We had the opportunity to take a side trip to Williamsburg and try out a salt spa. Salt therapy finds its origins in a theory developed by by Doctor Felix Boczkowski in 1843 that the air in the salt mines of Wieliczka, Poland provided beneficial effects to those suffering from pulmonary and respiratory issues. Some claim that salt therapy sessions are effective in helping those with allergies, asthma, bronchitis, even a weakened immune system, among other issues.
Chapel in the Wieliczka Salt Mine with rock salt chandeliers
The Wieliczka Salt Mine, near Krakow, has the largest Underground Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, providing innovative rehabilitation and treatment by combining the natural microclimate of the underground salt excavations with contemporary medicine 135 meters below the surface. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nine centuries of mining rock salt have produced over 200 kilometers of passages and over 2000 caverns with chapels, museum, a lake and other attractions. But what does that have to do with Williamsburg?
The Williamsburg Salt Spa uses the Wieliczka model and has almost identically reproduced the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the mine. The appearance mimics the mine’s appearance and the ventilation system has been tuned to maintain the temperature, humidity, and unique microclimate of the original mine. The Williamsburg Salt Spa has imported over 15 tons of therapeutic salt from Poland and Pakistan to create the microclimate rich in minerals (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, bromine and iodine.
A Salt Spa Therapy session at the Williamsburg Salt Spa
Each session at the Williamsburg Salt spa lasts 45 minutes, during which you relax in a very comfortable recliner, listen to the soothing sounds of music, and breathe in the air saturated with all those beneficial minerals. The air temperature hovers around 75 degrees and the humidity ranges between 40 -50%. Reservations are recommended as space is limited. A 45-minute Swedish massage is also available in the salt room by prior arrangements. Reservations/Contact.
Our session was comfortable, relaxing, and deep breathing of the mineral-laden air was actually energizing. Several of our party, took the opportunity to take a little catnap during the session. So, if you’re planning a trip to Richmond, we encourage you to add a day to your stay at the historic Fan District’s premier bed and breakfast inn, and take a little side trip to Williamsburg just east on I-64, and arrange a therapy session at the Williamsburg Salt Spa, where a Polish tradition comes to the United States.