Jennifer and James Templeton relax in the salt room at their Biddeford spa on Thursday, LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — A new spa in Biddeford is offering dry salt therapy, which proponents say can provide relief to those with respiratory and skin conditions and reduce stress and anxiety. Jennifer and James Templeton opened The Salt Works and Spa at 321 Elm St., Suite 7 in Biddeford in early April.

The couple had been to salt spas in their native Vermont, and thought southern Maine could benefit from this type of facility.

At the heart of the spa is the halotherapy, or dry salt therapy room. Guests leave their shoes at the door before entering the room. Himalayan salt from salt caves in Pakistan covers the floor in hues of rose. Soft lighting is filtered through a salt brick wall, casting an amber glow, and chaise lounges offer comfortable seating. Blankets are optional.

There are about 7,500 pounds of salt on the floor and walls, said James.

The crown jewel of the room is the white disk-shaped object on the wall that is part of the halogenerator system. The halogenerator grinds and crushes 99.99 percent pure grade sodium chloride, salt into tiny particles dispersed into the salt room through a dry salt aerosol.

Proponents of dry salt therapy say that it can provide relief from respiratory conditions like asthma, colds, sinus infections, bronchitis and COPD by removing the build-up of foreign elements that cause respiratory ailments.

“It’s basically like taking a toothbrush and cleaning out your respiratory system,” said James.

Jennifer and James say they have a client with pulmonary fibrosis who has benefited from regular treatments.

“He’s like a new man,” said Jennifer.

Proponents of salt therapy say it also benefits those with acne, psoriasis and eczema and also produces negative ions that reduce stress, anxiety and fatigue.

Jennifer and James said they have a client with Lyme Disease who has found relief through halotherapy.

“It’s an easy, non-invasive treatment,” said Jennifer. She said the benefits of salt were discovered in the 1800s, when it was noticed that salt miners did not have the respiratory problems that others in their community did.

Cell phones and other devices are not allowed in the salt room. Though there is enough light to read by, most people find the environment so relaxing they will doze off during a 45 minute session.

The Salt Works and Spa also offers massage therapy and nail care, with options to incorporate salt treatment through salt scrubs and salt stones.

Some treatments, such as a foot massage, can be paired with the use of salt domes. Proponents of the treatment say that when the hands or feet are put on a salt dome, it facilitates the sweat response by the body and draws out toxins.

For more information on The Salt Works and Spa, go to https://thesaltworksandspa.com.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at [email protected].

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