Earlier this week, Louisville Salt Cave extended a special offer to local hospitality workers: $5 halotherapy sessions.
Images of the cave resemble a pink-hued Fortress of Solitude. The intrigue of living out childhood dreams of playing Superman for the same price of the mundane, caffeinated refuge of drinking a cup of coffee in my car had me ready to book an appointment.
But before I did, I had a few hard-hitting questions that needed answering. So I e-mailed owner Nicole Bartlett. What follows are her responses, unedited and unabridged.
Can the caves replenish my electrolytes? It’s so hard to find a Gatorade flavor I like.
There really aren’t enough Gatorade flavors. We like mixing a little Sole water (Himalayan Salt and Water) with fresh lemon and a little apple cider vinegar for a good kick start to your morning. If that flavor combo doesn’t open your eyes, you can stand to be a little more salty, at least for this brave new world.
The Cave is more detoxifying, where you’re breathing in salt saturated air, so not quite the same as oral consumption for intestinal absorption. The function of the Cave is to work toward proper mucosal hygiene by breathing in salt through the nose, and deep into the lungs. There’s a technique here, but you also get the benefits if you choose to use that time for a power nap.
Does the floor make a shifting gravel sound?
It does! The salt floor is what makes up part of the 5 tons of salt used to build the space. It’s fabulous at massaging those reflexology points in the feet. Socks are required, we are not in the business of giving you an exfoliation treatment. We clean the floor by hand so we are pretty serious about those socks.
Is it possible that a person could be salty enough that by walking into the cave they actually reinvigorate its salinity?
We’re a pretty salty group and have yet to compare to the salinity that space provides. We all know salt has the ability to extract, whether used in a neti pot to break up sinus congestion or in a salt water brine to fight infections. The Cave works the same way with regard to respiratory health in serving as an expectorant, but the fun part to those of us a little more esoteric is how this works energetically.
There’s so much healing that takes place in that Cave that we can’t define, but most people come out feeling lighter, like they let go of some stuff they didn’t need to be carrying around with them anymore. We may never know what that was, where it came from, or how it got there, but she’s a beauty at helping one let go.
We’re the salt keepers, making sure she gets extra love and attention to make sure each client that comes in has the same opportunity to release and let go. We carry our saltiness as a badge of honor.
Does the cave work in the opposite way of a hot tub? Will staying in it for a month turn me into a dry-aged hunk of meat?
I’m laughing out loud. There are top chefs curing their meat in expensive salt rooms for this reason, but unlike dead carcasses, we’re living, breathing people. Breath is life. Being able to properly oxygenate the body has profoundly positive effects on our health.
Halotherapy (dry salt therapy) research suggests anywhere from 10-20 sessions consecutively to turn around conditions associated with lung and skin health. Most of our clients build their sessions into their holistic health plan visiting weekly, biweekly, or monthly, but there are definite benefits from consecutive visits for acute conditions. You’re likely not going to overdo it.
Does the cave smell like servers' tears when we tell them that the special really is 86'd and they have to tell the table they sold one to? Or is it more like the ones cooks shed in the walk-in?
More like a Salty Dog as your first shift drink between doubles. Our citrus based essential oil blends greet you when you walk in the door, then you enter the Cave where the scent is comparable to a light breeze coming off the ocean. And we’re using quite a bit of disinfectant.
The relaxation is comparable as well. Instead of the minute the liquor hits the veins, it takes about 30 minutes to really tune into oneself, but it’s a bit more gentle way to ease into the weekend.
We like to say go inside to change your outside. We hope so much you make a point to see what that can do for you.
You can reach the Louisville Salt Cave—or at least the people that run it—by calling 502-996-7000.