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The Salt & Sauna Sanctuary

26944 Camino De Estrella, Unit 2, San Clemente


By Costa Beavin-Pappas

In the age of COVID-19, many have found themselves fearful for their lungs. The virus directly attacks lung tissue and in extreme cases can lead to victims being put on ventilators.

However, a new San Clemente business, The Salt & Sauna Sanctuary, uses halo therapy to protect the lungs.

Jennifer Baker-Johnson, the owner, wants to educate locals on the power of halo therapy, also known as salt therapy. Salt has been proven to kill some bacteria in five seconds. Treatment centers use dry salt on the lungs to clear them of mucus and strengthen them in the process.

Baker-Johnson, a graduate of San Clemente High School, was inspired by salt therapy after a friend of hers developed a rare autoimmune disease and had to be on an oxygen tank. Her friend heard about salt therapy and went to a salt cave. The salt cave was the only location where her friend could breathe normally without wearing an oxygen mask.

The use of salt therapy intrigued Baker-Johnson and was the reasoning behind her decision to return to the San Clemente area and bring halo therapy with her.

Though it may be new to Orange County, halo therapy has been around since the 1800s. Today, it is common in Europe and on the East Coast, but it has been gaining more traction on the West Coast.

Dry salt not only helps the lungs, it helps combat conditions such as sinus infections, smoker’s cough, snoring and acne.

During a salt therapy treatment, a patient sits inside a booth for about 20 minutes while a halo generator grinds salt into microscopic particles and releases them into the air to be inhaled, which mimics a natural salt cave or salt mine for results.

Salt is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. With COVID-19 in mind, Baker-Johnson says that a salt cave is one of the safest places a person could be right now.

However, given social distancing precautions, guests are to wear masks inside the center, but not in the booths. They are also to wear surgical booties on their feet for added protection. After each session, the booths are cleaned once again for extra safety precautions.

“What I am trying to do is educate people on what salt therapy is and how it can help them,” Baker-Johnson said. “If you can’t breathe, you should use salt therapy.”

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