What is Halotherapy?
The treatment, known as dry salt therapy (or halotherapy), dates back hundreds of years to Eastern Europe and is purported to confer a variety of health benefits. These include relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colds, cystic fibrosis, ear infections, and sinusitis, as well as skin conditions like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and rosacea, according to the Salt Therapy Association. Sit back and relax in our Salt Room, dimly lit by a back and front-lit Himalayan Salt walls, lounging in a zero gravity chair, listening to relaxing music, or use our noise-canceling headphones. A machine connected outside of the room (called a halogenerator) grinds dry salt and pumps micro particles of it into the air. Sit back, relax, and quiet the mind as you breathe the refined air.
How can exposure to this simple mineral help such disparate conditions?
"It follows with sodium chloride being an integral part of the body’s physiology and dealing with homeostasis and health," says Dr. R. Richard Leinhardt, an ENT facial plastic surgeon in New York City who was a 9/11 first responders. "Saline in the lungs is key to eliminating toxins that we either inhale or otherwise come into contact with, and salt allows the body to excrete impurities through ion exchange." Leinhardt explains. Meanwhile, salt also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties that can fight germs.
A study in the May 2017 issue of Pediatric Pulmonology found that children with mild asthma who went for two halotherapy sessions per week for seven weeks gained greater improvements in their bronchial hyperreactivity (constrictions and spasms that cause asthma symptoms) than a control group did. A small study in a 2014 issue of the Journal of Medicine and Life found that when patients with chronic bronchial conditions underwent halotherapy, it triggered anti-inflammatory mechanisms and stimulation of phagocytosis, a process in which cells called phagocytes engulf bacterial or viral particles to destroy them. Meanwhile, breathing in salty air "decreases the thickness of the mucus, thereby allowing the body’s innate clearing mechanisms to sweep away the secretions, improving drainage and diminishing bronchial sensitivity," explains Dr. Joseph Marino, medical director of Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital in New York. In addition, "the efficacy of halotherapy [may] be related to an immunologic effect by elevating T lymphocytes, which are one of our germ fighters." Theoretically, this could translate into better immune function and greater protection from colds, flu, and other contagious illnesses.
In addition to the anti-inflammatory properties, the salts used in halotherapy have calming properties that are helpful for skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and these particular "salts contain magnesium, which offers therapeutic benefits to the skin," says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Epsom salt, which is magnesium sulfate, is commonly used as a bath additive for similar reasons." In fact, bathing in water that contains magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt even improves skin barrier function and reduces inflammation in people who have atopic dry skin (an allergic skin condition), according to research in the International Journal of Dermatology.
Still, since salt tends to bring water out of the body’s membranes, it’s wise to replace fluids after a salt cave session by drinking water, using a saline mist for your nasal passages and lubricating drops for your eyes, Leinhardt advises. Similarly, frequent sessions may cause some dryness of the skin, which is why it’s smart to rinse your skin afterward then apply a moisturizer to maintain a healthy skin barrier, Zeichner says.
Full article on this can be found HERE.
What do I wear during a Halotherapy session?
Dress to your comfort level. We recommend cozy clothing that you can sit back and relax in. If your Halotherapy goals are to improve skin conditions, we recommend wearing shorts and a tank top so that your skin is exposed as much as possible. Sorry, we do not allow nudity in our salt room.
What is it exactly that I’m breathing in? Is it Himalayan Pink Salt?
Pure medical grade sodium chloride is the salt that is used, which goes in the Halogenerator, grinding salt into small particles, dusting the air lightly with the salt. This is what you breathe in and what your skin is being exposed to. The Himalayan salt is used for the backlit salt brick wall and front-lit salt panels as ambiance and decor to create a deeply relaxing experience.
If I bring in my phone to use for the wireless headphones, will my phone get ruined from the salt?
It is similar to going to the beach, without all the sand, wind, and sun. Your phone will be lightly dusted with salt particles, but it will not make it erode or ruin your device. We recommend playing a Yoga nidra, guided meditation, or your favorite podcast or audiobook while relaxing in the salt room. Spa music is also played in the room, should you choose to not play anything on your phone. You also have the option to use the headphones and choose the Noise Canceling option to blank out all the noise in the room. Texting, checking emails, and making phone calls during your session is not permitted.
What else should I expect?
Booking this treatment is deeply relaxing. Prepare to sit back and relax and maybe even take a nap. When your session is complete, a fan will turn on, notifying you that the session is finished. Because of its detoxifying benefits, you may experience slight coughing in the first few minutes. The next 24 hrs after your treatment, you may notice your nose is runnier than usual. The runny nose will pass, leaving you feeling clear of congestion and allowing you to breathe deeper. Since your skin is lightly dusted in the salt, we recommend applying a hydrating lotion so that your skin does not dry out following your treatment, or book a massage with us to nourish the skin and body. You will also want to come hydrated and replenish your body with plenty of water after.
What if I don’t finish my session or what if I bring my child and they are not able to stay the full length of the 45 minutes?
We understand that some children may not be able to sit for the full time and/or that you may not be able to stay the full time. Unfortunately, if you opt to leave early, we will not be able to refund your money. If you arrive late, your session will still end at the time it was scheduled to end.
Speaking of kids, what is my child supposed to do for 45 minutes?
Our studio mission is to press pause and unplug, however, kids may have trouble being able to unplug in a dimly lit room and sit still for the full session. As much as we are not for exposing our children to tablets and cell phone devices, during a salt session this is the perfect time to play their favorite movie and give them a snack while you as the parent or guardian sits back and relaxes. Playing or running around the room is not prohibited. When using tablets, please bring their favorite headphones to connect to as to not disturb the ambiance with the sound from their device. We also offer headphones for your pleasure to both use.
How often is it recommended to do Halotherapy?
It all depends on your goals. If you have respiratory conditions, such as allergies or asthma, it is recommended to do 1-2 times per week until the conditions lesson or decrease. After you notice the conditions have lessened, you may want to adjust to 1 visit a week to 2 visits a month. Same applies for external conditions, such as acne or eczema. If your goal is to simply relax, take a nap, or meditate, we recommend this treatment no more than 2 times a week.
What is your studio policy?
No refunds are issues should you not complete the session. Should you arrive late, your session will still end at the time it was scheduled to end. Should you not show for your appointment you will be charged a fee of $25. If you need to cancel the day of your appointment or any time prior to your appointment, you will not be charged. Please notify us as soon as possible should you need to cancel.
What if I feel a cold coming on?
If you feel the early symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, you may attend a session as a way to "nip it in the bud." However, if you are full-blown sick and contagious, please do not book this treatment. Stay home and get better and do not risk infecting others. During cold, flu, and allergies sessions, we recommend booking this treatment as a way to help prevent illness from coming on.
How early do I need to arrive?
We recommend arriving at least 10-15 minutes before your appointment begins to get settled in. If it is your first visit for this type of treatment, you will be asked to fill out a waiver. Next, you will want to use the restroom and help yourself to complimentary tea or water. You can relax in our spa lounge until your session begins.
Should I breathe deeply during the session?
You will want to breathe naturally for these sessions. If you would like to do breathing exercises/Pranayama, we recommend doing a few minutes of the Nostril Alternating Breath, followed by meditating on the breath.