If you’ve ever read any of Dr. Suess’s books or enjoyed his whimsical illustrations, you probably could picture if he created a real-life city. This would be Asheville, North Carolina – The city where you can find nuns riding bicycles and people in cat costumes on stilts playing banjo. Asheville is liberal and creative about pretty much everything you can think of, but one thing is for certain – it’s a health and wellness community.
Smack in the middle of Downtown Asheville at 12 Eagle Street is Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave. It doesn’t matter if you’re a local or just traveling through, this is something you’ve got to experience.
Submerge yourself into a cave absolutely full of salt. Even the walls are covered with actual salt rocks. When you step into the kernels of salt, it’s as if you are walking on the beach. This is no iodized salt my friends. This is high mineral density salt which comes in various sizes, anywhere from pea size to large rocks.Most of the salt comes from Poland, and it is believed that this type of salt possesses health benefits. In the 1950s, Polish salt cave miners rarely ever developed tuberculosis. People caught wind of this more recently, but therapeutic salt caves have been popular since the 1800s because of it’s advantageous properties.
Who benefits from a salt cave and how does it work?
Whether it’s relieving stress, getting peace of mind, or alleviating asthmatic conditions, most everyone will benefit. Halotherapy or speleotherapy is therapy utilizing a microclimate, and in this case, nanoparticles of salt are diffused into the air. Research shows that when you breathe in the diffused salt, it enhances mucociliary clearance, helping to relieve respiratory conditions. If you are undergoing chemotherapy or have hypothyroidism or kidney disease, please check in with your doctor or call the facility to discuss these conditions prior to your services.
The relaxing microclimate of the salt cave offers a couple of water features as well as dim lights, calming music, blankets, and antigravity chairs. Temperatures usually stay around 70 degrees. The cave is co-ed, but plenty of space to find your special spot, as the cave only holds up to 10 at a time. So, relax and enjoy. Just inhale and exhale and let yourself float away.What I loved the most (besides the cave, of course) was being able to help myself to the array of exquisite teas provided by Dobra Tea of Asheville.
A typical session at Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave lasts around 45 minutes (always get there at least 15 minutes beforehand). An adult session is $25, but on Tuesdays for locals (with proof of residence), it’s only $15. Kids are welcome, but make sure you make notification upon appointment, as kids are designated into their own sessions where it will not interfere with other visitors’ sessions who need peace and quiet. You can sign up online or call (828) 236-5999.
But wait, there’s more! Massages are available and reasonably priced. And for couples, you can even get massages in the salt cave. How freakin’ cool.
Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave is affordable, relaxing and rejuvinating. Let your stress float away, make peace and let your body embrace this unique Downtown Asheville experience.
Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave
12 Eagle St.
Asheville, NC 28801
Best & Cheapest parking is in the Aloft Hotel parking deck on Biltmore Ave.
All Photography by Amy Kobos unless otherwise stated.