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The Positivity of Salt: A Visit to a Modern Salt Cave

At Salthaus NY, we enjoyed a distraction-free hour in an Instagram-worthy environment sitting with the healing power of salt.

When choosing how to spend one hour in wellness, how do we spend it? We can sweat it out, run it off, ride it through, lift, stretch, swim, be facialed or massaged, sit in ceremony, etc. There are seemingly endless choices. This week we tried something new: salt therapy.

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Salt caves have been used for thousands of years for their invigorating effect on health. In today’s modern version, the cave is a plushy spa-like room with reclining chairs, a deep bed of salt to sift your toes through, soft music, an eye mask, and a blanket. As I’m writing, I would like to be back there, and that’s a hint to one of the less ‘sciencey’ reasons to be salt positive. We left feeling refreshed and nourished, like something good had been added in, versus just detoxed out.

A Natural Healer, Especially for Respiratory Issues

Here’s the science: salt is naturally anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Dry salt therapy, aka halotherapy, is a natural therapy using micro particles of salt to boost overall wellness, promote better breathing and healthier skin, and relieve a number of issues (like congestion from a cold and eczema). There are at least 30 scientifically backed things that salt therapy can help remedy.

Like Three Days at the Beach

According to Salthaus NY co-founder Amber Berger, the salty goodness absorbed in just one 45-minute session (about $40) feels like three days at the beach (albeit one could argue that three days at the beach isn’t an all bad…).  

Why so efficient? Because behind the scenes there is a machine (called a halogenerator) that actively grinds dry salt and pumps micro particles into the air. As you breathe, salt reaches the deepest part of the lungs to absorb bacteria and pollutants, and work on inflammation.

A Softer You, Inside and Out

Because salt is a gentle defoliant, the salt landing on your skin helps slough off dead skin so healthier skin can surface. But there is also another kind of softening. The kind that happens when you step back from incessant to-do energy and have less clamoring for your attention. There is literally nothing you have to do in a salt room. Just sit and breathe. There is also nothing special you have to wear (no need to pack gym clothes), and you don’t need to shower afterwards. All of your time is spent “in treatment.” A meditation without meditation.

A Restorative Time Out

It’s hard to underestimate the power of a really good time out. It used to be that we had places to go to catch our breath, like a café, but now these are work places, and the music is loud. By the time I left, I felt like I had had a really good nap. I quite like the lingering saltiness that I could taste, and feel on my skin.

…An Option to Make It Social

Salt therapy can be social, if you want to be. In our case, we were joined by Amber’s 9-year-old son, who was caught in between doctor’s appointments and home. He arrived looking a little draggy — like you do when you’re fighting a cold — and by the end he had a little sparkle. He also, amazingly, sat in calm attention the whole time. The trend: men more often go alone, women are more apt to bring friends.

As for the pink Himalayan salt that covers the floor and the salt bricks that line the room, these make for a perfect IG moment — if your phone was allowed in with you, which it’s not, thank goodness.

In New York, salthausny.com

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Patricia Garcia-Gomez
Patricia Garcia-Gomez
Patricia Garcia-Gomez is a writer and artist working with visual media and sound. She is the editor of Travel by Ageist and a contributor to the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and The Private Journal (Europe). Her work is also part of the permanent archives of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Buhl Collection, and The Harwood Museum in New Mexico.

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