Salt therapy has been used for centuries across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Salt therapy is enjoying a newfound popularity, both in the US and abroad. Also called halotherapy, it is said to relieve all sorts of medical conditions ranging from respiratory illnesses such as asthma, COPD, and bronchitis to skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. It's also been proven as a treatment for Cystic Fibrosis, suggested for ADHD, weakened immune systems, thyroid disorders and arthritis. Salt chambers, or caves, have been popping up all over the place. These caves offer healing experiences in the most relaxing of environments. With thanks to modern technology today's salt caves can recreate the same microclimate found in natural salt mines.
Natural Himalayan salt has over 80 natural restorative minerals that are extremely beneficial to the human body when ingested as well as when inhaled. Himalayan salt is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and acts as an anti-inflammatory.This salty environment creates a healthy negative ion charge in the particles, which are inhaled into the body and absorbed into the skin. These particles work throughout the body to expel mucus, and push out toxins.
I recently learned about Saltana Cave in Ridgefield and wanted to experience the healing powers of salt. I had no idea what to expect. I thought cave and I thought cold and dark, but I was very wrong. While the cave is indeed dark, lit up only by special himalayan salt lights strategically placed on the walls, creating warm pink hues, on the floors and one was made to resemble a make-shift fireplace. The walls of the cave are made entirely of blocks of pink himalayan salt. The ceiling was created to resemble a starry sky at night. Below you'll notice several inches of pink Himalayan salt, about the size of small pebbles. The salt was lovely to walk on.
The room was comfortably warm - much more so that I expected. I immediately felt the difference in the air quality – and the smell, much like a clean, fresh ocean breeze. A salt generator is used to create the halotherapy (natural healing through salt).
I was guided to a zero gravity chair, handed a blanket, and told to make myself comfortable and relax. I reclined my chair as far as it would go and even though I was not cold I placed the blanket on top of me. I was told that in a few minutes I would be listening to a tape that would tell me about the healing powers of salt. The short lecture came to an end and transitioned into some incredibly relaxing New Age Music . I was so relaxed that I drifted in and out of sleep - not a deep sleep but a deeply relaxed trance-like mode. I do not relax or unwind easily. My brain is always abuzz and always running at warp speed. I have a very hard time tuning out during yoga yet here I was able to do so easily.
As far as the beneficial and therapeutic part of the session, I'm not really sure I could pinpoint anything. Though while I am not asthmatic, I could tell me breathing was much deeper and cleaner. My thoughts were lucid, clearer and that could have been a result of the salt therapy or the fact that I was incredibly relaxed. I don't think I’ve ever felt quite so relaxed after yoga or a massage. Coincidental or not, I felt good when I left – I felt very good.
The salt cave sessions at Saltana Cave are 45 minutes long and start every hour on the hour. It is suggested that you wear casual clothing and white socks to preserve the purity of salt. (Shoes are left outside in a cubby.) While it would be fun to experience with a friend, I was glad that I went alone. My iPhone was tucked away, there was no one nearby to distract me, and because of that I feel I really benefited from the experience. For those looking for alternate and a natural means of de-stressing, over work, life or the impending holidays, this could very well be your answer.
For many in the area Saltana is a little bit of a drive. You may want to schedule lunch or something fun to do either before or afterwards in nearby Wilton or Ridgefield.
For more information on hours of operation and pricing contact Saltana Cave. For those of you in other parts of the state, country or world, be sure to look up Helotherapy, my guess is that there's a salt cave not too far from you!