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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Salt Therapy Offers Respiratory Benefits in a Relaxing Atmosphere

Sep 02, 2015 12:02PM ● By Rebecca Hanlon

Dead Sea Salt Cave, Hygea Wellness, Camp Hill

At a salt spa, clients can be found lounging in a quiet, soothing atmosphere while soft music plays in the background. A dim light casts a glow over the room, and with each deep breath, the mind relaxes and the body experiences a moment of peace in a busy day. People are flocking to salt spas that offer cleansing properties and pure minerals that have been shown to improve asthma, relieve allergies and quiet throbbing headaches.

The practice is known as salt therapy, or halotherapy, after the Greek halos, which means salt. The salt that often fills these spa rooms, sometimes bricks of it covering the walls or loosely scattered across the floor like sand, is not the kind used in cooking. Instead, the salt used in halo therapy often comes from more exotic places, such as the Dead Sea or the Himalayans.

Most salt therapy spas suggest that visitors remove all distractions before starting their session, which typically lasts about 45 minutes, but can be longer, depending on the client’s preferences. That means beeping smartphones, social media and email all should wait if clients hope to get the most out of their halo experience.

When salt therapy first became available, many people would drive for hours to sit in a salt chamber and breathe in the clean air. But those seeking relief in South Central Pennsylvania don’t have to go far to find the relief and healing salt therapy can offer. Several salt spas in the area offer unique experience to help clients unwind while cleaning their bodies of toxins.

Hygea Wellness, in Camp Hill

Two salt therapy rooms are featured at Hygea Wellness. The Dead Sea Salt Room is the most popular, offering healing benefits to those that want to de-stress or find relief from inflammation, sinus pressure and breathing aliments. Owner Deanna Davis suggests that clients determine how frequently they’ll visit, based on their needs. Someone that wants to feel like they’ve escaped to the beach might visit a few times a year to relax. Those that want to experience overall wellness might drop in every two to four weeks. Anyone with asthma or allergies might find several trips throughout the week to be beneficial. “One session is equivalent to two-and-a-half days at the beach, which is believed to help regulate serotonin and help with depression, stress and provide increased energy,” says Davis.

The second salt therapy room is a private VIP Himalayan Salt Room, where clients can sink their feet into buckets of salt to help with inflammation while enjoying the warm, relaxing comfort of a massage chair. Both salt therapy options have been found to help people with a variety of needs, Davis notes.

SaltEFX, in Harrisburg

Two types of salt are used to help people find relaxation and comfort at SaltEFX. Pharmaceutical-grade salt is used in halo generators, while Himalayan salt is found on the floor and walls. The added benefit of heated floors helps keep the floor sterile while releasing negative ions, says owner Melanie McGuire. Visitors can bury their feet in the warm salt floor.

As dry, aerosol microparticles of salt are inhaled deep into the lungs, they help release mucus and open airways to boost the immune system. Salt acupuncture sessions also are available, so clients can receive the benefits of both techniques. “We’ve seen changes in customers who have tried everything else on the market and are now able to breathe freely,” says McGuire. “Folks with joint pain, headaches and so many other issues report feeling better.”



Tranquility Salon and Wellness Center, in Carlisle

Those just starting out their halotherapy might benefit from a double session, which is two, 45-minute sessions back-to-back, says owner Lisa Ramsey, who says, “That jumpstart on the immune system has helped some clients see a major improvement in their breathing, mood and overall sleep patterns.” For other clients, daily visits, weekly or monthly visits have helped improve how they feel and function. By offering 45-minute session for $10, Tranquility Salon and Wellness tries to offer the community a holistic approach to wellness at an affordable rate, says Ramsey.

The Himalayan salt used in the salon’s salt cave has helped a variety of clients, whether they deal with chronic sinus infections, migraines, psoriasis, arthritis, snoring, sleep apnea or ADHD. Although salt therapy is believed to mainly help remove toxins from the body, vital minerals are also replenished, helping bodies that struggle with a lack of proper nutrition or daily inhalation of pollution. “We are amazed at each and every story that we hear from guests,” Ramsey says. “It’s truly amazing.”


Hygea Wellness is located at 2321 Market St., in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-412-0447 or visit

SaltEFX is located at 6009 Allentown Blvd., in Harrisburg. For more information, call 717-635-9271 or visit

Tranquility Salon and Wellness Center is located at 257 Penrose Pl., in Carlisle. For more information, call 717-218-8732 or visit

October 2019