Yes, Salt Rooms Are Just As Therapeutic As They Look On Instagram
First came the pink Himalayan sea salt shakers, forever changing the way we season our food. Then came the Himalayan salt lamps that not only make for pretty home decor, but also help to cleanse the air in our little city apartments. And now there are entire rooms stocked from floor to ceiling with pretty pink crystals in cities all across the country, aiming to soothe, cleanse and heal our bodies in a multitude of ways.
And we gotta say — they’re pretty freaking awesome.
We visited the pink Himalayan salt room at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary on a particularly muggy summer morning to see what all of the holistic hype is about. Spending time in these dry salt rooms is called halotherapy and, according to medical experts, it has the potential to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms of upper respiratory issues like bronchitis, asthma and, you know, breathing in all of the air pollution of a major urban area.
In a salt cave or salt room, a piece of equipment called a halogenerator grinds 99.99 percent pure grade sodium chloride (AKA salt) into microscopic particles and then releases them into the air with a fan. As you breathe in these teeny bits of mineral-rich salt and they land across the surface of your skin, the particles supposedly absorb allergens and toxins that disrupt your system and act as an anti-inflammatory.
The salt room at Modrn Sanctuary was designed by SALT Chamber, one of the leading salt therapy providers in the country, and it shows. The space is beautiful. The walls are made of marbled pink sea salt bricks. The floor is covered in coarse crystals of centuries-old Himalayan salt. There are even salt lamps set in the fireplace-like component of the main wall. While the halogenerator was blowing those salty minerals all around us for 30 minutes, we were wiggling our toes in the “sand” and relaxing in the soothing glow from a collection of plush papasan chairs.
Thanks to the accompanying ambient tunes, we definitely fell asleep in the salt room (no shame), which made the 30 minutes fly by even faster. When we awoke at the end of the session, we felt like new humans. Lung capacity and toxin clearance aside, we were the most relaxed we’ve ever been at 9:30 a.m. on a Monday morning. And that in itself is certainly worth something.
Since a lot of evidence for the benefits of halotherapy is anecdotal, you’re best off giving it a try yourself and seeing how you feel. Most halotherapy sessions last from 30 to 45 minutes and the prices vary depending on your location.
Unless you have a serious health condition, the risks are minimal. Worst-case scenario: You’ll enjoy the best nap of your life and feel like you just spent a day at the beach without that uncomfortable stickiness and accidental sunburn.