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.
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.