‘Ottawa’ Salt Wave Chamber Opens at Westgate
Nicola Gazzetto doesn’t go anywhere without his puffer. A chronic asthma sufferer, the father of four is always on alert for the next respiratory attack.
Eight years ago, Gazzetto moved to Ottawa from his native Italy, where he regularly visited salt caves to help control his asthma. But after moving to the capital, his asthma worsened.
That’s when he and his wife, Hazel Gazzetto, decided to open their own salt chamber, one of many across Ontario, but the first for Ottawa.
Located at Westgate Shopping Centre, Salt Wave is a humidity-controlled room with thick panels of salt on the walls and salt rock crystals covering the floor. A fine salt mist is pumped into the dimly lit room by a wall-mounted generator and the relaxing sound of waves lulls visitors to sleep.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates is credited with recommending salt inhalation as a respiratory treatment. For centuries, dry salt therapy, also know as halotherapy (halo is the Greek word for salt), has been a holistic way to cleanse and detoxify lungs and skin, as well as relieve stress, insomnia and ear infections.
For people with respiratory problems, salt has antimicrobial properties that when breathed into the lungs, helps you cough up mucous, relieve inflammation and kill bacteria.
For Gazzetto, the proof is in his puffer: he’s cut its use “by 90 per cent” since opening Salt Wave in January.
Although he’s not suggesting halotherapy replaces traditional medicine, Gazetto says 40-minute sessions relaxing in one of the 10 lounge chairs in his salt-filled oasis is a complementary natural treatment.
Christine Bizier, co-owner of Serenity Soul Spa in Kanata, is a firm believer. After just one recent session, she says her pounding headache was gone and she left feeling “deeply relaxed … almost loopy.”
Salt Wave is open to all ages and depending on your ailment, five to 25 sessions are recommended. Prices start at $25 a session, with packages of 10 from $190.