Salt CavesA Pinch of Halotherapy
A wellness treatment for the truly languid, halotherapy requires nothing more than reclining in a zero gravity lounger and simply breathing. Salt “caves” are springing up in spas all over the U.S., as health-seekers explore the purported benefits of inhaling salty air. The practice, a throwback to late 1800s Poland, is said to alleviate anxiety, stress and snoring, along with assorted respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, allergies and colds. Here are a few of our favorite places to take in the salt air.
Aria Resort and Casino, Shio Salt Room
Las Vegas, NV
Hangovers aren’t on the list of conditions said to be eased by halotherapy, but we think kicking back in a dark, quiet room certainly can’t hurt. In this high-end experience, high-rollin’ Vegas spa-goers recline on vibration therapy loungers in a zen-empty room constructed of Himalayan salt bricks and illuminated by the gentle glow of salt lamps.
Salt Cave Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
Forty five tons of natural pure pink Himalayan salt make up this luxurious mineral mother lode. Visitors lounge on an inches-deep beachy salt floor or zero gravity loungers before the room is darkened for 45-minute-long group sessions, every hour on the hour. Upping the healing cache of this briny grotto: the Solfeggio frequency music (said to repair DNA) and negative ions that fill the air.
Asheville Salt Cave
Imported Polish salt rock crystals weighing from 6 ounces to 300 pounds each cover the surfaces of Downtown Asheville’s cozy (read: not for the claustrophobic) salt cave. For those not content to just lay back and inhale, occasional restorative yoga and yoga nidra sessions are also offered within the 450-square-foot space.
The Salt Cave
This Minnesota spa was designed by renowned mineral therapy expert Dr. Margaret Smiechowski – basically the Frank Lloyd Wright of salt caves. Over 12,000 pounds of Himalayan crystal salts cover the walls and floor, and the air is infused with micro particles of pharmaceutical-grade salt generated by a specialized Estonian-built halogenerator.
It’s only fitting that the Crimean sea salt that goes into Chicago's old-world salt spa is obtained through an appropriately ancient process of evaporation — water from the Black Sea is collected into special pools and exposed to the sun for four to five years before being harvested for use in the spa. The resulting crystals boast high levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, aluminum and iodine, all said to aid in health and beauty (and salt cave cred.)
(Photos courtesy of Shio Salt Room, Salt Cave Santa Barbara, Asheville Salt Cave and the Salt Cave Minneapolis)