Salty Sensations at HaloAir Salt Rooms – The Healing Effects of Negative Ions
With allergy season under way and signs of humidity in the air beginning to blow away, we could all use a little help with clearing our sinuses and keeping our skin hydrated…not to mention – the help that the lungs of New Yorkers could use after breathing in the polluted city air, day in and day out, no matter the season.
Enter HaloAir Salt Rooms, which opened in NYC earlier this year as one of the only private and personalized salt room therapy facilities in the U.S.
Halo, meaning “salt” in Greek, is imported from Ukraine where it was mined from 300 meters below ground, and then used in HaloAir’s more relaxing and personalized version of halotherapy or speleotherapy – a therapy that uses the specific conditions of caves and mines to help with a variety of ailments, including respiratory diseases, skin problems, exhaustion, and more.
HaloAir has five sterile, relaxing rooms, one of which is specifically for children with mini sofas, games, a television, and more. Safe for all age groups, each room has a HaloGenerator, which grinds the salt into air particles and disperses salt aerosol into the rooms. The HaloGenerator is also fitted with special laser sensors to constantly measure the concentration of negative ions and salt in the air and make adjustments to the output when necessary. This is key in creating the microclimate of a natural salt cave.
During my visit, I filled out a form to determine which level would be best for me (levels range from one to 11 – I was put on level seven). I was then led to my room after covering my shoes with disposable operating room-like booties, and the room looked exactly as pictured, with salt covering the floor like sand and encrusting the cave-like walls. The lounger faced a flat-screen television for watching cable on or listening to music. The rooms also have magazines and WiFi access, but for 50 meditative minutes, I just sat back and focused on breathing in the subtly salty air, which made me feel like I was at the beach, relaxing by the ocean.
Single Room Children’s Room
In fact, I might as well have been, if there was a beach in the middle of Manhattan. That happy feeling you get at the beach and the way your nose clears up after a swim in the ocean is not just from physically and mentally being at the shore. It’s most-likely the result of negative ions at work. Generally, negative ions – created both at the beach from the waves crashing, and at HaloAir with the Halogenerator – bring more oxygen to the brain (which is why some people feel a little dizzy after time in the salt room) and can help clean out the respiratory system. It takes an average of 14 sessions to detox your lungs completely, according to Simone Maduro, manager at HaloAir, and perhaps more to help with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. The salt rooms can also be an alternative treatment and offer relief for people with allergies, chronic pulmonary diseases like asthma and bronchitis, the common cold, depression, fatigue, and more.
While there are no clinical tests on salt therapy in the U.S., salt rooms are by no means new news and seem to be a great alternative therapy concept. Ron Rofé, founder and president of HaloAir, opened three centers in Israel after his mother, suffering from a rare bacterial disease, found a visit to a natural salt cave in Ukraine helpful for her breathing. Plans to expand beyond New York to other cities in the U.S. have been reported, and most recently, other various salt rooms have popped up in New Jersey, Chicago, Florida, and California, in addition to the U.K., Central Europe, and Canada.
HaloAir Salt Rooms is located at 133 West 22nd Street, New York, NY, 10011. Prices are $65/single 50-minute adult session, and $50/single 30-minute kids’ session. Specially-priced packages are available as well.