ROANOKE, Va. – A trip to the beach without the humidity -- that’s what it’s like inside of the Star City’s first salt cave.
It’s a project that’s been a long time in the making for Crystal’s Healing Hands Massage, and now it’s almost complete. Starting this weekend, the salt cave will be used as a type of therapy at the massage salon using a process called halotherapy.
A small machine inside of the salt spa, called a halo generator, grinds a medical grade salt into a very fine dust, releasing it into the air.
It’s just one of several sources of salt that visitors to the spa will breathe in an allowed to settle on their skin during the 45-minute sessions.
“Being in the room with salt around you, you’re going to have the negative ions,” says Crystal Stoots, owner of Crystal’s Healing Hands Massage. “We'll have salt on the floor, it will be like 3 inches of salt. It’ll be like sand that you walk on. There will also be salt bricks on the wall, that puts off negative ions.”
Each brick covering the walls was cut to size and put in place, piece by piece. Lights behind the bricks help to heat up the salt and disperse those negative ions into the air.
Salt therapy has been practiced since the 18th century, as a process that involves and healing dry salt. Researchers say salt caves can help clear the airways and clean the skin to alleviate symptoms of some common illnesses.
“Studies have found that it really makes a difference for COPD,” says Stoots. “For the mucus, it helps to break it down and to break the inflammation down. It also helps with skin conditions, so anything from Acme to psoriasis. And for anxiety, the negative ions help the nervous system calm down.”
Stoots says it's like a toothbrush for your bronchial tubes and lungs, working to clear out any inflammation or mucus that may have built up. It can even help with snoring.
People are encouraged to come in their everyday clothes, you don’t have to wear workout clothes or change clothes to get into this salt cave. If you’re coming because of skin issues like psoriasis or eczema, wear shorts and a tank top to make sure the areas that have issues are exposed.
One session is 45 minutes and costs $35.
For more information on the therapy or to book an appointment, click here.