Halotherapy: from the Greek words Halos meaning Salt and Therapy meaning Treatment. — Source
(Note: There’s a HUGE discount for Mile High Mamas readers, mentioned at the end of this article. Keep reading.)
Talk among the six other ladies in the waiting room was about respiratory medications and spirometers.
“I don’t need to take my rescue inhaler as much since I started coming here. This is my third visit,” said one.
“I know! I do better now on those tests that measure your lung capacity,” said another.
“It made a difference for my friend’s son, so I thought I’d try out the Salt Spa, too,” said a third.
I was skeptical. I’d read about the benefits of spending time in a salt spa, I’d seen a clip on the local news and I’d read some research, yet I still couldn’t see how such a simple treatment could possibly alleviate in both adults and children conditions such as asthma, allergies, sinus problems, chronic ear infections, skin irritations, chronic lung diseases, and anxiety.
But I was also hopeful. My son has experienced Reactive Airway Disease, my daughter could benefit from a calmer body, and I, myself, have grappled with a rare lung condition. Could 6-15 treatments make a difference for any or all of us?
The chit-chat ceased when Allen, the manager of Salt Spa Colorado, greeted us. He handed out disposable caps and booties and instructed on what to expect over the course of the next hour.
“Most people like to close their eyes, and some will fall asleep or meditate. A change in lighting will alert you that the treatment is over,” said Allen. “No food or drinks in the salt room, and please make sure to go to the bathroom before you head in. For for maximum relaxation and deep breathing, please turn off your cell phones.”
We donned our fashionable (not!) caps and footies and followed Allen past the children’s salt spa to the adult salt spa. The children’s spa has a colorful underwater scenes painted on the wall, with a small table and chairs and bins of toys for kids to play with during treatment. Parents get to accompany their children at no charge so there’s a big chair, as well. The floor is covered with a couple of inches of Himalayan salt crystals.
The adult salt spa, on the other hand, has not only a salt-crystal-covered floor but also salt-stucco-covered walls. It’s a 15 x 15 foot room (approx) with seven lounge chairs. Instruments in the room indicated that humidity was 50% and the temperature was 73 degrees. The lights were bright enough that we could see, but not blinding amid the white decor.
Allen again invited us to sleep or meditate, saying that doing so would happen easily as a result of the deep breathing we’d experience. He said he’d see us again in about 45 minutes.
We had no further questions, and as he left we reclined in our loungers. The lights dimmed and a low hiss began to emanate from a vent in a wall. I found out later that this vent delivered aerosolized dry salt made by a halogenerator. This, even more than the solid salt surrounding us, provided the health benefits.
I took note of my surroundings. There were several frosted windows, some tinted. In each was a statue — an angel, a saint, a dolphin, Ganesh. Later, the spa’s owner, Dr. Nita Desai, said she was aiming to create a multi-denominational salt temple. Classical music played at low volume — Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart.
As promised, I fell into a relaxed state. I breathed deeply and slowly and before I knew it, the lights came up. Allen reappeared and advised us to stay very hydrated the rest of the day.
I had the chance to interview Dr. Desai after my treatment. I needed to understand why salt was curative.
“Dry salt has a slight negative charge. The cilia in the lungs have a slightly positive charge. So when the aerosolized salt meets the cilia, a small electrical current is created. That current activates muco-ciliary clearance. Salt also liquefies the mucous which will allow it to be expelled out of the body more easily.”
Ahem. I had to clear my throat.
Dr. Desai smiled and said that happened all the time. She continued. “The salt room provides a negative ion environment, like the seashore, which contributes to a feeling of well being and promotes stress reduction. The particles of salt are inhaled and travel into the deepest parts of the lungs and sinuses. The inhalation of the salt particles helps to reduce inflammation in the airways, opens constricted airways, and increases the clearance of mucous.”
Dr. Desai, an MD who is Board Certified in Holistic Medicine, further explained, “Halotherapy relieves problems caused by viruses, bacteria and fungus because salt is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal.”
That’s a lot of anti.
The Salt Spa celebrates its first birthday April 1. The newer children’s room opened earlier this month, on March 1. And while this location is in Boulder, Dr. Desai is considering opening a second salt spa in Lakewood if finances allow.
Treatments are $45 is purchased individually (package deals available). However, readers of Mile High Mamas can make a reservation by May 31 and pay only $10 for a first session — as long as you mention that you read about the Salt Spa on Mile High Mamas.
Inquire via this contact form or call (720) 524-3531.
I’ve already made another appointment and this time I’ll bring my children. And while I can’t yet say if multiple treatments in the Salt Spa will cure what ails us, I can say that halotherapy left me feeling refreshed, clear, and down right divine.