When I walked into Austin Salt Cave to try halotherapy (salt therapy) for the first time, I was greeted with the warm smile and calm demeanor of Jack Cramer, the owner. I’d never tried halotherapy before,so I was unsure of the procedure, but Jack directed me toward a secure locker for my belongings and shoes. He said I could leave my socks on, but I’m a barefoot girl at heart, so I stowed them with the rest of my stuff. (Jack provides disposable booties for those who prefer not to remove shoes.)
I entered the salt therapy room. It was dimly lit with a soft glow coming from the pink Himalayan salt lamps lining the walls. There were also blocks of Himalayan salt around the room and granulated salt crystals covering the floor, like sparkling gravel, under the chairs. The chairs look pretty basic, but sit down, lean back and…wow; they’re perfect. Add a soft fleece blanket if you’re chilly, and that, coupled with the soothing music, equals instant relaxation.
Jack took a few moments to explain the room and the history of halotherapy. Back in the 1840’s, people noticed that salt miners seemed a good deal healthier than other miners. Dr. Feliks Boczkowski found their lungs were in superior condition, so he opened a spa inside one of the salt mines. People spending time in the salt mines (which were at one point used as bomb shelters) noticed significant improvements in their respiratory issues.
To simulate the salt mine environment, Jack pipes salt into the air of the therapy room, while patrons relax in comfort. While I couldn’t detect the salt in the air, it did feel delightfully clean and crisp. On his way out of the room, before our 45-minute session, Jack even provided a book light to a regular attendee who liked to read during her therapy.
Once the door was closed, I admit I felt a minor panic; how was I going to just lie here for a full 45-minutes?
It turns out, it wasn’t a problem. I fell into a supremely relaxed state — not quite asleep, yet not awake either. When Jack opened the door, I couldn’t believe time was already up. I felt calm, and my sinuses, often stuffy from seasonal allergies, were completely clear. In visiting with one of the regular clients, I found she attends salt therapy sessions at Austin Salt Cave up to five times per week and no longer experiences her normal allergy-induced sinus headaches.
I left Austin Salt Cave feeling clear-headed, relaxed, centered and refreshed. And as I drove home up Ranch Road 620, I realized that, in the moment, nothing could ruffle my feathers, not even traffic.
The Austin Salt Cave is your one stop shop for anything salt related, from salt therapy and salt lamps, to edibles salts and salt cooking tiles. Open 7 days/week and conveniently located in Lakeway right behind The Grove. AustinSaltCave.com, 512-838-6545.
Reprinted from Neighbors of Lakeway Magazine, February 2018, Best Version Media.