The Salt Spa of Asheville

Today, natural methods for improving our health are becoming more and more accessible. But Asheville, with its hot springs and unique climate, has long been visited as a destination for healing. So it's only natural that Ines Clark, a physical therapist from Germany, chose Asheville to create a Himalayan salt cave sanctuary featuring halotherapy. Let's see why some say this treatment is just heavenly at the salt spa of Asheville. Tucked away in an unassuming shopping center near historic Biltmore village is a place where visitors stop for a breath of salt air.

Ines Clark was a licensed physical therapist in Germany and board certified massage therapist in Florida before she found her true calling in Asheville, using the healing power of this beautiful pink mineral. I became aware of the salt, um, therapy that — the movement that is going on in Europe. And so I started studying it and getting informed about it. And then it's like, yes, that's that's what I'm going to do here. I was so excited to build something that is beautiful where people can come in. And when they walk in the salt cave, they feel like a big hug and welcomed and safe and at the same time a healing place where the air, the microclimate, is taking care of their health and well-being. Brenda Streett lives in south Carolina but has traveled to Asheville every week for a year to manage her chronic asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. The first time I came in, uh, I was on my mast antibiotic that day.

And I was so sick, I could hardly walk. I mean, I my legs were weak. My muscles were weak. And just going in there and laying in that salt, I could take a deep breath for the first time in eight years. This is the Himalayan salt sanctuary. It's filled with five tons of Himalayan salt. It's all on the walls. It's on the floor. It's about 70 degrees in here. It's very comfortable. It feels dry. And the humidity level is between 30% and 50%. You don't have to disrobe or anything. Just come in, take a seat, and for the next 45 minutes breathe the dry salt microclimate and relax. The therapeutic treatment offered inside the Himalayan salt sanctuary is halotherapy, and its effectiveness, Ines says, is dependent on the work of this device called a halo generator. A halo generator is a device that helps to re-create the microclimate of natural salt mines. Without this device, which is really the heart of halotherapy, uh, we cannot re-create the true microclimate of natural salt mines. What it does is, it's like a mill, and it grinds salt in 1 to 5-micron size particles. So because it is so small, we can breathe it into our lower respiratory system in the alveoli, and the dry salt can go deep in there.

And salty is naturally anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and it helps. And it's a natural cleanser. It helps to cleanse and clean our respiratory system. Ines also has a well-being room with 100% Himalayan salt-layered walls and slab flooring that enhance relaxation. In here, other mind/body therapies that rely on relaxation are offered, like when I tried with the national board certified and gifted reflexologist Phyllis Weimar. Reflexology is a bodywork therapy that helps deepen our state of relaxation. Reflexology is not a foot massage. I am stimulating the nerve endings and activating the circulation to every part of your body.

>> the salt climate enhances the benefits of yoga in a different way. When you're in the salt spa environment and you're breathing this anti-microbial, antioxidant, mineral-rich air, you're getting that deep into your lungs because yoga helps bring the air deep into your lungs. The salt spa environment is also safe for children, so once a month Ines has little ones in. They get a story, relaxing flute music, and we play in the salt because it's gravel salt. It's like in a sandbox. And children love it. And that way they get a nice exposure to the salt, and we make them do some movements so, uh, they naturally breathe deeper. And, uh, the salt benefits for the children is even more profound. Because their lungs are so young, they receive the benefits much faster than adults. Imagine, salt that's this fun and this relaxing. It is at the salt spa of Asheville. For “North Carolina weekend,” I'm Deborah Holt Noel..

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