Saginaw — There’s a new business in Saginaw Township that aims to bring the benefits of seaside life to mid-Michigan.
The Salt House offers halotherapy in a cave-like environment, Himalayan salt lamps, cooking salts, bath salts and other salty goods.
Halotherapy, also known as dry salt therapy, is a holistic therapy said to offer health, fitness and wellness benefits.
Scott Williams opened the Salt House in October. He also owns Scott Medical Equipment. He said halotherapy can benefit people who have asthma, allergies, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, respiratory infections, sinusitis and other ailments.
“A 45-minute session is like spending three days on the beach,” he said.
The “cave” is dimly lit. The floor is covered with Himalayan salt. Tranquil music fills the air. During a 45-minute halotherapy session, a machine called a halogenerator pumps a dry salt aerosol made with pharmaceutical-grade salt into the cave through a vent from an adjacent room.
“It’s been practiced overseas for decades,” Williams said, noting that halotherapy is gaining popularity in California, some southern states and Florida.
He said clinical studies, primarily conducted outside of the United States, have shown patients do reap benefits from halotherapy.
“There’s a lot of science behind it. It’s new to us, but it’s not a new therapy,” he said.
According to The Salt House Facebook page, “Halotherapy is an exposure to kinetically activated dry salt where the micro sized particles are being inhaled while the large salt particles are spread on the top of the skin.
“Dry salt is antibacterial and super absorbent, it actively kills bacteria and reduces the inflammation in the respiratory system and widens the airways for better breathing.”
A guest can purchase a single 45-minute session for $35 or three sessions for $70. A monthly membership with unlimited access to the cave is $99.
A private session for a single person or group is $150.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology does not have an official position statement on halotherapy.
However, its position on complementary and alternative medicines in general is that “natural” does not always mean safe, and patients should discuss any such therapies with their allergist or immunologist as they can influence prescribed treatments.
Williams said halotherapy is generally safe for people of all ages, but people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who require oxygen 24 hours a day are not good candidates for halotherapy.
He said halotherapy is not intended to be a substitute for medical care.
“We’re not doctors here,” he said. “We want to work with the local doctors.”