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Coming Soon: NYC – SoHo
180 Ave of the Americas btwn Prince and Spring
New York, NY 10013

Hours: 11am - 7pm daily

GREENPORT
Sound View Greenport
58775 Route 48
Greenport, NY 11944

Hours: Fri - Sun: 12 - 6pm

Is a Salt Spa the Secret to Breathing Easier This Cold Season?

By Lauren Lipton

Last week, just before my stuffy head had a chance to graduate into a full-on cold, I headed to the Park Avenue spa where I go for massages. This time, though, I checked into a room with salt-coated walls and floor, lay back on a chaise, and took a briny inhale.

Halotherapy, the practice of breathing dry, salt-saturated air, is undergoing a revival, with fans claiming it can soothe inflammation, calm allergies, and flush away germs. Jaycee Gossett, an instructor at the Tribeca exercise studio The Class, has recently become a convert. “It draws out anything that is an irritant to the body,” she says. “You walk out of a session and you think, ‘Wow. This is what it’s like to take a full breath.’ ” Last summer, visitors to the new Montauk Salt Cave in the Hamptons, made of salmon-colored Himalayan salt imported from Pakistan, included Debra Messing. “I definitely felt different afterward,” the actress says. “My breathing was clearer. I was relaxed.”

The wellness-promoting power of a salty room dates to the mid-19th century, when a physician in Kraków, Poland, noted the respiratory health of workers in a nearby salt mine. The flowering of salt-chamber treatment centers that followed remains alive in Eastern Europe. Here, new facilities are opening across the country, from Breathe Easy in Manhattan to the Los Angeles Athletic Club to Canyon Ranch in Las Vegas.

Salt caves themselves have not been reliably studied in the U.S., though medical research shows that inhaling salt can improve the lung function of people with cystic fibrosis, as well as ease smoking-related symptoms such as coughing. The treatment rooms rely on a halo generator, a machine that grinds salt into a superfine powder and wafts it into the air. Norman H. Edelman, M.D., the American Lung Association’s senior scientific adviser, suggests that the salty air draws moisture from the bloodstream into the airways, temporarily thinning any mucus, so you breathe easier for a time. (Still, people with medical conditions such as heart problems or high blood pressure should skip it, Edelman warns.)

As for my burgeoning cold, I spent 25 minutes breathing (and dozing) in a high-salinity environment—and sure enough, that cold never materialized

This article originally appeared in Vogue November 8, 2015

Get Salted: The Latest Skincare Treatment to Try
Beauty insiders are buzzing about the rejuvenating benefits of salt therapy.

By Emily Dudding

I lie completely naked under a plastic dome while a tiny machine pumps microscopic particles of pharmaceutical-grade salt into the air. I can't see it or smell it—it's only when I lick my hand and taste the salt film that I'm sure something is happening. It's my first time on a dry-salt bed, but I may be hooked.

While nutritionists pepper us with dire warnings about the health risks of eating too much salt, salt aficionados of an entirely different breed are touting the little crystals as a cure for asthma and allergies, a boost to the immune system, and a way to increase athletic endurance and even to add a glow to your complexion. The secret? Skip the shaker in favor of inhaling the white stuff.

“Salt has incredible qualities,” says Ulle Pukk, a cofounder of the Salt Therapy Association. “It's antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal.” Pukk is at the forefront of a movement that's bringing halotherapy, also known as dry-salt therapy, to America. Already popular in Europe, the treatment utilizes a machine called a halo-generator, which grinds warm salt into breathable particles and dispenses dry-salt aerosol into the air of enclosed rooms, or a salt chamber. “Dry salt goes deep into the recesses of your lungs,” she explains. “It absorbs impurities from your body and helps break up mucus so you can cough out toxins. When you have clean lungs, you get more oxygen, which gives you more energy, impacts every organ in your body, and improves overall well-being.” There are now more than 150 salt rooms in the U.S. “It's holistic, there are no side affects, and it can address so many different issues,” says Ellen Patrick of Breathe Easy spas, which feature salt rooms and salt beds. (Former football pro Tiki Barber salted up at one before running the New York City Marathon.)

