GET SALTED Beauty in­sid­ers are buzzing about the re­ju­ve­nat­ing ben­e­fits of salt ther­apy. Emily Dud­ding gives it a good shake.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - THE BEAUTY -

Ilie 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 salty 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 its health risks, salt afi­ciona­dos of a dif­fer­ent breed are tout­ing these lit­tle crys­tals as a cure for asthma and al­ler­gies, a boost to the im­mune sys­tem, and a way to in­crease ath­letic en­durance, as well as to add a glow to your com­plex­ion. The se­cret? Skip the shaker in favour of in­hal­ing the white stuff.

“Salt has in­cred­i­ble qual­i­ties,” says Ülle Pukk, a co-founder 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. Pop­u­lar in Europe, the treat­ment utilises a halo­gen­er­a­tor, which grinds warm salt into breath­able par­ti­cles and dis­penses dry salt aerosol into the air of en­closed cham­bers. “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 cough out tox­ins. When you have clean lungs, you get more oxy­gen, which gives you more energy, im­pacts ev­ery or­gan, and im­proves over­all well-be­ing.” There are now more than 150 salt rooms in the US. “It’s holis­tic, there are no side ef­fects, and it can ad­dress so many dif­fer­ent is­sues,” says Ellen Pa­trick of New York’s 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 claims. At Breathe Easy’s lo­ca­tion on Man­hat­tan’s Park Av­enue, the salt cham­ber is lux­u­ri­ous, with plush lounge chairs for group salt­ing. Each ses­sion lasts 45 min­utes, and no dis­rob­ing is re­quired. “The salt emits neg­a­tive ions that pro­mote the re­lax­ation re­sponse, un­like the pos­i­tive ions we’re ex­posed to through cell phones and com­put­ers, which ag­i­tate the ner­vous sys­tem,” says Pa­trick. The salt beds of­fer a faster, more in­tense op­tion and ex­pose more skin to salt’s ex­fo­liant and an­tibac­te­rial qual­i­ties. Af­ter 20 min­utes, my skin was 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 neg­a­tive ions pen­e­trate into your lungs,” says owner Jane G. Gold­berg. She also rec­om­mends an hour in the flota­tion tub with 800 pounds of Ep­som salts. “They’re a phe­nom­e­nal heal­ing agent,” she shares. “One hour in there is like five hours of sleep.” En­gel­man agrees. “Ep­som baths help elim­i­nate tox­ins by pulling them out of the skin and also re­lax mus­cles and re­lieve pain.” Af­ter just 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. The only side ef­fect? A crav­ing for a salted mar­garita. CRYS­TAL BLISS Lit by lamps of nat­u­ral crys­tal salt about 250 mil­lion years old, the Hi­malaya Salt Room at The Or­chard Well­ness & Health Re­sort emits a sub­tle warmth that truly re­laxes. The neg­a­tive ions re­leased bond with harm­ful pol­lu­tants in the air to neu­tralise

them, and delve deep to help re­ju­ve­nate in myr­iad ways. These

in­clude speed­ing up re­cov­ery, sta­bil­is­ing body rhythm, boost­ing alert­ness, re­liev­ing res­pi­ra­tory

prob­lems and mi­graines, en­hanc­ing the im­mune sys­tem, and in­creas­ing lung ca­pac­ity. Its sooth­ing light also has a calm­ing

ef­fect, clear­ing your mind to leave you pos­i­tively recharged.

www.or­chard­well­ness.com

The Hi­malaya Salt Room at The Or­chard Well­ness &

Health Re­sort

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