By Joanna Mechlinski.
There’s just nothing like a day at the beach. Whether you’re a child or an adult, actively swimming or simply sunbathing, chances are you’ll feel exhausted by the afternoon’s end. Your appetite’s stimulated and overall you just feel…good.
Unfortunately, most of us can’t spend as much time at the beach as we’d like. Maybe we live too far away; maybe our condition renders us unable to sit in the sun. Thankfully, there’s a treatment called halotherapy (or simply dry salt therapy) which allows people to reap similar benefits.
Overall, halotherapy is said to help detoxify the body, to support immune, nervous and lympathic system functioning, as well as reducing stress, increasing lung capacity and energy, and providing a better quality of sleep.
With halotherapy, you book a session – usually about 40 minutes long – at a spa that tries to replicate a Himalayan salt cave. When I learned there was a salt cave only about 15 minutes’ drive from my home, I was excited. A friend with lupus had tried it, and she swore the therapy helped with her illness-related fatigue. Having not only lupus but also rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, I am no stranger to living with permanent exhaustion. I’m always on the lookout for something, anything, that might help make my daily life a little easier. So I booked an appointment, figuring I had nothing to lose.
The “cave” Is literally a small dimly-lit room, kept at a comfortable 70 degrees and surrounded by tons of salt rock. You relax in a comfy beach-type chair, soft instrumental music playing in the background meshing with the faint sound of the halogenerator outside the room, grinding more dry salt and pumping microparticles back into the air. (As I breathed I became aware of a salty taste in my throat and nasal passage, almost as though I’d gotten dunked in the ocean.)
Above my head was a patch of dark “sky” filled with twinkly lights, much like a planetarium; below my feet was sand, into which I could dig my feet even though I was required to put on special cloth “socks.”
What’s more, the salt contains magnesium – the same mineral found in Epsom salts, which many swear helps alleviate their muscle and joint pains. I suffer from pain in both my muscles and joints regularly, but can’t get in and out of a tub easily, so an alternate means of getting similar benefits was especially welcome.
Per the spa’s recommendation, I arrived for my appointment wearing loose, comfortable shorts and a t-shirt, in order to allow the salt particles to reach as much of my bare skin as possible. As I sat back in my lounge chair, I was handed a blanket, though I found it unnecessary. Apparently many people actually fall asleep during their sessions; while I did indeed quickly become relaxed, I remained awake.
The time passed quickly. I left feeling a bit tired, which only increased, so that an hour later, I felt desperate to take a nap. But at the same time, I did feel more mentally clear.
In the following days, I also noted feeling more energized…not hugely, but as I said initially, I’m willing to take any step in the right direction that I can get, no matter how small. It’s important to note, however, that I only had one session; the attendant at the spa said they have regular clients who come anywhere from weekly to monthly, depending on their situations. With that in mind, I definitely plan to return soon.
Joanna promises to fill us in on her follow-up trips.
Follow on Twitter: