In the 12th century, the practice of visiting salt caves for therapeutic reasons was common in Eastern Europe. Over time, salt mines or caves in Eastern Europe have become popular tourist destinations. People from all over the world visited them to breathe in the salty air and relieve their lung problems.
Salt therapies have a long history of use in some parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, but are less common in the United States.
What is halotherapy?
Halotherapy, a form of salt therapy, is an alternative treatment that involves breathing salt air.
Some people claim it can treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and allergies.
Others suggest that it may:
- treat depression and anxiety;
- relieves smoking-related symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing;
- heal some skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
How much does it cost to build a salt cave?
If you want to build a salt cave, you should be prepared to spend $5,000 to more than $18,000, depending on the technology required and the space. For instance, a multi-room salt cave will be much more expensive than a smaller single-room one.
You have multiple options when you want to open a salt cave. There are add-ons to existing businesses, new stand-alone facilities, single-room conversions, or multi-room salt therapy facilities.
Here are the expenses associated with building a salt cave for your dry salt therapy business:
Hiring a professional salt cave builder is probably the most important activity when expanding your business to include a salt mine. Salt bricks, like Himalayan salt bricks for example, are not the same as normal bricks and these have to be handled using special building practices and environmental control measures.
The halo generator is the most important piece of equipment in a salt cave. This is a machine that disperses dry salt aerosol in the salt therapy room. The halogenerator works with the HVAC system to control and regulate the salt aerosol and the level of concentration in the room. Its working principle consists of cutting or grinding pure-grade sodium chloride into micron-sized particles.
You will have the responsibility to order the preferred furnishings and correct equipment, but you will need a salt cave builder to help you with the wall installation, flooring, soundproofing, and framing. Also, they will make sure that your space is properly reinforced for supporting the salt cave.
The amount of money you are going to spend owning a salt cave will be much lower than the amount that goes into having other wellness facilities. Besides maintenance and insurance, inventory and labor are the only costs that reduce profit.
Surprisingly, labor, which in general is the greatest cost related to a new service, for salt cave is minimal. As the existing employees can handle the light cleanup needed between treatments, you will not need to hire new staff. Also, there is no requirement for special certification for operating a halogenerator.
A halogenerator needs a 10 lb. container of salt that is enough for several hundred treatment sessions and costs around $27. The responsibility of replacing the salt in the halogenerator can be handled by one of your current employees.
Components of a salt cave
The building of a proper salt cave or salt room would include three main components:
- salt décor, that is the largest variable cost and furnishings;
- environmental concerns, room changes, and technical requirements (HVAC);
- the halogenerator, which is the primary equipment that grinds, crushes, and disperses pure sodium chloride into the salt cave.
The size of a salt room would range from small facilities (up to 150 sq.ft.) to multi-purposes and larger relaxation rooms (up to 450 sq. ft.).
The halogenerator would be chosen depending on the size of the room. Also, it will influence other furnishings like music, lighting, seating, etc., and salt décor quantity.
A few basic requirements for when you build a salt room include:
- proper placement of the halogenerator;
- the installation of adequate ventilation;
- there should be installed a fixed ceiling in the room.
Origins of Salt Therapy
The use of saline aerosols in the treatment of respiratory, digestive, and dermatological ailments has been known since ancient Greek medicine. Hippocrates noticed the benefit of saline aerosols and recommended inhaling salt water vapors to treat diseases of the respiratory system.
The scientific recognition and therapeutic use of the saline environment dates back to the middle of the 19th century, starting from the observations of the Polish physicist Felix Bochkovsky regarding the absence of chronic bronchitis and asthma in the miners of the Wieliczka salt mines (Poland). Bochkovsky attributed this to the fact that the subjects were exposed to salt aerosols daily for a long period of time, unwittingly benefiting from the miraculous properties of salt.
Russia was the first country to start using this therapy, the first halo camera in the world was registered in Saint Petersburg in 1984.
Salt Cave Therapy Today
Today, Halotherapy is present throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, the United States, and other areas as a natural and complementary alternative for improving general well-being, respiratory problems, skin conditions, detoxification, athletic performance, and many others.
Halotherapy uses an artificial environment to create the same effect as the original salt mines. Places that offer halotherapy use a dry salt aerosol to spread tiny salt particles into the room’s atmosphere.
Salt usually contains a mixture of different minerals, including sodium chloride, calcium, manganese, and sulfates.
Active salt chambers use a salt generator to spread the salt around the chamber.
Types of halotherapy
Salt therapy is usually done in salt chambers, which can be active or passive.
- Active salt chamber. This room has a machine called a halogenerator, to which salt is added. The equipment breaks down the salt into tiny particles that circulate in the room.
- Passive salt chamber. This type of room does not have a device that breaks down the salt. Instead, the room is filled with different types of salts, such as Himalayan salt. It looks like a salt cave, with controlled temperature and humidity.
The salt concentration in passive salt chambers is lower than in active salt chambers. These rooms are usually used for relaxation and meditation rather than halotherapy.
What are the advantages offered by a salt room?
First of all, a session spent in a salt cave brings a large dose of comfort, at a temperature of approximately 21 degrees Celsius.
Regarding the medical effects, a few sessions can be extremely useful against dermatological conditions, metabolic problems, thyroid diseases, inflammations, and respiratory problems.
A session in an artificial salt mine is equivalent to almost 5 hours spent in a natural salt mine. Salt caves are suitable for hotels, day spas, fitness centers, and sports clubs.
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