Like many people suffering from seasonal allergies, I have a love/hate relationship with spring. Shedding that winter coat FINALLY? Yay! Long walks in Central Park while being rained on by cherry blossoms? Double yay! Maxing out my Amazon Prime account with orders of Aloe coated Kleenex, bottles of Visine, and Claritin to keep sane? A big fat NAY.
Especially since having little Augusten, I try to use medicines as only a last resort, and first look for more natural ways to solve the problem. Allergies, meet Himalayan Salt Room.
If you’ve never heard of Himalayan Salt Rooms before (i.e. halotherapy), here’s the skinny:
The process dates way back to the 11th or 12th centuries, when people would visit Eastern Europe’s natural salt caves to heal their ailments. In the 1840s, Dr. Feliks Boczkowski, a Polish doctor who was treating miners, started to study salt’s medicinal properties. He had noticed that while coal miners were plagued with all kinds of respiratory problems, salt miners were emerging with pristine lungs and no health complaints. He published a book on his findings and a few years later, one of his pupils founded the first salt clinic near Kraków, Poland.
Since we’re lucky enough to live in the city that has basically everything (yes, even salt rooms), you only need to head to Midtown in order to reap the benefits of the therapy. The Himalayan Salt Room at Breathe is a treatment that involves inhaling salt particles, while doing what all New Yorkers need more of: sitting back, unplugging, and relaxing.
Wearing your street clothes, you enter a room covered in grains of pink salt, and can either lay back in a lounge chair or lay directly on the salt using a yoga blanket (the latter is my preferred method). The walls are made of salt blocks, the lamps are made of salt crystals, and everything is coated in a fine, salty dust (including your clothes after your session in the room—don’t wear black). After your session (about 30 minutes), you emerge, walk out, and breathe easy. Ok, well easier at least. In order to see long term benefits, it’s suggested making the therapies a part of your lifestyle by going 3 to 4 times per week. (Hey–it’s a heck of a lot more relaxing than the gym!;-)
Even if you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, you’d benefit from salt therapy if:
- you suffer from asthma
- you suffer from chronic bronchitis or sinusitis
- you suffer from joint pain/arthritis
- you need a boost to your immune system
- you want to boost your endurance
- you’re craving a glow to your complexion
- you’re fatigued or having trouble sleeping
- you just need an excuse to turn off your phone and have some #treatyoself time
Pretty good laundry list, right? I’m pleased to say that, even after one session, I emerged from the chamber feeling less congested, more alert, and had a few GREAT nights of sleep. I can’t wait to get back to try one of the salty yoga classes. Here’s to spring in the city, allergies and all!
Would love to know…do you have any natural therapies you swear by? Let’s chat in the comments below!