In modern tradition, the cure for what may ail people is found in modern medicine. That approach does not work for everyone. For some, natural remedies are the answer, such as sitting for an hour in a room lined with Himalayan salt.
Serenity Salt Cave offers the latter. Located in Goshen and housed in a small room inside In Style Salon, Owners Ronna Beck and Julie Sweetser have created a little bit of serenity and natural healing for their customers. Beck and Sweetser are sisters, and purchased the salt cave in 2019 from Sabrina Klotz.
Prompted by trying to find an alternative way to relieve Sweetser’s head cold that had lingered for a long time, Beck and Sweetser first became clients. Clinical studies indicate that inhaling the negative ions in the air of a salt cave can help with respiratory and vascular issues. Himalayan salt is considered the most pollutant-free of all salts found on Earth. It also contains 84 minerals and trace elements.
There is some evidence that salt-cave therapy can help to ease conditions such as acne, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, ear infections, circulatory issues, fatigue, eczema, psoriasis, sleep disorders, smoker’s cough, stress, anxiety, weakened immune system and more. Purveyors of the therapy do not claim to cure any of these conditions, but it can lessen the effects of these conditions on the body.
Salt acts as a detoxifier, Sweetser says. Someone with lots of toxins in their system will likely sweat profusely while in the cave. This varies by the individual.
Salt is also one of the few elements that is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It is also very absorbent, resulting in better hydration on the skin surface.
The benefits of inhaling salt particles were first documented among miners working in the salt mines and caves of Eastern Europe, according to the Salt Therapy Association. In this environment, factors such as air pressure, circulation, humidity and temperature contributed to creating a similar environment to what is found in modern salt-cave therapy. In an occupation deemed to be unhealthy, these miners were said to be in good health, with few respiratory issues and sound skin condition.
“It’s helped me with my year-round allergies,” Beck says.
She finds it most beneficial when she can sit in the salt cave a couple times per week.
Serenity Salt Cave is lit with low lights, relaxing music playing. Comfortable chairs are arranged near heated salt dome lamps for detoxification and vascular circulation. The walls are covered in panels of chunky salt-rock blocks. Course and fine-grain sand covers the floor, giving the user a textural experience from foot to head. Heated salt rocks, used to warm the areas of the body that hurt the most, are available to use, and smooth salt stones can be applied to the skin for more concentrated salt therapy.
When sitting in the salt cave, Beck and Sweetser recommend taking deep, relaxing breaths. They also discourage the use of cell phones and technology while in the cave. They say positive ions emitted from these devices lessens the benefits of the negative ions from salt-cave therapy. They also recommend staying hydrated before and after a session.
An hour in the salt cave has the same benefits as spending three days at the beach, Sweetser says. It can be so relaxing that some customers need a nap after a session, she says.
Up to six people can use the salt cave at one session. Serenity Salt Cave has also hosted parties and bridal showers.
Sessions $10 per hour and monthly memberships are available. Appointments can be made through the business’s social media, or by calling the shop at 574-534-6556, ext. 114. It is located at 508 West Lincoln Avenue in Goshen. For more information, email them at Serenitysaltcavegoshen@gmail.com.