DALLAS — Salt chambers are popping up across North Texas.
Many believe time spent inside what looks at first glance like a tanning bed helps to fight off germs eases breathing during the winter months.
"The feeling is like you are laying on the beach," said Sherry Gilderoy, who is a regular at Luxury on Lovers.
She has bad allergies, sinus issues, and psoriasis. But after 20 minutes in a private salt chamber, she claims relief for her ailments and her mind — especially during flu season.
“As soon as you start having symptoms, or maybe you've been exposed to the flu, your body goes into fight mode," Gilderoy said. "By doing this, [you are] keeping your body at a high level of immune health."
The de-humidified salt is touted as anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. The chamber disperses the salt in the air for Gilderoy to inhale.
“We take all of the moisture out of the salt, so when you breathe it in, it's like taking a toothbrush to your respiratory system,” explained Lisa Cobb, owner of Luxury on Lovers.
Cobb said she sees everyone from airplane pilots to four-year-olds suffering from year-round asthma.
But business picks up during the germy winter season.
“You are boosting your immune system and are hedging your bet against getting sick,” Cobb said.
The New England Journal of Medicine is among groups publishing studies touting the benefit of inhaling salt, but it's hard to find an actual clinical trial in the U.S. that would prove the claimed positive effects.
Gilderoy said she doesn't need a trial — she is proof that it works. "You do feel like you can breathe deeper, and more regular breaths." she said.
"It's kind of like a Neti Pot on steroids," Cobb added.
One salt bed session can cost up to $50.