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Seen At 11: Luxury Salt Rooms Offer Numerous Wellness Benefits, Proponents Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- What if we told you that just by stepping into a room, you would leave with the promise that you will look and feel better just by being there?

As CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported Tuesday, the high-style pampering happens in a room made entirely of salt.

"I wanted it to have a modern twist; to be full luxury," said Alexandra Janelli, owner of Modrn Sanctuary, 12 W. 27th St.

And that full luxury is found in a salt cave.

"We wanted to go all out in terms of the things you could offer in a salt room," Janelli said.

That means walls that change color.

"We can turn it green for a little more heart chakra; we can turn it purple, pink, yellow," Janelli said.

There is also a halo generator to blow super fine salt particulates into the air.

"As you begin to breathe it in, it begins to clear out all the impurities in the body and the lungs," Janelli said.

The room is constructed with 10,000 pounds of salt, ceilings nearly 12-feet high, and loose salt on heated floors for a pressure point massage. Custom upholstered chairs add to the relaxing and supposed healthful environment.

Each brick is made up of over 200 million-year-old pristine salt taken from the foothills of the Himalayas.

Dara Handleman is a client.

"I've been in salt rooms before, but never anything like that," Handleman said. "Very pretty, very soothing."

The new salt rooms have become a luxury destination. Heath claims for halotherapy include improving skin conditions and respiratory issues, and they are said to be ultimate in relaxing and recharging.

"You walk out of here and you're like, 'Yes! Yes!' So it's really empowering and liberating," said conscious lifestyle expert Alyson Charles.

Charles leads a shaman-style class in this salt room at breathe in Murray Hill.

Client Kathleen McNally said she always sleeps better after a session in the salt room.

"It's the total experience," McNally said. "It's not clinical at all. It's very spiritual and soothing."

But luxury aside, wellness benefits are still anecdotal. Dr. Houman Danesh says clients should not replace medical treatments with halotherapy, but agrees there may be some benefit.

"There is a component to being relaxed and improving your immune system, which will then help a variety of ailments, but there is no direct clinical evidence to support it," Danesh said.

The luxury salt rooms are large enough to accommodate groups for yoga or meditation sessions. Prices vary, but generally run about $35 per person per session.

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