Unwinding in a Salt Cave

macro photography of crystal salt

I dislike caves. I don’t like going into a place that I can’t quickly get out of. Claustrophobia isn’t as bad as it used to be, but when it comes to a cave, all bets are off.

Long ago, I visited some caves on a hike with a few adults and a bunch of kids. You had to shimmy into the cave and, therefore, crawl back out. That was it for me. We told the children that Auntie Lisa would be “keeping watch” outside the cave while they went in. What I watched for was anybody’s guess. Bigfoot? Other families? The lost driver of an ice cream truck? I’d rather stare at grass growing than squish into a small crevice.

So, when my friend Jenn asked if I’d like to go with her to a salt cave, I was hesitant. Questions were asked, details given. The salt cave at Balance and Tranquility in London isn’t really a cave. It’s a cave-like room with a door and soft lighting. But once you’re inside, any semblance of a regular room vanishes because of all the salt.

Me, lying back on a lounge chair in a reddish environment with rocks and salt on the walls, and dim lighting.

It’s an experience of literally getting salty. Salt covers the walls, ceilings, and even the floor. Several types of chairs are available. Your shoes come off and you put on slippers. You’ve given a blanket to take in with you because it’s chilly, which I prefer to too hot. Jenn and I lay back on lounge chairs, pull up our blankies, and gab. Salt lamps illuminate the space, giving it a beautiful glow. And it’s soooooo relaxing.

Breathing salt particles (halotheraphy) is supposed to be good for your lungs. The first time we went, I had been experiencing mild breathing issues after a cold. My sinuses felt clearer by the time I left and for hours afterward. The next time, the attendant had just finished raking the salty floor. We both felt heavily salted! An invisible layer of salt coated our faces. I licked my lips and I tasted like roast chicken.

A Salty Bath

Flotation therapy is another way to reap the benefits of salt. The water is infused with epsom salts that keep you bouyant. The idea is to float and experience sensory deprivation. It’s a period of nothingness. I haven’t tried it yet, but I will soon.

There’s no evidence-based science to back up the lung-clearing properties touted by salt therapy. But there’s a ton of anecdotal evidence. Some people with the lung disease COPD are finding relief with salt therapy. I think of it like my Seabands for motion sickness. Many have suggested that any benefit is all in my head to which I respond, who cares? If it makes me feel better, and doesn’t hurt anyone else, that’s all that matters.

I do find it slightly ironic that I’m working hard to cut salt from my diet due to high blood pressure, but I’m choosing to sit in a room coated in salt. As long as I remember not to lick my lips, it should all balance out.

7 thoughts on “Unwinding in a Salt Cave”

  1. No scientific evidence, but those living on either coast often have fewer sinus infections on average than other Canadians given the exposure to the salt air. Similar to those with respiratory issues a drier climate can be healthier. Mental state of mind often benefits your physical state.

  2. When I read the word cave, my mind went into instant rejection mode because like you, I am also  claustrophobic. However, when I continued to read, I was all in.
    Just sent the link to my daughter. (Hopefully she won’t skip by the part where I wrote the word birthday in big bold letters.) 
    Thanks for sharing this, Lisa. I’m glad you enjoyed the experience. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *