Breathe easy: Salt cave treatment beats smog, exhaust fumes…
Salt Therapy is a DRUG-FREE high dispersion saline aerosol microclimate treatment. It is a therapeutic method based on the principle of natural salt cave s microclimate, which is prolonged exposure to the specific microclimate of caves, salt mines. It is a method where dry salt aerosol plays an important role in the relief of health problems and is used for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, asthma, sinusitis and other respiratory problems. This is the only method which eliminates the disadvantages of existing healing options.
Salt Therapy performed in The Salt Cave is a drug free treatment method. While modern pharmaceuticals provide effective relief from chronic diseases, there are serious side effects associated with repeated or prolonged use. Continuous drug therapy is associated with the possible development of allergic or toxic reactions, development of antibiotic tolerant species of microorganisms, spreading of dysbiosis and long term immune system destruction.
Lie back in the lounge chair, breathe in the fresh air that carries the smell and taste of ocean salt. Relaxed yet?
You could be vacationing by the Dead Sea on an Israeli beachfront, or lapping up the luxury at a sea-side villa in Maui — but that’s where your imagination steps in. The peace and harmony from taking in the sea air, in this case, comes from a salt cave spa in a strip plaza in the suburbs of Toronto.
At High Care Wellness Centre in Mississauga, the cave — it does appear to be an underground cave, but it’s more like a movie set with ambient lighting, 12 metres from a parking lot — has hard rock salt on the walls and a deep layer of salt crystals like thicker grains of sand covering the floor. The textured crystals are mined from the Himalayas, the Dead Sea and Poland, where salt therapy dates back to the 16th century when salt miners claimed relief from respiratory problems.
Salt, since ancient times, is noted for its medicinal power. It has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; it’s reputed to cleanse the respiratory system and calm the nerves — who wouldn’t want that? So, we can de-stress and fight the effects of air pollution on our lungs and airways at the same time. The temperature is kept at 18 degrees C, not hot, but better for the body to heal and absorb the salt nutrients. While the therapy isn’t new with natural and man-made salt caves featured at spas in Europe and used as a venue for meditation and massage therapy, it is novel to North Americans. This salt cave is the first in Ontario where you can lounge in the cave or participate in an intimate yoga class, really focusing on those belly-deep breaths.
“All the minerals work together for healing,” says Jadwiga Rutkowska-Klepacz, centre operator. Not just iodine that we readily associate with table salt, but calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper and bromine all are part of the salt experience. We still need our vegetables, but this can only help.
She opened the centre just over a year ago when her husband, a truck driver, couldn’t find relief from his respiratory illness, the result of exhaust fumes while on the job, she says. The couple came to Canada from Poland and they were familiar with the treatment.
“The salt cave really helps. It’s environmentally-friendly and more natural than taking medication,” she says.
When I, the curious style writer, sampled a treatment I was told to embrace the quiet of the cave — don’t talk — and take deep breaths, especially by the waterfalls. There are two mini waterfalls where salted mist is sprayed into the room and you can stand by them in your stocking feet (no salt-crushing shoes allowed, please) and fill your lungs with the air. Mostly, though, you can rest and find your inner calm in one of the deck chairs, wrapping yourself in a blanket if you like and drift off for a good nap. One “inhalation session” is 50 minutes for $35, while a series of six is $160. Worth its salt?
“It’s a miracle, I can breathe deep. I’m not taking medication for my asthma is gone,” says Vicki Luckie, 71, of Toronto. She’s been a regular at the cave for five months.
Another easy convert who has emphysema says he wants to bring his grandchildren in to try a treatment. “I noticed it right away. I used to go outside and I’d have to use my puffer in 10 minutes. Even on the cooler days I’d have trouble breathing,” says Lawrence McBrearty of Brampton. Now he’s puffer-free and able to walk up stairs without becoming short of breath.
For me, without respiratory problems and in general good health, I felt refreshed, although that’s what lounging in dim lights would probably do for me in most cases. Although I must say, I slept really well that night and my skin looked better, more dewy, than before the treatment.
Salt Cave Bangkok
At The Manor Sukhumvit 39
32 Sukhumvit 39, Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok 10110 Thailand