I was so excited to learn that there was a Himalayan salt cave located near the university where my daughter would be attending class in Bowling Green, KY. Interestingly enough, visiting a salt cave was a new bucket list item for me, and I had just learned about them a few months ago.
The concept of the cave intrigued me: skin benefits, release of toxins and negative energy, and support for the respiratory system.
During my research, I had made a list of some of the more specific benefits that Himalayan salt caves have to offer:
- Clears respiratory and sinus issues, reducing symptoms of allergies and asthma.
- Builds the immune system. Possible protection from the flu, since salt also has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
- The salt has upwards of 84 minerals that can be absorbed through the skin, so you’re actually nourishing your body as you relax and breathe deeply. It can also help the skin absorb moisture. Can help with acne, eczema and other skin conditions.
- A salt cave is roughly the equivalent of spending two whole days at the beach.
- The negative ions in the air may help boost your mood and give you more energy. Some visitors find it helps them with issues such as insomnia, stress, anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder.
- Increases focus.
- Improves lung capacity and blood flow.
- Reduces the frequency of migraine and tension headaches.
The “cave” is actually a man-made cave. Believe it or not, it’s located in a strip mall and it is also home to a yoga studio. On their website I read that it’s composed of 6 tons of Himalayan sea salt!
When I arrived I told the lady I had a Groupon. (Look into this – it saved me $16.) I made sure to get there about ten minutes before my start time which worked out perfectly. They had several procedures to explain to me and it allowed time to pay and place any belongings back in my car.
You will be asked to take off your shoes and put on fuzzy socks which are provided. This is to help keep from compromising the integrity of the salt floor. You place the socks in a hamper when you exit. There are cubbies for you to place your shoes or bag if you have one.
You are also discouraged from bringing your phone in the cave since salts and electronics don’t mix. I had one of the employees take a couple of photos for me and then handed my phone over to them.
One thing that surprised me is that as you enter, the floor is ground salt and feels like sand under your feet. I expected the floor to be solid and hard, so I stumbled a bit when I entered. Once I realized it was soft, I found it very satisfying.
Someone will help you to your chair which is like reclining lounge chair similar to one you might find at the pool. They will cover you with a blanket, and explain that they also turn on a special type of humidifier that releases particles of therapeutic grade Himalayan salt into the air.
There are light panels in the wall and also in the ceiling above you. They supposedly emit a color light that is supposed to help relax you. I find I need to close my eyes to meditate and kept my eyes closed most of the session, so not sure how much I benefited from that. There is music playing that seemed to affect my mood and frequency – in a good way- I am sure it was intentional and part of the experience.
You may be in the cave with people you don’t know, which honestly concerned me a bit. I had intended on meditating while in the cave and I worried that someone might make noises that would distract me. That was not the case at all. Everyone was as silent as church mice and seemed to have the same intention.
The first five minutes I noticed my sinuses completely clear and drainage initially, followed by some of the clearest breathing I’ve had in recent memory. I did struggle with clearing my mind somewhat. My mind would wander, and then clear for about the first half of my time in the cave. Thoughts kept creeping in. The second half of the time, I was presence, clear of thought and felt tingly all over, totally at ease. I also went in with a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and didn’t have any tension when I left.
I picked up a schedule and was excited to see that they have “kids in the cave” experiences and also yoga in the cave. I have already shared the details with my husband and he is eager to try it himself.
Here is the website for the salt cave I visited where you can find out more information and book your own visit.