New Jersey's first Salt Wellness Center, offering a natural, drug-free technique to help alleviate numerous chronic respiratory problems, will open its doors here on May 30th.

The Respira Salt Wellness Center is based on a natural technique that helps alleviate several chronic health issues such as: allergies, asthma, bronchitis, colds, smoker's cough, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sinus infections, ear infections, and eczema.

Also known as Halotherapy, the treatment for respiratory difficulties dates back more than a hundred years in Europe. Beginning in the mid-1800s, miners and people suffering from respiratory illnesses were sent to mineral salt caves to improve their impaired breathing. Halotherapy reproduces the underground atmosphere of these caves, using state-of-the-art equipment to produce a fine dry mist of natural salt in a highly controlled environment.

Respira Salt Wellness Center will offer three separate treatment rooms, which recreate the mood and appearance as well as the atmosphere of the original salt caves. Sparkling salt and salt crystals will line the walls and floors. The adult rooms will be furnished with comfortable zero-gravity reclining chairs.

The treatment is not a replacement for traditional medical techniques. Rather, it complements traditional medical treatment to provide additional relief from these and other health problems.

While Respira Salt Wellness Center is the first such center to open in New Jersey, one of them recently opened in Manhattan and was featured in the New York Times on Feb. 18, 2010 (

The NYC center was also highlighted on ABC-TV (Reference

While salt wellness centers are new to this country, their popularity has been growing in Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Israel. A Halotherapy center in London was highlighted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on the CNN program "Vital Signs." A video of this review by Dr. Gupta is available on the Respira website,

The new Respira Salt Wellness Center in Berkeley Heights is owned and operated by local residents Tal and Etya Novik. Along with their two school-aged children, the Noviks have visited salt wellness centers in the U.S, Canada and Israel and have experienced their beneficial results.

"One of Respira's rooms is specifically designed for infants and children" said Novik. "Kids play in the salt just like they do with sand on the beach. They don't even realize they're getting a treatment while they are reading, drawing, playing with toys, and listening to music."

Children are more prone to breathing problems because their respiratory system is not fully developed before the age of 9. The narrowness of nasal passageways in children and their higher risk of picking up viruses contribute to these breathing difficulties.

"The good news is that children respond quickly to salt room treatments, which are 100% drug-free and non-invasive," said Novik. "Salt therapy helps reduce inflammation, open clogged passageways, loosen up congestion, and kill germs and bacteria."

As a way of introducing Respira Salt Wellness Center to the community, the Noviks are offering a courtesy visit at no charge. This introductory offer is available on the Respira website. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit  or call 908.665.0333.