready for its Second Act.

Eating too much sodium chloride was thought to be a direct link to high blood pressure and heart disease.  Before we went crazy for “gluten free”, we longed for “low sodium.”  No one ever sang,“a spoonful of salt helps the medicine go down in the most delightful way.”

Over the holidays, I watched more television than necessary, and saw not one, but two news stories championing the use of salt.  This may be a good place to note that neither story focused on sprinkling salt onto a salad or salmon fillet. Rather, you inhale it or float in it.

The website for the Ultrasonic Air Salinizer Saltair features a woman at the beach with her arms outstretched, and her nose, literally, in the air, trying to get a bigger snootful of salt.  But, for $99 plus shipping and handling, you can get the same result in the comfort of your own home.  Saltair puts breathable salt particles into the air.  The salt crystals absorb bacteria and help reduce swelling in lung tissue. In just a few days, they say, “you will look and feel better, as your lungs will start to clear and your body will take in more oxygen.”  It is effective for treating asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, snoring, and even the common cold or stuffiness.

If inhaling the salt doesn’t do it for you, why not try floating in a tank of salt water.

According to floatboston.com, “a float tank is a small shallow pool filled with water nearly saturated with Epsom salt, so it’s dense like the Dead Sea. ” The water is warm and the room is dark so they guarantee an environment that is “utterly relaxing.”

What are the benefits of floating in salt water?  The emphasis seems to be on stress reduction, bordering on an out of body experience.  The website makes passing references to sensory deprivation, acid trips, and hallucinations.  You can get a sixty minute float for $60 or a ninety minute float for $75, or you can get monthly memberships that bring the prices down.  Bathing suits are optional.

As a veganish free spirit, which one would I be inclined to try?  It’s a tough call.  I can’t get my brain around salt acting to reduce inflammation.  It seems like it would do the opposite.  Still, I would like to snore less and breath better.

I also have a hard time picturing myself floating for sixty or ninety minutes in any kind of pool, no matter how relaxing it might be.  Falling asleep and drowning is not mentioned in the FAQ’s.  I have fallen asleep during yoga and meditation so I feel this is a real possibility.

For now, I think I’ll start by eating a few more potato chips and see what that does for me.

Have you experienced or would you try one or both of these salt remedies? Please leave a comment…