Twelve years ago, Leo Tonkin learned about salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, for the first time. Like many, he had never heard of this kind of therapy before and had spent many years in business strategy, organizational behavior and development, and the idea of salt therapy was completely foreign to him and his team. After researching the business model and industry, Leo was shocked to learn there were just a few facilities throughout North America providing dry salt therapy, while in some countries in Europe, it was considered a medical treatment for respiratory and skin care. Leo wanted to bring salt therapy into America and market it to the spa and wellness industries. His idea began with creating salt rooms where clients could relax and breathe in dry salt particles that benefited their respiratory system and skin.
After conducting extensive research on the benefits of salt therapy, Leo and his team began to realize all the benefits the therapy could offer and were looking forward to sharing these unique experiences with the hospitality community. The team started educating and engaging others to share the benefits they could discover. They focused on raising awareness and began speaking with spas where many already had relaxation rooms or underutilized treatment rooms. There, they began designing salt rooms to create a new kind of treatment for the spas- salt therapy.
From this, his company, SALT Chamber, was born.
“It’s about bringing this wellness modality to so many people. When you look at how many people have allergies, asthma and COPD, and how many other respiratory conditions there are, people need holistic treatment. It’s really about having people feel better, and if we can bring in a natural remedy that works, then we will bring it to the masses. That’s what we’re all about,” Tonkin said.
Many people think that Himalayan salt and the salt decor on the walls have health benefits, such as purifying the air and releasing negative ions. This is entirely false. While SALT Chamber pioneered the use of Himalayan salt as an architectural and decor element in their room designs, all of the health benefits come from a halogenerator device to create these salt rooms. This equipment takes pure-grade sodium chloride, grinds it up and disperses a dry aerosol so small that people can breathe it in at healthy levels. Salt room experiences can include yoga, respiratory and breathwork guided meditation, IV hydration and sound therapy while the client also breathes in the healthy salt. SALT Chamber has created many spa salt rooms and even personal ones for individuals at home. A salt therapy session can take from 10-45 minutes, depending on the size of the space.
“Not only do we have the products, but we do the design and information on how to install and build in our marketing and training. So, we provide full turnkey services for businesses to get into salt therapy. We use it as a revenue center, making additional revenue without any additional labor; you don’t need a special licensed person or certificates to offer this,” Leo said.
Other treatments can easily layer with salt therapy. Not to mention, it is also great for the skin, which is why many medical spas have begun adding salt booths and rooms to their centers.
A QS/ISO-certified medical device company manufactures the equipment offered by SALT Chamber, which produces the smallest micron-sized salt particles to get deep into the respiratory system and the first layer of the skin. It is the only company with a showroom, research lab and a technical team, as well as salt therapy and wellness consultants. The expertise and experience held within this company sets them apart in creating turnkey solutions and keeps them thriving.
Over the last 12 years, SALT Chamber has completed around 3,000 projects for luxury resorts and spas, medspas, fitness clubs, senior living facilities and others. Their client list includes Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Auberge, Waldorf Astoria, Canyon Ranch and some of the most successful medical and day spas, such as Woodhouse and Well-Infused. Some of their residential projects include Tony Robbins, NFL football players and others so they can experience better sleep, performance and recovery.
“We’ve been partnering with all types of people in the hospitality, spa, wellness and medical spa industry and attending various trade shows throughout the year. A lot of what we do is education- I speak at a lot of the events, and we continue to talk to people and bring more education awareness to the industry. When people find out about it, it’s amazing that part of the reaction is, ‘I never heard about this before.’ But really, what’s great is the people that do it are customers that have salt rooms or salt booths, and they’re in them on a regular basis,” Leo shared.
Everyone benefits in some way from salt therapy. Seniors on oxygen tanks can breathe better, children and adults with respiratory issues can get aid in breathing and salt therapy can be an excellent solution to help skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis.
“One of the big issues is the quality of the air that we breathe in every day–indoor air pollution can be up to 5 times worse than outdoor air. So, when you think about the invisible particles ranging from dust, dander, and allergens to bacteria and viruses, there’s really no other natural way to clean out your lungs. Salt therapy and halotherapy act like a toothbrush and can help,” Leo said.
“In the last few years, there’s been more attention for people to take on more self-care. Overall wellness, longevity and quality of life are on top of mind, and people are taking more responsibility for their own health and wellness. That’s why you see people doing more things like sauna, red light therapy, IV hydration, cold therapy and salt therapy,” he said.
Over the last 12 years, SALT Chamber has expanded from the U.S. and Canada and has begun projects in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Spain and South Korea. They are also focusing a lot of research on universities and student-athletes. Their expansion has only just begun as they seek to educate others around the world on the benefits of salt therapy.
“If we can help people breathe better, sleep better and have a better quality of life, then that’s what we’re going to do,” Leo said.
Salt therapy has aided many and will continue to help more around the world. To learn more about Leo Tonkin and SALT Chamber and their initiatives, visit their website at saltchamberinc.com.
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