Even mainstream doctors see potential benefits. “A lot of patients say it increases exercise tolerance,” says pulmonologist Denise Harrison, an assistant professor of environmental medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. She adds, however, that more research is needed to substantiate halotherapy's claims. At Breath Easy's location on Manhattan's Park Avenue, the salt chamber is more luxe waiting room than grotto, with plush lounge chairs for group salting. Each session lasts 45 minutes ($40), and no disrobing is required. “The salt emits negative ions that promote the relaxation response, unlike the positive ions we're exposed to through our cell phones and computers, which agitate the nervous system,” says Patrick, The dome-covered salt beds offer a faster, more intense option and expose a lot more skin to salt's exfoliant and antibacterial qualities. After 20 minutes ($40), my skin was indeed lightly salted-and soft. “Benefits have been seen for eczema and acne, and it gives an instant glow,” says New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman.

At New York's La Casa Day Spa, the hot sauna is lined with blocks of Himalayan salt that “strengthen the barrier function of the skin, and the heat helps the negative ions penetrate into your lungs,” says owner Jane G, Goldberg. She also recommends an hour in the flotation tub filled with 800 pounds of Epsom salts. “They're a phenomenal healing agent,” says Goldberg. “One house in there is like five hours of sleep” ($80 for 60 minutes). Engelman agrees; “Epsom baths help eliminate toxins by pulling them out of the skin and also help relax muscles and relieve pain.” After just a couple of minutes in this mini Dead Sea, I found it hard to tell where my body ended and the water began, and even a nagging hamstring began to loosen up. Unfortunately my deep relaxation was marred by an obsessive worry that the salt was detoxing my new highlights. Luckily all I ended up with was major beach hair to go with the just-back-from-vacay calm and a craving for a salted margarita.

This article originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Harper's BAZAAR.

I Took It With a Grain of Salt

By Marisa Meltzer

Wellness has become so encompassing that seemingly anything can be mined for the purposes of living better. There are walking coaches — I have been to more than one — and self-appointed experts who can teach you how to breathe more effectively. Some people are even seeking out that humblest of minerals, salt.

I love taking baths, even in the narrow tub in my apartment, and hoard various salts that I pour into hot water after working out: Dr. Teal’s or, if I’m willing to spend $18 on a single-use blend of hand-harvested French gray sea salt, wild-harvested seaweed and sustainably farmed spirulina, I’ll buy Pursoma Minerals de Mer body soak.

Now you can inhale your way (supposedly) to better health with salt rooms, where the act of breathing in sodium chloride is said to help asthma, arthritis, allergies, snoring and that catchall, “stress.” Adherents of halotherapy (as it’s called) believe that salt has antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral properties that are particularly effective on mucus and inflammation.

I have battled hay fever since my freshman year of college, rosacea for the last decade and stress probably since birth. And though there is virtually no scientific research to confirm salt proponents’ claims I nonetheless headed to Breathe, which has three salt rooms in Manhattan and two in Westchester County, N.Y., for the most immersive experience I could find.

At the Park Avenue location I reserved 25 minutes in a salt bed, which is a single-person pod that strongly resembles a glass coffin. It’s in a private space so I simply took off all my clothes and lay there naked while “micro-particles of pure white salt are dispersed into the air, entering your airways to naturally cleanse and detoxify your lungs, sinuses and air passages,” as the website explained.

I couldn’t really feel the salt spraying on me, but after a few minutes, I could see it gathering on my skin like dust. I breathed. I tried not to think of the news. I was bored but in a pleasant way, like being on the sixth day of a beach vacation.

I returned a few days later for Salty Yoga, a yoga class in the main salt room. The room is set up like a tiny beach, with pink Himalayan salt the size of small pebbles piled like sand on the floor and bricks of salt lining the walls. There are chairs for other sessions in the room, but for yoga they’re replaced with mats.

The day before class, I had received a message to wear socks, along with and a warning that “there will be particles of salt dancing all around, so expect to get some salt on your clothes, but don’t worry! it comes off easily!”

Class was at 7 p.m., and I came exhausted and slightly wet from rain. I wasn’t in the mood to do sun salutations or anything that took much physical or emotional effort. Luckily, Salty Yoga is basically the equivalent of giving yourself a hug, which we actually did at one point in class.

