To satisfy an increasing demand for paths to well-being, massage therapists are expanding their offerings to add dry salt therapy via a salt therapy room. Also known as halotherapy (from the Greek halos, meaning salt), this safe and effective modality has emerged as a go-to modality complement to bodywork.
Massage therapists are integrating salt therapy for its numerous benefits, including relief from respiratory and skin conditions and its ability to de-stress, improve sleep and optimize health.
This article offers insights into the history of dry salt therapy, the benefits to clients and businesses, and how to succeed in adding it to your massage therapy practice.
What is Dry Salt Therapy?
Salt therapy (halotherapy) is a natural, holistic, drug-free, and touchless modality that is currently in high demand and has never been more essential since it can aid in:
• Cleaning the respiratory system
• Improving lung functio
• Boosting the immune system
• Enhancing mental wellness and reducing stress
• Rejuvenating skin
• Enhancing athletic performance, endurance, and recovery
With dry salt therapy, 99.99% pure-grade sodium chloride (salt) is ground and crushed into micron-sized particles. These dry aerosol microparticles of salt are then dispersed into a salt room, salt cave or salt booth. The particles penetrate deep into the lungs, bronchi, bronchioles and alveoli to aid such respiratory concerns as:
• Chronic bronchitis
• Coughs, colds and flu
• Cystic fibrosis
• Ear infections
• Sinus infections and sinusitis
• Snoring and sleeping problems
The non-inhaled salt particles are absorbed by the body to combat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. In addition, dry salt therapy has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue.
Recognition of the power of dry salt therapy dates to the mid-19th century, when a physician in Kraków, Poland, Feliks Boczkowski, noted the respiratory health of workers in a nearby salt mine was significantly better than the people who spent all of their time above ground. In 1976, the first halogenerator was developed to replicate the atmosphere of salt mines.
Although Himalayan salt walls are popular in spas, wellness centers and even restaurants for their soothing décor, they do not provide the respiratory benefits of authentic dry salt therapy. Without a halogenerator, there is no halotherapy.
In addition, claims that minerals from the Himalayan salt walls, or through stones in a salt massage, give off negative ions and that minerals are absorbed through close proximity are mythinformation.
Salt and Massage: A Match Made in Heaven
Salt and massage are a match made in heaven because you can bring therapeutic benefits to your clients while generating more revenue. Implementing dry salt therapy in a treatment room requires a minimal investment, low maintenance and a unique selling point, to set you apart from the competition.
Salt therapy ranks second in popularity at Eleventh Element Relaxation Spa in Edwardsville, Pennsylvania, behind massage services. “When clients are introduced to the salt room, their first words are, ‘Wow. This is awesome. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said owner Donna Caruso, who is also a two-time featured presenter at the annual Salt Therapy Association Conference.
“We do Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage in our salt room,” she said. “Guests love it, especially in the winter because it brings a beachy summertime feel in the gloom and gray. When you pair a massage with salt therapy, people are amazed at how wonderful they feel when they leave.”
Caruso added, “Our clients that were dependent on their inhalers aren’t using them anymore. COVID-19 long haulers can smell and taste again. People have relief from skin conditions when medicine was causing more harm than good.”
“The ambiance of the salt room enhances the massage experience,” said Elisabeth Ruff, owner of Salt AER Studios, a wellness center in Brunswick, Georgia. “The backlit Himalayan salt blocks on the salt wall, the dusting of salt covering the floor and the salt lamps create a unique atmosphere, while the halogenerator allows clients to reap the wonderful benefits of dry salt therapy.”
In addition to respiratory and skin benefits, breathing dry salt results in an overall sense of relaxation and well-being. “Clients come out of their massage floating on a cloud—not only are they breathing better, but they are also deeply relaxed,” added Ruff. “Days after the session, many clients tell us they have slept better since the massage than they have in years.”
How to Add Salt Room Therapy to Your Practice
In most cases, you can retrofit your existing treatment rooms into a dedicated salt therapy room. Ideally, you will want to create the look and feel of a real salt cave using Himalayan salt décor to enhance the environment’s visual appeal. Your largest expenses will be the initial cost of the halogenerator and any potential rehab or new construction costs. Ongoing costs are minimal. For instance, one 10-pound container of pure grade sodium chloride for the halogenerator costs only $25 and can last for 200 to 250 sessions.
• The room must have a fixed ceiling.
• There needs to be adequate ventilation and humidity control.
• The halogenerator needs to be positioned properly on the outside wall of a room.
Make sure to create content on your website explaining the benefits of dry salt therapy, and simplify the booking process for potential customers to add on or upgrade their desired spa services to include salt therapy.
This is the Perfect Time to Add Salt Room Therapy
Respiratory and skin health and wellness are more important than ever, and salt therapy is growing.
Not only does it deliver high-quality hygienic treatments to enhance respiratory and skin health that are touchless and require minimal staff time, but they can also be customized for personalized wellness experiences.
Since massage therapists are in the business of wellness, the addition of salt therapy is a natural complement. The beauty of massage and salt therapy is that while providing multiple health benefits, they both make you feel great.
“When our spa guests leave the salt room they say, I haven’t felt this good in a long time,” proclaimed Caruso. “We give people an experience they will never forget.”
About the Author
As CEO of SALT Chamber, which has completed over 1,400 worldwide projects, Leo Tonkin has become a leading authority on designing, building, and developing salt therapy facilities as a new business and for day spas, med spas, wellness centers, and massage therapists to add salt therapy to their existing services.