I drive by the Salt Suite (3100 S. Federal Highway #3, Delray Beach; 561/316-7258; thesaltsuite.com) multiple times per week. It’s hard to miss the gorgeous Key West-style architecture of the new Latitude shops and condos right on the Boca/Delray border. I’ve read the reviews and have been curious about what it is and why it’s here.

Still, I entered the building as a skeptic. I figured that the treatment is something indulgent, something for people with expendable incomes that enjoy trying the latest health fad.

I was wrong.

Salt caves were first documented in modern society in Poland in 1843. (There are records of breathing improvements due to salt caves that date back to Roman times.) Dr. Feliks Boczkowski, a physician at a Polish salt mine noted that the workers never had respiratory or lung problems like people working in other (non-salt) mines. Salt mines have a stable air temperature, low humidity and lack airborne pollutants like pollen. His successor studied the information and opened up a spa at the mine.

The Dead Sea has been known for its health benefits for thousands of years. Salt therapy is said to improve skin conditions, respiratory problems, allergies and other ailments. Today, Dead Sea salts are used in everything from facial cleansers to foot scrubs.

The walls and floor of the Salt Suite are covered with imported Dead Sea salt and a machine called a Halogenerator circulates a dry salt aerosol made up of microscopic salt particles through the room. The treatment is noninvasive and drug and chemical free.

You enter the clean, sterile, air-purified (fresh, never recycled) room and sit in a comfortable zero-gravity chair. You wear your own socks or they will give you a (clean) pair. There is no smell at all; the beach smells saltier than the room. I have a hard time sitting still, so what I thought was going to be a torturous 45-minute session ended up being a much needed lesson in “me” time. The room is charged with negative ions and it is immediately relaxing. There are iPod loaners with headphones in case you forget your own. They also have reading lights. I caught up on my magazines, but next time, I’ll just nap.

After the session, I spoke with a man that said he’s been coming every day for six weeks and has noticed a major improvement in his asthma and post-nasal drip. I also talked to a parent that said her child’s eczema is improving. The Salt Suite has a separate glassed-in room with toys for children. I also spoke with the Salt Suite yoga instructor (they have a separate yoga room with salt wall) and I’m intrigued about doing yoga in that environment. Yoga has a lot of deep breathing, so I can see how the salt wall would help and promote the benefits.

The staff was really knowledgeable and friendly and you can tell that they really believe in the product. While it is not a cheap service by any means, (click here for prices), there are people who say their skin conditions have cleared up and they are breathing better than ever. So if you have any of the aforementioned ailments, it is worth a shot. The first session is free. As for me, I’m very excited for my yoga session next week, and it is something I plan on continuing in the future.

More on the science behind salt therapy will be featured in the November 2012 issue of Boca Raton magazine.

In northern Palm Beach County, there is a salt therapy center at: Breathe Salt & Yoga (Shoppes at Fisherman’s Wharf, 287 E. Indiantown Road, Suite B4, Jupiter; www.breathesaltandyoga.com; 561/972-6514).