There were five of us, and we spent the entire hour either sitting or on our backs in mostly restorative poses, like a modified child’s pose with a blanket rolled up under our wrists or gentle twists to the side. Each pose was held for two or three minutes while Masako, the instructor, whispered gentle instructions and encouraged us to breathe and let go.

I was so deeply relaxed that I didn’t notice until after class was over that I was completely covered in salt. A sweatshirt I had thrown off in class looked like an object unearthed from Tatooine, the desert planet in “Star Wars.” My lips stung. The car ride home to Brooklyn felt as itchy and restless as returning from the beach.

At home I took a shower, drank two liters of water, a green juice, applied a liberal amount of Kiehl’s Crème de Corps on my body, Glossier hyaluronic serum to my face, Elizabeth Arden lip balm and still felt parched from the inside out. For the next 36 hours, I continued to chug water and apply copious amounts of moisturizer because of a phantom sense of saltiness.

Despite the lack of scientific evidence as to the efficacy of inhaling tiny salt particles is scarce, I can’t say there isn’t something to it. After both sessions, I slept a full eight hours without waking up once, which is rare for me. I haven’t touched my allergy pills once, and a friend told me my skin never looked better. Maybe instead of trying to flee New York this winter, I’ll just make a standing appointment at the salt beach.

This article originally appeared in the New York Times on Oct. 17, 2017

Is the Salt Room Therapy Trend Really Worth the Hype?

By Lauren Lipton

Everyone concerned about their health knows to avoid eating too much salt. But what about breathing it?

A new therapy treatment is recommending just that — and promising a host of health benefits in return.

Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, is a practice that has been around for hundreds of years, beginning in parts of Eastern Europe where people visit natural salt caves and mines to help with everything from asthma and allergies to cellulite and acne. Now, this treatment method has come stateside with a host of salt-spa hybrids.

Even mainstream doctors see potential benefits. “A lot of patients say it increases exercise tolerance,” says pulmonologist Denise Harrison, an assistant professor of environmental medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center. She adds, however, that more research is needed to substantiate halotherapy's claims. At Breath Easy's location on Manhattan's Park Avenue, the salt chamber is more luxe waiting room than grotto, with plush lounge chairs for group salting. Each session lasts 45 minutes ($40), and no disrobing is required. “The salt emits negative ions that promote the relaxation response, unlike the positive ions we're exposed to through our cell phones and computers, which agitate the nervous system,” says Patrick, The dome-covered salt beds offer a faster, more intense option and expose a lot more skin to salt's exfoliant and antibacterial qualities. After 20 minutes ($40), my skin was indeed lightly salted-and soft. “Benefits have been seen for eczema and acne, and it gives an instant glow,” says New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman.

Halo/Air Salt Rooms has just opened in New York City, and the spalike center is built from Ukrainian salt mined from nearly 1,000 feet below ground.

Dr. Richard Leinhardt, an ENT specialist and medical director of Halo/Air, tells Marie Claire that the sodium and chloride within salt make it a magic mineral that “can be either ingested, applied topically, or inhaled in the proper quality-controlled concentrations.”

So, how does it work?

You simply relax in one of the salt-covered treatment rooms — the walls and floor are made of sandlike salt, and every few moments, a burst of ionized salt particles is added to the air — for an hour at a time. According to Leinhardt, after just a handful of sessions (they cost $100 each), the salt therapy will improve people's skin by acting like an exfoliant, shedding dead cells and helping to promote healthy oil production. “It's like being at the beach all year long without having to worry about the sun,” he says.

No U.S. studies have been conducted to test the promised benefits, but anecdotal trials suggest that long-term exposure — 10 to 14 sessions a year — can improve existing dermatological disorders, enhance respiratory cleansing, and eliminate the damages of smoking.

Although Halo/Air is planning to open 10 more locations across the nation, those wanting to test the organic beauty benefits of salt can do it in the comfort of their own home.

Carmindy — the makeup artist on What Not to Wear and author of the new book Crazy Busy Beautiful — recommends using salt as a body scrub to eliminate dry, dead skin.

