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The Salt Den: Himalayan Wellness for Body and Spirit

by Marlaina Donato

Known for its rosy color, Himalayan salt has become a healthy ingredient in gourmet kitchens and a beneficial addition to home decor in the form of ambient lamps, but its fortifying benefits are much more far-reaching. Bob Duff wanted to bring these benefits to the community and opened the doors to The Salt Den in 2017. The Himalayan therapeutic wellness center in Latham melds both well-being and luxury.

The “cave”—a therapeutic room constructed entirely of Himalayan salt, includes a floor that gives visitors an experience akin to walking on a soft, sandy beach. A fiberoptic starry ceiling adds a bit of additional magic. “The temperature is a comfortable 74 degrees, and there is an immediate sense of calm the moment you walk into the negatively ion-charged atmosphere. It just makes everyone feel better. Children on the autism spectrum seem to really respond to the atmosphere, especially the stars on the ceiling,” says Duff.

Clinical studies of halotherapy—salt therapy—in Russia, Europe and the U.S. have shown promising results for a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis by stimulating the rejuvenation of epidermal cells. It is also beneficial for respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and allergy-related discomfort. “Spending 50 minutes in the cave is equal to four days at the beach. The pharmaceutical-grade salt has a great effect on constricted bronchial passages and helps to improve breathing. It is also wonderful for the sinuses. The best part is that there are no side effects. The only contraindication would be clients with the inability to produce a productive cough or stage three and four COPD, due to the salt’s ability to draw water out of the body into the lungs to assist in removing congestion,” explains Duff.

Salt therapy is also helpful for ear infections and in some instances, snoring. In addition, it has a positive effect on frazzled nerves, chronic muscle tension and nervousness. “Unlike table salt that can be harmful to health, Himalayan salt has 84 minerals in total, all the minerals required by the body, as well as trace minerals,” says Duff. Due to its positive effect on the nervous system, Himalayan salt therapy gently uplifts the psyche, promoting a better outlook on life. “When a person destresses and relaxes, it naturally brightens the mood.”

Salt kills 99 percent of germs in the air, which means the therapeutic cave at the wellness center is always sanitary. The properties of Himalayan salt are antifungal, antihistamine and antibacterial in nature and provide a significant immune-boosting effect on the body. Sessions in the salt cave are 50 minutes long and are open to people of all ages including infants over the age of one. The Salt Den offers discounts for veterans, seniors and students. Tranquility packages, a sampling of services, are available.

The Salt Den is a fully staffed, veteran-owned business that takes great pride in promoting a relaxing and rejuvenating environment that includes therapeutic massage therapy, yoga and meditation classes in the salt cave and events such as crystal sound healing. The room is also available for group and private sessions and parties. The facility offers red light therapy and an infrared sauna. “Infrared saunas can eliminate toxins at the cellular level, up to 70 percent more than a traditional sauna,” advises Duff. “Red light therapy helps to increase blood and lymphatic circulation. It also lowers inflammation associated with diabetic ulcers, aids tissue repair and can reduce the appearance of scars. It is highly beneficial for seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.”

For Duff, bringing the benefits of Himalayan salt to others is much more than a business. It is a testament to the body’s healing capabilities and daily inspiration. “I know it’s been said before, but life is short. You’ve got to make the best of every moment you have. Relax and breathe easy!”

The Salt Den is located at 654 Watervliet Shaker Rd., in Latham. For more information, call 518-785-7258 or visit NYSaltDen.com.

Marlaina Donato is a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.