holistic healing

I Tried It: An Hour Of Salt Therapy In A Cave

...and the experience cleansed me physically and emotionally.

For me, the stars truly aligning means that I have an appointment to lay shoulder-to-shoulder with my best friend under blankets in a glowing pink Himalayan salt cave at the tail end of a week where my through-the-roof anxiety brought on an upper respiratory virus, that, in turn, triggered a rare case of mild Bell’s palsy. 

Curious to see if the benefits around salt therapy lived up to the hype (i.e. much needed relaxation and de-stressing), my good friend and I paid a visit to Montauk Salt Cave in New York’s East Village. The place was styled to look like the laidback Hamptons beach town it’s named for (and the home of their flagship Cave): White walls, surfer art, wood plank floors, crystals for purchase. For $45, you get 45 minutes and a choice of a large salt cave with zero gravity loungers or a smaller, private salt cave where you must lay directly in the salt crystals and gaze lazily at a starry night sky ceiling installation. We went full immersion, obviously.

According to Piper Kupersmith, who greeted us at the salt cave (and even praised the position and direction in which we chose to lay down once we settled in):
  • The salt is “anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial.”
  • Inhaling the negative ions “clears all pollens, viruses, pollutants and toxins of our lungs and nasal passageways, in essence preventing illness,” and the benefits multiply with regular visits.
  • During your session, 84 mineral elements will enter your body including “calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iodine, bromine, copper, selenium, and iron.”
  • The therapy “provides you with relief from many respiratory ailments, and allows you to get a sense of peace and serenity while simply breathing in the salt particles.”

There are fifteen linked medical studies on the website evangelizing the treatment and citing positive results in patients suffering from everything from bronchitis, chronic obstructive lung diseases and sinusitis to cystic fibrosis and asthma. Turns out the benefits of salt therapy far surpass that of de-stressing.

I walked into that salt cave with high levels of anxiety and congestion, and when I walked out—after doing salt crystal angels for a mere hour—my nasal passages and lungs were clearer than they’d felt in a week, and I was so, so relaxed. And after taking at least one over-the-counter decongestant per day for several days, I went an entire day without one. The place offers kids sessions for $40, complete with sand toys (accompanying adult is free): I am considering bringing my youngest, whose winter colds have landed him on a nebulizer five different times this season.

I can see how there are bountiful meditative qualities if you do this alone, but I had the privilege of salt-caving it with my best friend and enjoying girl talk for an entire, uninterrupted hour. No phones, computers or kids. All in all, the salt therapy experience ended up being profoundly buoying both physically and emotionally, as my congestion completely cleared and my soul was nourished from the quality one-on-one time with my friend. I am one hundred percent going back with a group of girlfriends to channel some ancestral women’s hut prehistoric vibes, and I think you should, too.

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