“It's a great antibacterial for acne and can be used in a bath to relax muscles,” she tells Marie Claire, adding that Epsom salt, which contains magnesium chloride, is the perfect natural muscle relaxer. “Just be sure you always moisturize after using a salt scrub or treatment to ensure soft skin that does not get dehydrated.”

This article originally appeared in Marie Claire May 19, 2010

Is the Salt Room Therapy Trend Really Worth the Hype?
I investigated whether breathing in a room full of Himalayan rock salt can actually boost your mood, clear your stuffy nose, and give your skin a healthy glow.

By Alexa Erickson

You might think you have it all down pat when it comes to relieving everyday body issues. Headache? Pop an over-the-counter pain pill. Stuffy nose? Slurp some hot soup. But what if there were one thing that could solve all those problems at once?

Halotherapy, also called salt therapy, claims to do all that and more. The treatment essentially involves sitting in a room (often referred to as a salt cave, house, or bath) filled with rock salt and inhaling salty air that's being pumped in by a halogenerator.

While the natural-healing practice has a history rooted in Europe, with some of the earliest known salt caves in Poland, these salt-filled spaces are now popping up in spas and yoga studios. They tout benefits like curing the common cold, decreasing allergy symptoms, detoxifying the lymphatic systems, improving sleep, and alleviating some skin conditions.

Unlike table salt, which is stripped of most of its natural minerals and fortified with iodine, the Himalayan rock salt you'd find in these caves is rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iodine, bromine, and copper. So, in theory, you absorb these minerals when you breathe the salty air.

Additionally, the negative ions in salt have been said to improve mental health conditions like depression, stress, and anxiety, according to a report published in BMC Psychiatry. These negative ions may also combat the positive ions emitted by computers, TVs, and cell phones, Ellen Patrick, a salt cave yoga instructor previously told us.

Proven science behind salt rooms is a bit lacking. But in an effort to see what the fuss was all about—and hopefully, leave feeling refreshed, breathing deeper, with my skin glowing and energy recharged—I decided to check out a salt cave for myself. So I went to Salt Cave Santa Barbara in California, which boasts 45 tons of pure Himalayan salt covering the walls, ceilings, and floors.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was that salt caves are *really* pretty. So pretty you might be tempted to disrupt everyone relaxing in there with a flash-on photo. I resisted.

The ground was made up of loose Himalayan salt rocks, the surrounding walls were stacked with Himalayan salt bricks, and salt lamps of varying sizes were tucked into corners and crevices to create an orange glow as the heat from their bulbs encouraged salt microparticles to release into the air. Zero-gravity chairs were set up in a large semicircle allowing you to truly sit back and relax. Blankets were available, but on the 90-degree day that I was there, being in the cool cave felt healing in itself.

The typical salt cave experience is customizable in the sense that when you enter, you are free to roam the space freely, sitting, standing, meditating as you wish. I decided to bury my feet in the salt like sand at the beach and simply enjoy the beauty of the salt bricks. I was definitely enjoying the blissful silence—it was a contemplative experience—but I was also invited to take my salt cave exploration up a notch.

I was offered a private massage in a separate space, which incorporated all of the amenities as the main room—a salt floor, the orange glow from the lamps, and the pretty salt bricks—and I gladly hopped up on the table for a 60-minute deep tissue massage. Altogether, I would say I was in the cave, inhaling the negative ions of Himalayan salt, for almost two hours.

When I left, I felt similar to how I do after a yoga class—a sort of dazed peacefulness. I also noticed that, with it being the day after Thanksgiving and me feeling bloated and drowsy when I first arrived, I now felt lighter on my feet and more awake. The next day, I zipped up the mountain for my morning hike quicker than usual. My breathing felt more natural, and my skin felt squeaky clean and ready to sweat.

Now was this extra pep in my step a coincidence? I mean, self-care after the holidays is sure to make you feel rejuvenated, so it could be that I just needed a nice massage and a zippy hike in the fresh air. But I'm intrigued enough to try it again, because adding salt to the typical pampering tricks, like guided meditation or hot stone massage, seemed to give me the extra boost of relaxation and revitalization I needed.

This article originally appeared in SHAPE Dec 06, 2017.