If your family is anything like mine, you spend eight months each year battling itchy eczema outbreaks, one month beaten down by intense seasonal allergies and three months fighting off the upper respiratory gunk passed around during cold and flu season. I had heard about the positive impact salt rooms could have on both of those issues and many more, but, until recently, Springfield didn’t have much to offer in the way of true halotherapy—the process of breathing microscopic salt particles that have been ground up and aerosolized by a device called a halogenerator.
But 2019 seems to be the year of salt, as two new options have arrived on the scene. One is the recently opened halotherapy room at Acacia Spa’s relaxing Lone Pine location, and the other is at a brand-new business on East Republic Road called Breathe Salt Vault. Joplin’s Enlight Inn has also offered the salt treatment for a while now.
I spoke with Allyson Kennedy, who co-owns Acacia Spa with her husband Richard, about the experience of breathing salty air and the benefits to your body. At Acacia Spa, the halotherapy takes place inside a fragrant cedar booth located in a private room. The experience is relaxing; you can read or meditate inside the room, but you can’t bring your phone in—the salt would damage it. All you can do is breathe deeply and unplug.
The salt itself has a few key benefits, according to Kennedy. It’s super-absorbent, so it soaks up and cleans out foreign substances from your respiratory tract. It’s anti-inflammatory, which is helpful when you’re trying to kick a cold to the curb. Finally, it’s anti-bacterial. At Acacia, the treatment can be used by adults and kids of any age, but Kennedy still recommends checking with your doctor first to be safe. “Although a lot of clinical and scientific studies have been done, the halotherapy has not been evaluated by the FDA,” Kennedy says. “It has zero contraindications, so it can’t hurt. But you should check with your physician if you have any questions.”
In addition to the respiratory benefits, halotherapy is said to help alleviate numerous skin issues, including acne, psoriasis, eczema and more. And some say it reduces stress, anxiety and fatigue—but what half-hour alone in a spa setting won’t do that?