What Is a Salt Cave, and How Can It Help Us Heal?

What Is a Salt Cave, and How Can It Help Us Heal?


Working with the elements can help us ground emotionally and access a deeper connection with ourselves. Learn how salt caves can support our emotional health.

As spiritual beings having a human experience, our deepest healing is often accessed when we’re able to ground ourselves in our environment. While we have the power to drop in at any moment, the structures of our modern world often keep us separated from this presence. Whether it's the stream of notifications popping up on our phones or the drum of everyday noise pollution that comes with urban living, there’s no shortage of things competing for our attention. That’s why working with the elements and intentionally creating healing spaces can be so powerful. Utilizing the power of a salt cave can help us do just that.

Why Salt Caves?

For thousands of years, salt caves and salt therapy have been used by many cultures as tools for healing. However, in the 19th century, the healing potential of salt caves began to be analyzed more closely as salt miners noticed respiratory health benefits that were ultimately traced back to the salt mine’s microclimate. Today, healing centers across the word recreate the unique microclimates of natural salt mines in the form of indoor salt caves to facilitate healing for visitors.

Each man-made salt cave will have its own aesthetic, but they typically function in the same way: Medical-grade salt (sodium chloride) is ground into extremely fine micro particles and aerosolized into the dedicated salt cave space where clients book sessions to unwind, relax, and simply breathe.

While many people spend time in salt caves in search of relief from respiratory health symptoms, the modality’s absorption into the world of holistic health and energy healing leaves one to wonder, is there more to it than what’s going on in our lungs?

This question is what brought me to the Adirondack Salt Cave in Glens Falls, New York. Unconcerned about my respiratory health but seeking a way to go deeper into my spiritual practice and energy work, I arrived at the salt cave for an Akashic Records workshop with my friends (and curiosity) in tow.

Dropping Into the Salt Cave

“Halotherapy clears the mind and clears the air, and that really just opens your heart space,” said Shamballa Multidimensional Healing Master Nanci Choppa Bevilacqua, who facilitated our session in the salt cave. “I don't know if you felt it, but I feel really vulnerable in that space. I feel wide open, and that just brings such a sense of clarity and power.”

As she spoke about this sense of expansion, I recognized the feeling she was talking about. Settling into the salt cave, I felt my body acclimate to the environment, sensation rising up in my face and throat, demanding me to bring my awareness and focus into the present moment. Feeling the immediacy of that physical response helped me appreciate the intentionality that was driving the experience—not unlike the alchemy that happens in a yoga class. Struck, too, was I by the intentionality of the space itself. Knowing the salt cave was curated as a safe vessel for us to sit with our spirits made it easy to accept the invitation.

“We need the elementals to help us with our power and our healing,” said Bevilacqua. “We need the water. We need the air. We need the fire. And that salt cave with the negative ions—just 45 minutes gives you the negative ions and salt air that it would take for three days at the ocean.”

As Bevilacqua invoked the ocean, she touched on an important truth: Our bodies and our minds know when we’re in a healing environment. Anyone who’s ever been to the sea knows the feelings of centeredness it inspires within us.

Whether we bring ourselves to the seaside or book an appointment at a salt cave, there’s a part of us that’s seeking healing.

“I would go for peace and tranquility,” said Bevilacqua. “And just for the moment of not being judged and for being able to drop into that space deeply and genuinely. When you're in a space like that, you find yourself being authentic.”

Bringing the Spirit of the Salt Cave Home

A trip to a salt cave can be deeply fortifying. If there isn’t one in your local community, you can still find ways to bring salt therapy into your spiritual practice. Bevilacqua offered tips on how to get started.

“Something I tell people is even if you just get one salt lamp, it still emits negative ions,” she said. “Even just putting Himalayan rock salt on the floor—I had a client that designed a box and she put salt on the bottom of the box, and she would sit with her feet on the salt. We would do meditations through that, and it was really helpful.”

Practicing grounding with salt can also open you up to expanding your practice with other elements.

Walk barefoot,” said Bevilacqua. “Go outside. I'm constantly talking with the trees and working with the wind and breathing in the fresh air.”

Over time, these salt cave-inspired rituals can help us better access the moments of peace and tranquility our souls and bodies crave.

“Getting away from the electronics and stepping into the elements to ask for that blessing is so powerful,” said Bevilacqua. “That’s why we need these spaces.”

Learn about the benefits of float therapy for anxiety.

What Is a Salt Cave and How Can It Help Us Heal

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