The latest wellness trend? Salt rooms
Inhaling salt particles is said to be beneficial for a number of respiratory conditions.
Despite often being touted as a spa innovation, salt therapy – or halotherapy as it is also known – is nothing new. The healing properties of thermal waters have long been understood, and so has the use of salt in wellness treatments. It's been around since the time of the Greeks and Romans, who were known to have used it to cure all manner of ailments. However, it wasn’t until 1843 that salt therapy really took off, when a Polish physician named Dr. F. Bochkowsky was the first to recognize its use in the treatment of respiratory diseases. Salt therapy has been popular in Europe ever since. In recent years, the salt therapy trend has gone global, and it's now being used to treat everything from allergies to asthma, colds to eczema.
Below, we take a tour of some of our favorite salt spas around the world.
5-Star Salt Caves / Denver / United States
This entire health spa is built around a man-made cave crafted from Himalayan rock salt, and offers a range of treatments. At its core is the simple, healing power of the pure salt, which has been known to neutralize the effect of electromagnetic radiation such as that emitted from televisions and cell phones. By producing negative ions, salt crystals counter the negative effects of positive ions and are thought to be able to help with headaches, lethargy, dizziness, nausea, depression and a host of other afflictions.
The Bell Healing Salt Spa / Tel Aviv / Israel
Housed within the boutique Bell Hotel in Israel, this unique salt room has managed to combine different therapies to great effect. There is a salt sauna, a Turkish bath and traditional salt treatment rooms, which all provide relaxation with the healing benefits of salt inhalation. The spa has been built from salt that is believed to be millions of years old and has been mined from almost 1,000 feet underground to ensure it is as pure as possible and rich in minerals. As visitors breathe in the negative ion-rich salt particles, which are released upon contact with the air, they are thought to be absorbed into the respiratory tract, thus helping with all manner of breathing issues.
The Salina Turda Salt Mine / Turda / Romania
The underground Ferris wheel is one of the main attractions at the salt mine and museum in Romania. (Photo: Omihay/Shutterstock)
Buried deep underground in rural Romania is a vast 17th-century salt mine. Today, the mine no longer produces salt for commercial use, but has instead been converted into a vast subterranean entertainment and wellness complex, that also serves as a salt mining history museum. While enjoying activities such as rowing on the underground lake, riding the Ferris wheel or playing a game of mini golf, visitors are also breathing in the therapeutic salty air. In essence, the complex is one enormous salt room. There is also a well-equipped spa on site, which utilizes its unique setting to offer health and wellness treatments.
Breathe Salt Rooms / Manhattan / United States
At the Breathe Salt Rooms in Manhattan, the walls are made from pink-hued Himalayan salt bricks, creating a tranquil, calming atmosphere. Underfoot is fine pink sand, while plush lounge chairs provide the perfect place to lay back and breathe in the healing salty air.
Salt is naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal, and while we have used it for centuries to preserve our food, it is also a great healer for our bodies. Just a 25-minute session can begin the holistic process. Breathe Salt Rooms also offer the opportunity to practice yoga, meditation, Reiki, sound baths and Chakra healing within the salt room.
The Salt Caves / Several cities / United Kingdom
This salt cave chain, which offers treatments for both adults and children, has their flagship venue in London. Their tranquil salt rooms make use of the patented Breeze Tronic Pro device, which mimics the healing micro-climate of a salt cave. More than 25,000 people have visited their salt rooms, which can be found in cities across the U.K. With televisions, lounge chairs, cots and children’s toys on hand, the salt rooms are a calming and fun place to unwind for all ages.
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