4 Reasons to Visit a Salt Cave This Winter
We all have that moment, usually in the dead of winter, when all we can dream about is relaxing in a beach chair, breathing in the moist, salty sea air. But what do you do when a trip to the beach isn't in the cards? You might consider spending an afternoon in a salt cave.
In some respects, a salt cave is exactly what it sounds like: a man-made cave constructed entirely of salt—usually pink Himalayan salt, to be exact, though dead sea salt is sometimes used too. But this cave isn't meant for geologists or cave divers: it's actually a spa designed to deliver a host of physical and mental benefits. Also known as "halotherapy", salt therapy has been used for centuries to treat issues ranging from respiratory illnesses to chronic fatigue, and the unique therapy has emerged as something of a trend in the past few years, with salt caves popping up in major cities and suburbs across the US.
But just what is salt therapy and why would you want to book a session? Read on as we outline all the reasons why you might want to consider swapping your traditional spa day for a visit to a salt cave.
It may help you breathe easier.
As noted above, halotherapy may help lessen the symptoms of many respiratory illnesses. How? The negative ions in the salt particles may help purify the air and increase lung capacity. Proponents of salt therapy also believe that inhaling the salt particles in the air can help reduce inflammation and lessen mucus production, making it easier to breathe. As such, many fans of halotherapy are people who suffer from asthma, allergies, chronic sinus congestion, and COPD. Salt also has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties as well, meaning you might want to schedule a visit during flu season.
Of course, as great as the Himalayan salt benefits are, a trip to a salt room isn't a cure or a replacement for a trip to the doctor. But if you just want to be able to breathe a little better for an afternoon, it might be worth a shot.
It can make your skin look great.
This may be the most recognized of Himalayan salt benefits. 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. Though it might sound counterintuitive (you'd think sitting in a salty room would dry out your skin), mineral salts actually do the opposite, helping to attract moisture to skin. Combine that with the natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of Himalayan salt, and you create conditions that have the potential to help clear up issues like eczema and psoriasis.
It can cure the winter blues.
Salt cave experts say that spending just 45 minutes inside a salt cave is roughly the equivalent of spending two whole days at the beach. If the thought of that doesn't already boost your mood, consider this: 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, and seasonal affective disorder.
It's super cozy.
If a salt cave has you picturing a dark, damp cavern, think again. Salt caves are actually beautiful spaces with walls, floors, and ceilings constructed entirely out of rosy, glittering salt. Some salt rooms have warm lamps that make you feel like you're lounging by candle light, while others are kept darker and boast ceilings decorated with glowing stars.
When one of our former beauty editors visited a salt cave in 2014, she found hers outfitted with zero gravity chairs, and even a fireplace constructed entirely of salt. Soft music and plush blankets made the experience even cozier. The entire experience feels a little like combining a trip to the beach with a stay in a mountain lodge—and that may be enough of a reason to visit, all by itself.