2010-02-25 / Healthy Living

Inside the Naples Salt Cave

Therapeutic properties of ‘salt cocoon’ touted
BY KELLY MERRITT
Special To Florida Weekly

The walls and ceiling of the 25-by-25-foot Salt Cave in North Naples are covered with imported Himalayan pink crystal salt. The new business draws participants for its medicinal and relaxing properties. Patrons of salt cave therapy say it rejuvenates their bodies and treats a multitude of aliments. COURTESY PHOTO The walls and ceiling of the 25-by-25-foot Salt Cave in North Naples are covered with imported Himalayan pink crystal salt. The new business draws participants for its medicinal and relaxing properties. Patrons of salt cave therapy say it rejuvenates their bodies and treats a multitude of aliments. COURTESY PHOTO “It’s recharged my batteries.” “I just feel better since I’ve been experiencing it.” “It’s helped me with my sinuses.” These are just a few things people are saying about the Salt Cave in Naples. But what is it? How does it work? Who does it work for? Answers can be found from as far back as hundreds of years before Christ.

“Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea,” said Pythagoras, whom the Stanford Encyclopedia calls one of the most famous early Greek thinkers. Today, salt remains one of the purest elements, and salt cave therapy is practiced in Europe, Russia and Scandinavia.

Natural salt caves are found in areas with elevated salt contents, like the Dead Sea and the Black Sea. Salt therapy dates back thousands of years, when people took the sick to natural salt caves for healing. Extensive records exist of the curative properties of salt caves, and also of the positive effects saline atmospheres had on salt mine workers.

Man-made salt caves like the one Andrea Geresdi has created in Naples, are becoming popular with people who suffer from skin problems like psoriasis, acne and eczema, to respiratory afflictions including. Salt therapy, which is also called halotherapy, has been used to treat allergies and even snoring.

In Naples, the Salt Cave draws participants for its medicinal and relaxing properties. Patrons of salt cave therapy say it rejuvenates their bodies and treats a multitude of aliments.

In Tade Bua-Bell’s case, halotherapy has helped her overcome an upper respiratory infection she’s battled for months.

“I’ve had a sinus infection on and off since August, and have been on and off antibiotics for months,” said the busy Premier Properties Realtor. An ear, nose and throat doctor had suggested Bua-Bell have surgery, which she saw as a last resort. “I’d tried everything, but this seems to be working and I feel more alert.”

Exposure to salt caves allows the body to naturally absorb magnesium, calcium, iodine, iron and potassium, all elements that we need to function in a healthful manner. Salt has also long been known to present an anti-aging therapy whereby the salt serves to clean and restore properties in the skin.

There is a difference between table salt and the original form of salt. Natural salt has spent millions of years crystallizing in the Earth. Table salt is just sodium chloride with additives, which has become industrialized. Salt caves incorporate wholesome, natural salt that has been used as a holistic remedy for centuries.

Regardless of the results the salt cave offers, walking in from the bustle of U.S. 41 into the serene environment brings about a quiet, peaceful feeling. The atmosphere in the cave conjures images of ages past where ancients brought the weary to recover from what ailed them. The hermetic salt room is otherwise known as a salt cave or salt cocoon. Here, fresh and dry salt aerosol is constantly blown into the air by liris halogenerators. The floor, walls and even the ceiling are all covered with fine crystal salt

More than 20 tons of salt have gone into the making of the Naples Salt Cave, including the large salt rocks along the walls and positioned in the wooden crates, another “ancient” touch. The Himalayan pink crystal salt and subtle lighting bathe the entire room in a hint of the color.

The salt concentration in the air is about the same as the consistency of salty morning air on the beach. In the salt cave, saline consistency can be varied for desired cures. Massive amounts of dry rock salt create a unique microclimate indistinguishable from that in underground salt caves.

The Salt Cave in Naples also features other treatments, including salt scrubs and massages and honey detox massage, which first appeared in ancient Tibet. Therapists also offer cupping therapy, widely used in traditional Chinese medicine and Gua Sha, an East Asian healing technique, as well as acupuncture and acupressure massage. Group yoga, which takes place in the salt cave, and guided meditation are also features of the Naples Salt Cave. Salt Cave sessions last 45 minutes and range in price from $45 for a single session, to $35 for five sessions, and $25 per session for 10 sessions. 

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