My phone and all other electronics remain in a locker outside the cave. Although I share the 18-by-16-foot cave with 11 other people, the lack of connection to the outside world soothes me. With my legs wrapped in a wool blanket and headphones whispering sounds of ocean waves, I wonder, Has pampering myself ever felt this good?
“This world is way too stressful,” says owner Amy Wojciechowski. “I just want to give people some time to get away from everything and de-stress.”
Hence, Wojciechowski’s ban on electronics. “If you’re sitting on your phone and reading your email, your breathing is a lot different.”
And breathing is key. I fill my lungs as a generator gently heats the salt, which releases particles containing 84 essential minerals into the air. Inhaling these elements, which include calcium, iron and magnesium, is said to ease about 20 ailments, including acne, arthritis, anxiety and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
“You can get the same benefits by sitting in the cave for 45 minutes as you can sitting by the beach for three days,” says Wojciechowski. “The vitamins and minerals are just amazing for your health and skin.”
When Wojciechowski started Mentor Salt Cave in July, she tapped Margaret Smiechowski for the design. Smiechowski became an expert on Himalayan salt caves after years of studying their construction and use in Europe, where their therapeutic benefits have been heralded for decades.
“Even the ceiling was sprayed with a salt compound and the floor has 6 inches of salt crystals so you are literally surrounded,” Wojciechowski says.
As I leave the cave’s salt-infused air, my sinuses feel clearer, my breathing easier and my thoughts more focused. Still, after only one session, I’m wondering what other powers the cave might hold.
“We’ve had people with chronic pain come in and now they don’t even need [pain medicine] anymore,” Wojciechowski says. “There’s nothing in there that can hurt you. It can only help you.”
in the cle
8:00 AM EST
March 12, 2018