Salt Therapy Comeback
Ancient cure-all is converting skeptics.
A month ago Vasili Kulikov couldn't have imagined he'd be spending two to three hours a week in a room covered in salt.
Now the businessman, who suffers from skin and sleep problems, says he's a firm believer in the healing powers of salt.
The Salt Chalet in Encino, California is among a handful of salt therapy rooms in the country that are trying to revive a centuries-old treatment.
"We have people who, after the first session are completely cleared up. These are people with chronic conditions," says co-owner Dikla Kadosh.
Salt rooms have been popular since the medieval times, especially with people suffering from skin and respiratory problems.
Pulmonologists say it's with good reason.
"Salt solutions and vaporized salt has this property which thins out thick secretions," explains Dr. Zab Mosenifar.
Still, Mosenifar says highly effective drugs have replaced the need for salt rooms.
"The truth of the matter is that there is a grain of science in this - but a pound of hyperbole," he says.
A 45-minute salt therapy session costs about as much as a massage, and they recommend you get at least 12 treatments to get the full benefits.
Dermatologist Joyce Fox says you could probably spend 12 days at the beach and get similar benefits.
"I say honestly, it's an alternative therapy. I have no data to support it, no clinical studies," she says.
If you ask Kulikov, his clear skin is all the proof he needs.
"For me, I just try something. If it works, great. That's my science," he says.