Perhaps the fastest growing trend in wellness center and health club design is the inclusion of salt therapy rooms and salt saunas. While salt therapy is relatively new to the American health and wellness industry, it is a long standing and well-trusted practice across Europe and Asia.
Salt therapy (better known as speleotherapy) can be traced back as early as Medieval Times in some countries with the first recorded discovery of speleotherapy occurring in Poland in 1843. Since then, it’s proven respiratory, skin, and allergy benefits have led to increased popularity among mainstream treatment centers as well as health and wellness enthusiasts.
Newly developed Himalayan Salt Saunas combine the proven benefits of both traditional speleotherapy and dry saunas to create a truly unique experience. One of the most notable benefits of a salt sauna is the affect it has on the respiratory system. The lining of our airways have a slight positive charge while salt has a significant negative charge. The attraction between these opposite charges allows the beneficial ions from salt to be carried deep into the lungs, eventually becoming absorbed into the bloodstream. One of the many benefits of this exchange is an anti-inflammatory effect on airways in the lungs. Salt saunas can help eliminate excess mucus and help those suffering from colds, the flu, and in some cases, even COPD and asthma. In addition, natural salts such as sea salt have a cleansing and purifying quality that promote good health.
In addition to entering the body through the respiratory system, salt is also absorbed through the skin. The warmth of a sauna opens the pores of the skin, allowing easy absorption of many of the approximately 80 beneficial minerals present in salt. Many adults who suffer from acne use salt saunas or a home variation of speleotherapy in the treatment of their condition. While it is simply one component of a comprehensive treatment, those who regularly visit salt saunas see an improvement in skin breakouts.
Regular use of salt saunas has also proven to be invaluable with relieving the symptoms of Eczema. Salt sauna sessions increase blood flow in the skin and, much like in the lining of the lungs, works to reduce inflammation, redness, swelling, itching, and drying. While it is not a replacement for appropriate medical care, halotherapy can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of Eczema flare-ups.
Today there are few manufacturers providing true Himalayan Salt therapy solutions with traditional saunas, the largest being Am-Finn Sauna & Steam based out of Idaho.
With the number of architects and club owners embracing this new form of sauna increasing steadily, salt saunas can now be found in numerous resorts, spas, and health centers here in the United States and abroad. It is safe to say that salt saunas are here to stay and will only continue to increase in popularity among American health enthusiasts much like we have seen with traditional saunas and steam rooms in the past several decades.