Pictured: Salt crystals are seen in the Dead Sea in Israel, 3 January 2019. Photo credit: Ralf Steinberger via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Can Dead Sea salt keep away the flu by boosting your immune system? Victoria Jakobek’s customers at the Salzgrotte in Junglinster think so.
In an unassuming corner of Junglinster, you’ll find the Salzgrotte, a haven for relaxation and therapy. Created by Polish-born Victoria Jakobek, who came to Luxembourg 25 years ago, it contains 3.5 tonnes of the white crystalline delivered directly from the Dead Sea.
“I grew up in Krakow, which is close to the salt mines in Wieliczka. I discovered the health benefits of salt in my early childhood as it was in direct proximity. After I moved here, I wanted to bring this alternative form of therapy to the people in Luxembourg and for them to recognise the health benefits of salt for strengthening their immune system while drifting away into deep relaxation,” explains Jakobek.
The salt grotto's unique microclimate and sheer whiteness offer a place of calm, whilst breathing in all the minerals, Jakobek believes, enhances the body’s defences.
Jakobek used a Polish company called Zdrowa Grota to transform the salt into a cave. The walls are made from pressed salt, the ceiling is covered in stalactites, also made from salt, and the floor is covered with 20cm of salt. Visitors are invited to sit on recliners, listen to calming music and just relax. Light therapy, in the form of gentle colours that change from warm reds, yellows and oranges to cooler violets, blues and indigos, creates a womb-like ambience.
“One session lasts 45 to 50 minutes. To ensure that our visitors feel at ease and are able to switch off completely, we book the entire salt cave per booking request. Regardless of whether you come alone or with the entire family, you will not be sharing the space with strangers. I believe that the soothing effect of the salt cave is enhanced when sessions are kept private,” says Jakobek.
Salt therapy clients
The salt cave is recommended as therapy for people with bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis, allergies, skin disorders such as psoriasis, cardiac and rheumatic complaints, sleeping disorders, thyroid dysfunction, and even stress, depression or exhaustion.
Her customers include people of all ages, from young families to older people, and those with skin problems or respiratory complaints. “Families with kids as young as 3 months are amongst our recurring visitors. Older people are also interested in this as an alternative to a regular spa.” The Salzgrotte also welcomes groups from elderly homes and senior clubs.
The Salzgrotte also offers reflexology sessions in the cave, in addition to shiatsu, reiki, hot stone and other types of massage which are given elsewhere on the premises.
Jakobek says: “Over the years, I’ve noticed for myself, and it has been confirmed to me many times, that the salt therapy does have a remarkable effect on the immune system as well as on general health. The air in the cave contains high amounts of iodide and minerals. In other words, it mimics the climate you can find at the seaside. As this country is completely landlocked, I wanted to create a place which is equally beneficial for people in and around Luxembourg.”