Feel Good

Feel Good: Salt Therapy Hits Southwest Florida

The latest in health, fitness and beauty

BY August 15, 2016

Salt aids breathing?

For centuries, people have sought a healing power in salt caves and journeyed to places like the Wieliczka Salt Mines in Poland to breathe in the air. They’ve claimed it’s worked wonders for respiratory issues like asthma or bronchitis. You won’t find natural salt caves here in Florida, but simulated salt caves are catching on. At the new Himalayan Salt Room in White Orchid Spa in Fort Myers, 1 ton of rock salt from Pakistan lines the floor. A mist of salt spreads through the air. It’s like isolation therapy—just with lots of salt. It’s an alternative treatment, says owner Cheryl Harris. And like many alternative treatments—scientific consensus on the benefits is hard to come by. But Harris says it’s worth trying if you’re looking for a new way to breathe easier.


Forget Botox; try a second skin

Tired of your skin? Just get some more. Researchers at Harvard and M.I.T. have developed, essentially, a second skin. It’s layers of gels that form a translucent patch on the skin. It can smooth out wrinkles or make those bags under your eyes go away. Or, the researchers say, it can be helpful for people with skin conditions like eczema to help cover dry or itchy patches. The gels have been tested only in small studies so far, but soon enough, second skins could be a reality.


Backside of sitting …

An Ohio State University professor has coined a term for a condition that causes leg and back pain from too much sitting: dormant butt syndrome.


… speaking of butts

Americans keep putting them out, for good. The U.S. smoking rate dropped to 15 percent last year. For comparison, about 23 percent of Americans smoked in 2000.


Chair bender

Yoga teacher Jean Erlbaum discovered that some of her older students were having problems with a normal routine. Some had difficulty getting down on the mat for certain positions. And others could get down—but couldn’t get back up. After doing some research, she found an answer: chair yoga. It’s like yoga but with moves modified for sitting or standing and using the chair as balance. She found that it gave some of her students discouraged by the traditional classes a reason to get active again. “I felt like Santa Claus at that first class,” she says. Erlbaum is one of several teachers of chair yoga in Southwest Florida. Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs and Love Yoga in Naples also host regular classes.


There’s always time to exercise

We’re all busy people, and sometimes squeezing in a trip to the gym seems like it’d just take too much time out of the day. Well, guess again. When you get down to it, you probably don’t spend all that much time exercising to begin with. The Honor Your Days campaign survey (organized by Reebok) found that most Americans spend less than 1 percent of their lives exercising. Compare that to the 30 percent of our lives we spend sitting, according to the survey. Puts things in a little different context, right? In the long run, that Zumba class you’ve been debating joining might not seem like all that much of a time suck.


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