Pink Himalayan sea salt is arguably one of the trendiest seasonings of the moment. Your avocado toast is sprinkled with it, your craft cocktail is rimmed in it; it’s everywhere.
Iodized salt is so 2002, y’all.
And while I’ve been stocking up on Himalayan sea salt at Trader Joe’s for a while now, only recently did I realize that you don’t have to necessarily cook with this trendy salt to benefit from it. You can just sit in a room made out of it and walk out a healthier, calmer person.
It’s called a “salt cave,” and I went to one during a recent trip to New York City.
I visited Floating Lotus, which offers all types of relaxing services, (most notably floatation therapy, which is a type of sensory deprivation healing treatment—basically, you float in a tank), but I was most intrigued by the pink salt cave, so I booked an appointment.
The salt cave is made of hundreds of pounds of pure Himalayan crystal salt bricks, and the air in the room is heated with an infrared heat lamp, which infuses the air with tiny particles of the therapeutic salt. Along with naturally drawing toxins out of the body, salt caves are especially helpful if you suffer from asthma or other respiratory issues—which I don’t, but the whole experience sounded extremely relaxing, so I was down.
I walked into Floating Lotus wet as a subway rat and stressed. My cheap drugstore umbrella did that inside out thing and my new purse strap came off on the way there, so I was feeling ready to get off the rainy streets of 56th Street and into Floating Lotus’s calm sanctuary.
I was taken into the salt cave, which is basically a closet-sized room made out of Himalayan salt bricks with a massage bed in the middle. If you’re claustrophobic, this may not be the salt therapy service for you. I was told I could lie in there fully clothed or not, whichever I preferred, and someone would come get me in a half hour. I was, however, instructed to move my purse from the floor to the hook on the wall, because purses on the floor give bad energy. I don’t want my purse throwing off the energy of my salt cave experience, so I quickly moved it from the floor to the hook.
It’s hot in the cave, so I took off my sweater and laid down on the bed in my bra. It’s a pleasant heat—dry, not humid, so it felt good. Calming spa music is pumped into the room, so I closed my eyes and relaxed, but then my mind started to wander—thoughts about my dinner plans that evening, and am I supposed to set the timer for 30 minutes or will they come get me? I forget. Then I focused on noticing each thought as it came into my head—not forcing it out, but just taking note of it. Slowly, I started to lean into the whole meditative aspect of the salt cave, and suddenly I am level ten ~relaxed.~
The salt cave, while tiny, is beautiful. The translucent pink sea salt bricks create this womb-like vibe, which is really very comforting. I had no sense of time in there, and I felt as if I could have stayed all day. Eventually, I heard a knock on the door and I knew my time was up. After dressing, I walked outside of the salt cave room and immediately could feel the difference. I felt markedly calmer, like it would take a boulder to knock off my equilibrium.
So, bottom line? My salt cave experience was absolutely therapeutic, although my form of detox was more mental than physical. My purse strap broke again on the subway ride home, and I didn’t even bat an eye. I spent the rest of the day in a more blissed-out state than I would have had I not salt caved it up. So, that alone made it worthwhile.
For more information on Floating Lotus and salt cave therapy, visit their website.