The Healing Properties of Environmental SaltSep 25, 2013 11:10PM ● By Beth Leas
The ocean has long been thought to hold curative powers. Plato wrote, “The sea cures all ailments of man.” Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” made frequent use of salt in his practice including the inhalation of steam from salt water for the relief of respiratory ailments. Modern scientific studies and anecdotal evidence suggest they were onto something.
Two Fairfield County businesses surround their customers with the healing properties of environmental salt in different ways. One is like a dip in the ocean and the other a day at the beach.
iFloat, located in downtown Westport several miles from the Long Island Sound, uses Epsom salt to help provide a healing environment which enhances well-being through isolating external stimuli. Float tanks filled with a warm solution of water saturated with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt create a buoyant force greater than the Dead Sea. Reducing the stimuli of gravity, light, sound and temperature provides an opportunity to rest in a calm and peaceful environment. Epsom Salt is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Studies have shown increased magnesium and sulfate levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body, including reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function and preventing artery hardenings. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells through triggering a process called reverse osmosis which pulls salt out of your body and harmful toxins along with it.
Long known as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has many health and beauty benefits. “Floating has been called the 60-minute face lift.” says iFloat owner David Conneely. “In the gravity-free environment, the body balances and heals internally as the senses are rested. Research shows that floating measurably reduces blood pressure and heart rate while lowering the levels of stress-related chemicals in the body. Old injuries and aches (especially backaches) experience relief as floating helps blood circulation. Also, one hour of floating can have the restorative effects of 4 hours of sleep.”
If you find yourself relaxing in Ridgefield breathing in salt air with your feet up, you must be at Saltana Cave. This indoor salt room is modeled on and reminiscent of salt caves in Eastern Europe which have been considered therapeutic since the 1950s when it was observed that salt miners rarely suffered from respiratory illnesses. Saltana Cave offers a double therapeutic experience, combining Speleotherapy, an environment of Himalayan salt, and Halotherapy, a process through which a salt vaporizer grinds the salt into very tiny breathable particles and blows it into the air. The medical benefits have been supported by a New England Journal of Medicine study that found improvement in cystic-fibrosis symptoms from salt therapy.
Himalayan rock salt has been studied for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties and is rich in trace elements and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iodine, bromine, copper, selenium and iron. Saltana Cave owner Anna Husted says, “You receive health benefits from negatively charged ionized salt and trace minerals that are expelled into the atmosphere. The treatment is offering a unique form of alternative therapy that provides relief from many respiratory ailments such as asthma, sinusitis, and allergies. Skin issues such as eczema and psoriasis also show improvement.”
Beth Leas is Founding Director of Total Life Center at 152 East Avenue, Norwalk. She is a Transformative Healer, Reiki Master and Tarot card reader. 203-856-9566 or BethLeas.com. See ad, page 26.
Ifloat is located at 163 Main Street, Westport. For more information, visit iFloatSpa.net or call 203-226-7378. See ad, page 26.
Saltana Cave is located at 590 Danbury Road, Ridgefield. For more information, visit SaltanaCave.com or call 203-969-4327. See ad, page 31.