Some people are seeking relief from respiratory ailments by surrounding themselves with sodium.
There’s something deeply relaxing about catching some shut-EYE
on a comfy chair in room surrounded by tons of Himalayan Salt. That’s why spas, healing centers and holistic destinations all over the world are starting to add salt caves and salt rooms to help take wellness to a new level.
Halotherapy or dry salt therapy, has been around since Dr. Feliks Boczkowski opened the first health resort facility in the Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland in 1838. Now a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage monument, the mine has invited over 1,750,000 people to get into the salt. German scientists looked at the phenomenon a little closer in 1949 when physician D.K.H. Spannahel noticed that people who’d hid in salt caves and mines during World War II showed evidence of improved respiratory health. As of 1958, Professor Mieczyslaw Skulimowski started seeing patients in the salt chambers and by 1964 they created the Kinga Allergy Treatment Spa. Soon, hospitals also opened in salt mines, and by 1985 the first halotherapy device was developed in Odessa, Russia. Word travelled quickly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union and halotherapy has since spread around the world.
It turns out that spending a bit of time in a room consisting of tons of salt and can clear pollens, viruses, pollutants and toxins from your lungs and nasal passageways. This can help rejuvenate your respiratory tract and kick those allergies to the curb. Halotherapy provides this relief because salt is naturally anti-inflammatory and fights pathogens. In salt rooms, a halogenerator pumps sodium chloride into the air, which also clears mucus, phlegm and bronchial secretions; this can reduce or completely do away with coughing and sneezing related to a variety of air-borne causes.
While enormous salt mines are few and far between of course, there are now hundreds of locations where you can go to breathe sodium-rich air, including salt caves, salt saunas, even mini salt rooms.
Montauk Salt Cave (montauksaltcave.com), located near the Eastern shore of Long Island has both beautiful stacked pink Himalayan salt bricks and rocks plus fine (almost sandy) salt everywhere you look. Their new East Village location is already attracting a wide range of fans and regulars. For $40 clients can enjoy a 45-minute session in a zero gravity chair. Montauk Salt Cave also offers reiki, sound healing with crystal singing bowls, massages and a variety of events.
Salt Studio Pasadena (saltstudiopasadena.com) is an LGBTQ-owned and gay-friendly wellness spa in the heart of Pasadena. Owner Diana Leone is a CMT reiki practioner striving to help her clients restore balance to their lives. The studio offers a peaceful salt room where clients can relax while experiencing the opening of airways, skin detoxification and a renewed sense of balance thanks to the rooms negative ion environment. Guests can book a single treatment for $40 or add salt time to any spa treatment for an additional $20. Some of their other treatments include massages, sweat sessions, Qigong classes, Dead Sea mud wraps and chakra harmonizing.
And Primal Oceans Salt Cave (primaloceanssaltcave.com) has a gorgeous salt cave in La Grange, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) where you can book a reclining chair for just $35 and snuggle up with a warm Sherpa blanket. Take in the tons of Pink Himalayan Salt boulders and bricks as you allow the negative ions to swirl around you. Additional treatments at Primal Oceans Salt Cave include Aquascape — a sensory immersion zen bed, Amethyst biomats (where you can receive the benefits of crushed amethyst crystals below you), and an ionic detox foot bath. If you book their “Journey to Tranquility” package, you can take in all four of these treatments for just $165.
Last modified: April 2, 2018