During a stay in the Phoenix metro area, a friend invited me to make a trip to Mesa with her to check out a store that sells salt lamps. My friend was interested in buying a salt lamp for another friend and wanted to shop in person rather than through a website. I’m open to new experiences, so I said I’d tag along.
The store in question is Himalayas Salt Lamps & More, located at 240 West Main Street in Mesa, AZ.
While we were talking about taking a trip to the store, my friend told me that Himalayas Salt Lamps & More has a salt room. A what? I asked, then got on the store’s website to get more information.
According to the store’s website,
Salt Rooms have become popular in the U.S. because of the success of Speleotherapy [the respiratory therapy involving breathing of the mineral infused air of a salt mine] in Europe…Patients get lasting relief from Respiratory disorders with the benefits of Himalayan salt therapy. This Natural treatment is recommended by many doctors and relieves symptoms of Asthma, COPD, Sinus Congestion, Allergies, Migraines, Chronic Cough, Cystic Fibrosis and other Respiratory conditions. There are absolutely no side effects.
I teased my friend, telling her I was going to call Himalayas Salt Lamps & More and ask if I could lick the salt room. This joke made us laugh a lot, and after a while, all I had to say to get us both giggling was, Can I lick it?
The day of our excursion arrived. We were at the store not long after it opened. Before we walked in, we were able to read a sign with information about the history and benefits of salt lamps.
The rooms beyond the front counter where purchases are made housed salt lamps in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Most of the lamps looked somewhat like rocks in various shades of pink, but other lamps had been fashioned into hearts and crosses. I prefer the natural, chunky shapes.
In one of the rooms where lamps were displayed, there was a large, hand-painted sign which read, You lick it, you buy it. Apparently I was not the first person to make the connection between salt lamps and salt licks. And I had thought myself so clever!
Why would anyone want to own a salt lamp? According to the store’s salt lamp page,
How Do They Work?
…when warmed by the low wattage bulb, the salt crystal lamp produces negative ions which bind with the excess positive ions (dust, allergens, etc.). It builds up the ion field by reacting with the humidity in the air. Best if left on 24/7 as it takes time for the lamp to warm and create the ions. Claims of the efficacy of Salt Lamps have a solid foundation in science. The positive effects of soothing light and color, air cleaning and negative ions have been studied for decades. The book, Water & Salt: The Essence of Life [by Dr. Barbara Hendel and Peter Ferreira] documents the use of Himalayan salt products for use in the home.
The combination of negative ions and their effects leads to relief in Asthma, Allergies, Migraines, Sinus congestion and more. Snoring is normally relieved by the clearing of sinuses within a few days…
After looking at all the lamps available, my friend and I decided to sit in the salt room. The floor of the salt room was made from multiple blocks of pink/orange/yellow salt There were blocks of salt in the walls of the room as well. Behind the blocks of salt were lights, ostensibly to heat the salt so it produces the negative ions needed to clean up the air. I found the soft amber light in the room peaceful and quite calming. I was happy to sit in the salt room while my friend walked around the store and made her decision about which lamp to buy.
I didn’t think the salt room was going to provide anything more than a relaxing environment. I didn’t really believe it could help me breathe easier.
I do actually have problems breathing. Both of my nostrils always feel as it they are at least halfway plugged. I don’t have to breathe through my mouth, but do feel as if I’m having to stretch a little to get each good breath.
I’ll be dammed if after sitting in the salt room for about five minutes my nostrils didn’t open up, and I could breathe, really breathe. WOW! When my friend came back into the room and I told her about my breathing and my initial disbelief, she said I was experiencing the opposite of the placebo effect. With the placebo effect, a person feels better because they think the treatment will be helpful, but I was feeling better despite having been convinced the treatment wasn’t going to do anything for me.
My friend gave me a small salt candle holder, but I haven’t yet bought tea lights to go in it. Once I get candles and try it out, I’ll post an update in the comments about whether or not it helps.