When I first thought about creating a healing space where people could connect as a community to get well through functional medicine and alternative practices, a salt room seemed like the ideal venue. Salt therapy, or halotherapy, is a healing modality that may be used to help relieve the symptoms of allergies, asthma, COPD, emphysema and other breathing conditions, skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and emotional conditions such as anxiety and depression. Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause fear, nervousness, worrying, and apprehension. This will affect us all at some point in our lives and salt therapy is a holistic option to help us manage it with little or no medications.
Some of the benefits that people who suffer from anxiety have experienced from going to a salt room are:
- Improves Mood
- Increases Mental Performance
- Boosts Relaxation
- Relieves Stress
- Improves sleep
When you enter the main area of Just Breathe, you immediately notice that this space is like no other. It is open and spacious and invites you into an oasis that leaves the outside world, well, outside. You may check your day-to-day “stuff” at the imaginary suitcase by the door and choose to pick it up on your way out or not. (We discard all the baggage each day so that it doesn’t pile up.)
You are greeted by friendly staff and escorted to the real magic of Just Breathe, our Himalayan salt room, where you are instructed to remove your shoes, turn off any electronics and leave them in the baskets provided for you and are then wrapped into a world of quiet and comfort.
Just Breathe’s salt room’s main focus is a beautiful wall made out of Himalayan salt bricks. This salt was once a primordial sea that dehydrated and was covered by the Himalayan mountains. The salt is mined from deep underground in the second largest salt mine in the world, the Kwhera Salt Mines in Pakistan.
Since this salt is, in actuality, an ocean, like going to the beach or sitting under a waterfall, the salt wall emits negative ions. We are exposed to positive ions all day. From the overhead lights in our homes and offices, to the computer keyboards that we work on all day, to the cell phones that our society is obsessed by. These positive ions cause us to feel a little on edge and out of sorts. Many of us describe this as anxiety. The negative ions produced by the Himalayan salt help us relax and heal.
Also, according to Zinia Thomas, M.D., Chief Healing Officer, Radiance Float + Wellness in St.Louis, “salt can trigger a chemical reaction that boosts serotonin levels which produces relaxing, uplifting effects.” (Think about how you feel after a dip in the ocean or simply breathing the air at the beach; that’s salt at work, too.)
And, of course, there is the simple act of taking the time to disconnect and take time for ourselves. This alone can make us feel less anxious and generally happier. As Sunny Montefiore, a writer for Bonappetit magazine, stated in her review of salt rooms, “Nearly an hour later, I emerged ecstatic. Oddly, I felt a palpable rearrangement in my body’s spiritual energy—chakras, if you will—and my brain felt wiped of tension. This sharpness of focus and relaxed state lasted for about two days…”
Visiting a salt room can help with a myriad of conditions and concerns but, at the end of the day, it is all about what our friends’ tell us all the time, “Just Breathe!”