BY SHELLI DEROBERTIS
Halotherapy sounds a little heavenly, and it is.
The first “salt cave” to come to Southern California is now open in La Jolla. It’s a 200-square-foot room with 3,000 pounds of Dead Sea salt on the walls and floor where people can relax inside for 45-minute sessions in the recreation of a natural salt environment.
The Salt Room La Jolla opened mid-June at 7509 Draper Ave., and owner Amy Cameron said she got the idea to open the spa-like business after going into a salt room in Florida while vacationing with her husband.
“I knew I wanted to do something meditation-related,” she said.
The man who owns the Florida salt room she visited has family in Jordan, and they ship his salt to him from the Dead Sea. Cameron now uses that same supplier, and to get her salt room started took a shipment of 85 bags of 65-pounds each of salt.
She and her husband, Mike, layered the walls on their own and said it was a “labor of love.”
The room is quite white inside, but softened by dim-colored LED lights in green and blue, which are symbolic of healing the lungs and throat, respectively, in the practice of reflexology. Soft music plays and zero-gravity recliners invite relaxation.
The air is pure and crisp, and climate controlled to below 40 percent humidity.The experience is intended to be relaxing and healing, and a generator pumps out microscopic salt particles into the air that deliver the 21 minerals of the Dead Sea salt into the lungs and onto the skin.
“When you’re relaxing, your immune system can heal,” Cameron said, adding the salt’s minerals benefit the skin, and some countries outside the United States actually have salt rooms in clinics to help heal skin conditions and provide respiratory relief.
No cell phones or electronics are allowed inside. The environment is sterile and requires disposable socks be worn.
“I encourage people to do a few laps around the room because the thick, crunchy salt chunks stimulate the circulation system,” Cameron advised.
One of her customers came in for a session to do yoga in the room, and a bride-to-be is interested in hosting her bridal shower inside.
The room can accommodate eight people, but Cameron said typically they’re scheduled for up to four people at a time. There’s a small cove inside the salt room that has a special mound of salt for young visitors – complete with a stack of sand toys.
Sessions begin each hour, last 45-minutes, and cost $45.
Afterward, guests are treated to a cup of tea and a small, free bag of bath salt. More at saltroomlajolla.com