By Mary Beth Breckenridge
Akron Beacon Journal
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The theory behind a “Salt Cave” is that Himalayan salt contains the same minerals as our bodies and is therefore supposed to help the body achieve a healthy balance. While little research has been done to prove the therapeutic effects of salt caves, some scientists are open-minded about the possibilities.
PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio
You know how good it feels to breathe the ocean’s salt air?
That’s what Barbara Addessi-Hostetler wants clients of her Cave-ation salt cave to experience.
The cave isn’t really a natural formation, but rather a room filled with Himalayan salt crystals. Spending time inside the tranquil environment is supposed to ease a number of physical ailments, from respiratory problems and arthritis to skin conditions and digestive issues.
Whether that’s true has yet to be proved scientifically. But there’s little debate about the good feeling that comes from spending 45 uninterrupted minutes reclining in the orangy glow of lighted crystals, soothed by the sounds of bird song and New Age music.
It’s like a mini-vacation in a suburban strip mall, which is exactly how Addessi-Hostetler came up with the Cave-ation name.
The room is dimly lighted, with peach-colored salt crystals covering the floor and larger rocks of salt lined up around the perimeter, perched on shelves and clustered beneath a mantel to give the effect of a fireplace. Many of the larger rocks are lighted from inside, producing a soft glow like firelight.
Strings of miniature white lights wrapped in burlap crisscross the high ceiling, and an indoor fountain trickles in one corner.
Two reclining chairs flank the mantel, with blankets available in case the 68- to 70-degree air starts to feel chilly. A brick pad just inside the door provides a firm surface for customers using wheelchairs or walkers, so they can experience the salt cave without having to negotiate the crystal-covered floor.