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Salt Rooms - Bondi Junction

Home > Sydney > Escape the City | Girls' Day Out | Health and Fitness | Kids | Unusual Things to do
by Kaye (subscribe)
I <3 Sydney
Published July 18th 2013
A salt cave recreated in the middle of Bondi Junction

Hidden in a concrete jungle in Bondi Junction, next to a busy Westfield car park entrance, lies a sanctuary which boasts many health benefits.

Salt Rooms is a licensed Salt Therapy Clinic. Salt Therapy is used as a natural and drug-free alternative to assist the body to get rid of toxins. It involves spending time in the microclimate found inside salt mines and caves. Salt mines and caves are natural deposits that were formed as a result of the evaporation of ancient lakes and seas.

Salt mine in the Ukraine
Salt mine in the Ukraine

Benefits
It is said that Salt Therapy can benefit people who suffer from respiratory conditions including asthma, hayfever and snoring, as well as skin ailments such as eczema and ACNE. There are also claims that Salt Therapy can boost the immune system, increase lung capacity and stamina in athletes, and relieve jet lag.

Background & History
Salt Therapy is a relatively new form of therapy in Australia. However, Salt Therapy is a common and medically recognised practice across Eastern Europe and Russia since the early 19th Century. The story goes that Felix Boczkowski, a Polish doctor at the Wieliczka salt mine, observed that the presence of dry salt particles in the salt mine had healing qualities. He noticed that the miners did not suffer from the respiratory conditions that were common at the time.

Salt Rooms understand that the majority of us aren't multi-millionaires who can jet over to visit the salt caves of Eastern Europe at a whim. So the clinic aims to recreate these natural salt caves right here in Sydney so Sydneysiders can also reap the health benefits.

Opened in 2010, Salt Rooms was the first clinic of its kind to open in Australia. Since then, many clinics have started to pop-up in Sydney and cities around Australia.


The Experience
When I first set out to experience the Salt Rooms, I had no idea what to expect. I don't have asthma or allergies but thought it would be a new experience and if it improved my skin and general health – what did I have to lose?

The building's exterior looked pretty ordinary and the lane way looked a little shady. But like the saying goes "Don't judge a book by its cover."

Salt Rooms Australia
Salt Rooms Australia: the building's exterior from the foot path

Salt Rooms Australia
Keep walking..the front door is through the black gate

Salt Rooms Australia
The front entry: you've found it

Salt Rooms is a professional set-up and I was warmly welcomed by the receptionist. Step one involved putting on a sexy pair of shoe covers and packing away my belongings into a locker. I then entered the Salt Rooms.

Salt Rooms Australia - shoe covers
My sexy shoe covers...it's important to wear them to prevent contaminating the floor salts

There are two Salt Rooms on the premises – dubbed the "Adult room" and "Kids' play room." To recreate the microclimate inside a salt cave, the rooms are built using blocks of salt rock mined from deep underground. The temperature and humidity levels inside the rooms are controlled. A machine gently blows micoscopic salt particles into the rooms. I was assured that the salt particles in the air weren't the same as the table salt found in the local supermarket, but consisted of 'pharmaceutical salt' imported from Germany and certified as safe for inhaling.

Salt bricks
The salt room walls are made up of these blocks of salt rock

Adult Room
The room features three leather recliner chairs divided by glass partitions – creating individualised 'pods'. Each 'pod' has a Himalayan salt lamp (which adds to the ambience of the room), a small table and a reading lamp (for practicality's sake). For added comfort, a super soft blanket is available for you to snuggle in. This room is carpeted by a layer of salt – making the floor look like it's been covered by snow.

Salt Rooms Australia - recliners
Inside the Adult Room: The recliners are sooo comfortable

Salt Rooms Australia - Himalayan salt lamp
The Himalayan salt lamps give off an orange glow and are said to also have healing qualities

A session in the room lasts for about 45 minutes. During this time, the lights in the room are dimmed and each person is encouraged to relax in their own 'pod.' Soft music is played in the background. You may want to bring your own earphones and I-Pod if you are not a fan of elevator-style music.

The time spent in the Salt Room is a really great chance to have some quality "me" time, put your feet up, draw, write, read (or if you must…play Candy Crush) and really relax. Apparently it is common for people to fall asleep during the session. I could really see why. It was so comfortable in the recliners I was close to taking a nap myself.

If you wish to share the Salt Rooms experience with others, Salt Rooms allow up to three people in the room during a session. I have booked a session with two friends and enjoyed chatting away the whole time.

Kids' Play Room
Out of curiosity, I asked to have a look at the Kids' Play Room. Inside, there was a shelf filled with toys, puzzles, games and books. And instead of a sand pit, there was a salt pit.

During a salt therapy session, children need to be accompanied by an adult. On the plus side, the accompanying adult enters free of charge.

Salt Rooms Australia - Kids Play Room
Inside the Kids' Play Room: Looks like a lot of fun

I was told that the Salt Room also offers massages and that there was currently a special offer for July 2013: a one hour massage for $59 (regular price $80).

Verdict
In terms of health benefits, Salt Therapy is not designed to be a miracle cure but a complementary therapy. The specialists at Salt Rooms consult with individuals to create a treatment plan suitable for the specific condition.

I would like to make it clear that I am not a doctor or medical practitioner of any kind, so I would recommend that if you are considering Salt Therapy in treating a current ailment, that you do your research and consult a doctor beforehand.

In terms of experiencing the Salt Rooms as a unique form of relaxation, I have enjoyed both my visits. I have found them truly relaxing and a great 'time-out' from the busy chaos of day-to-day life.
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Why? Relaxation and health benefits
When: Opening Hours: Mon, Wed & Fri (9am-5pm)/Tues & Thurs (9am-7pm)/ Sat (9am-4pm)
Phone: (02) 9369 1698
Where: Shop 2, 17 Hollywood Avenue, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Cost: Adults ($44 per session) / Pensioners, students and under 16 ($33 per session) / Children under 10 ($24 per session – accompanying adult free). Packages also available
Your Comment
What a fascinating article, well done Kaye. I have never heard of salt therapy and read the article thinking it was a new uber cool restaurant in Sydney. How wrong I was. Great story.
by Shannon Meyerkort (score: 3|1794) 2195 days ago
So salt can be good for you after all. It looks like a very relaxing experience.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12410) 2195 days ago
Hmm sceptical yes. But this is definitely not your usual weekend activity
by 1nerd (score: 2|113) 2193 days ago
Wow. What a load of rubbish! This definitely supports the old saying that a fool and his money are soon parted!
by sirbl (score: 0|2) 2192 days ago
As one of 5 children growing up in the 60/70's, with asthma and eczema, we spent a lot of time at the beach and had a salt pool installed at home. No brainer that salt is a great cure for for some people. Great article and always good to hear of new options! The beach is free!
We do live in the 'lucky country' !!
by desan (score: 0|4) 2188 days ago
Something different I'm sure, nice article.
by RC (score: 3|1221) 932 days ago
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