Combining nature and ingenuity, London Salt Spa brings halotherapy to a most unsalty place.

London Salt Spa

Central Virginia seems like an unlikely locale for a salt spa, but that’s exactly the point. “Around here, many do not have the convenience to travel [to the beach or natural salt cave],” London Salt Spa owner Debbie Naff told a reporter from Lynchburg Business Magazine, where the spa was prominently featured earlier this year. “Now they can just come to one of our sessions. Four sessions a week are equal to one week at the beach.”

The health benefits of salt therapy (aka halotherapy) have been documented since the mid-19th century, when residents of Wieliczka, Poland, suffering from pulmonary and respiratory problems exhibited a reduction of symptoms when exposed to the air in salt mines. (Wieliczka Salt Mine is now an Underground Rehabilitation and Treatment Center—reportedly the largest of its kind in the world.) More recently, clinical studies have supported those early findings, pointing not only to respiratory and pulmonary benefits, but to a decrease in symptoms for maladies such as fatigue, anxiety, hypertension and various chronic skin conditions.

However, natural salt caves are not common, so a growing number of man-made versions have been popping up in spas and wellness centers worldwide. At Virginia’s London Salt Spa, pains have been taken to ensure optimal results. The spa’s Salt Cave, accented by a salt-brick fireplace and washed in soft, yellow light, is fully enclosed to keep out external pollutants and maximize the purity facilitated by the salt’s sodium chloride emissions. Guests lounge in zero-gravity chairs and inhale deeply to receive maximum benefits.

Especially popular is the Ultimate Cave Session, a 45-minute visit to the cave that includes a head, neck and shoulder massage, and hand and foot reflexology treatment, for $49. The spa also offers a menu that includes skin and body treatments, as well as reiki—most of which can be performed in the cave.

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