Thursday, August 18, 2016

Taking Things with a Grain of Salt-Literally-Adventures in a Salt Cave

Bethesda Salt Cave - Bethesda, MD, United States. Inside the salt cave.
Photo from Bethesda Salt Cave

Hello folks! Yesterday I had a unique experience. My son and I went to a salt cave! Holy salt cave bat man, what’s that? Well, for the uninformed (and I am in the same boat as you until yesterday), a salt cave is literally what it sounds like. It’s a cave made from salt. Well, this was a man-made cave, it reminded me of a cheesy soap opera sound stage where the couple finds themselves trapped in a cave-salt or otherwise, and wind up making mad passionate love on the floor, while attempting to fight the evil that surrounds them. Alas, no couple, no evil, just me and my 11- year old taking a nap in a salt cave.  But let’s backtrack. Below is a description of the Bethesda Salt Cave, (from their website) where I experienced bliss in a cave.

Story of the Salt Cave
Bethesda Salt Cave is a family-owned and operated business located in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. Based on medical knowledge and experience, we have recreated the natural salt-enriched micro climate of a Himalayan salt cave. Our unique therapeutic salt cave contains salt rock crystals weighing between 2 ounces and 250 pounds each that come directly from the deepest recesses in mines located at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range.

More than 250 million years old, the rock salt crystals are the result of micro-organisms that were compounded by thousands of tons of heavy rock plates causing them to fossilize. The crystal rock salt is considered an organic food source laced with 84 different minerals and trace elements, all of which are found in the human body. The purity of the salt is retained due to the solid rock masses which created and protected it from surface water erosion. Himalayan crystal rock salt is highly acclaimed as a natural, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial agent, uncontaminated by dirt and free of toxins and pollutants.

The Secret of Salt Therapy is Simple
Bethesda Salt Cave is lined from floor to ceiling with Himalayan crystal rock salt and heated to 68 degrees. This heat generates a negative ionic charge in the salt rock which is released into the air. By breathing in and exposing our internal systems and skin to the healing negative ionic charge and to the 84 different trace elements found in the salt, our mind, body and spirit become detoxified, relaxed and recalibrated and heal on many different levels.

Why Did I Go to a Salt Cave?
Pretty simple-We have a host of eczema, asthma and allergy issues in our home. When my son came home from camp, I figured all those issues would be very prevalent, and tired of the steroid spray, Claritin, skin steroid merry- go- round, I figured it was less than a co-pay to the allergist or dermatologist. In other words, it couldn’t hurt. Now, mind you, while I’m all for alternative healing methods, I still firmly believe in conventional medicine. I am not one to ditch inhalers, or creams in search of the elusive alternative therapy cure. Rather, I am a firm proponent of using both in tandem to create a better chance of relief and recovery.

My Impressions
Loved it. Now, our experience was a bit unusual because we were the only ones in there. It was during the week in the summer and you won’t find many people flocking to a salt cave at 1:00 on a Tuesday in downtown Bethesda. So, to have the cave all to ourselves was definitely a luxury. It has zero gravity chairs and some comfortable floor cushions that my son and I chose to lay on for 45 minutes. Of course, we tried the chairs as well, but at the end of the day lying down curled under a blanket was the most comfortable. It’s quiet and cool, and if you can believe an 11 year- old turned off his electronics and took a nap-well as far as I’m concerned-that’s a cave miracle in and of itself!! Yes, he really fell asleep!

I could definitely breathe easier, my post nasal drip virtually disappeared, I didn’t have one hot flash and call me crazy, the little aches and pains I normally experience in my injured knee or back, seemed minimal. Ari, didn’t sniffle once and his itching was minimal. We both walked out of there feeling so relaxed and refreshed, it really felt good. I also slept better that night-coincidental?

Here’s the downside-I did notice that an hour later or so as we re-entered the hot, harsh and polluted world, not to mention my dusty home, all the symptoms returned. Bummer.  But, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t return. It probably takes a few more sessions to see longer lasting results.

What Does the Husband Think?

For those of you who know my skeptical husband, you can only imagine. But the thing I love about the hubby is that before he calls it new age malarkey, he will at least entertain the possibility. Of course, he hasn’t drunk the Kool Aid on new age therapies like I have, but he was interested in its potential.  Once I started spouting ionic negativity theory, he did break down in a fit of laughter, not to mention some very exaggerated eye rolling.

Would I Go Again?
Absolutely. My son loved it. It’s roughly $35. Of course I had to pay for parking.  I felt really good for most of the day and so did he.  It’s the price of a pedicure and if I had a choice, I would probably choose the cave and do a home pedi for sure.

A Few Bad Salt Puns and Idioms
1 You won’t feel A-SALT-ED. Get it?Assaulted.

2 It’s good to rub salt in your wounds, literally.

3 In the cave, one has a salter-ego 

4 A trip to the salt cave really “shakes” things up.

  A sprinkle a day keeps the mucous away. (OY)

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