My 2017 can be defined by a few very specific factors: graduating from college, Ryan Adams’ discography, anxiety over politics and the safety of the free world, and my introduction to the serenity brought on through salt lamps. Some time in the summer, my grandmother started raving endlessly about how she had heard about the calming sensations salt lamps could bring to you, and how they have been proved to help with anxiety, and let me tell you, I would try absolutely anything to aid my newly emerged consistent anxiety.
Pretty soon my Amazon recommendations were filled with salt lamps. Between my grandparents’ house and mine, I am in a room with a salt lamp in it every day and I truly feel the positive effects from spending time in a salt lamp lit place. A visit to a salt cave was a definite after I ordered a salt lamp for my bedroom and began to notice I was sleeping better. Amidst all of the changes in my life this year, I’ve really started to appreciate anything that can bring on a sense of calmness and serenity. By the time October rolled around bringing a vague sense of my least favorite season of the year, I was beyond ready to let some things go while surrounded by miles of salt and shiny lights.
I had no idea what to expect from a salt cave. I was really excited to discover you are sitting in zero gravity chairs during your session; like most, I’m happiest when I can have the minimum amount of physical activity. The floor below is covered in endless white salt, which you navigate while wearing plastic bags over your socks; of course I had to remember some dumb harrowing memory of my first Kentucky snow when I got stuck in a deep snow bank and no one helped me out, but was quickly relieved salt doesn’t restrict your movement.
Lights are dimmed for your entire session and you are given a salt pillow and a blanket after settling into your zero gravity chair. For someone who has an awful relationship with gravity, I was really surprised at how easy it was to become one with the chair. My favorite part of the experience was the zen music played through your headphones. I have always been one of those people who struggled with the serious healing power that zen music can bring to you when you are in the right moment. I’m one of those people who has trouble controlling their laughter in serious or nerve-wracking situations, and I was nervous I was going to succumb to my notorious giggle fits I’m famous for at parties and the very occasional church service.
It is incredibly important to allow yourself to try to let go of everything around you while you’re in a salt cave because salt can have some extremely positive physical and mental health benefits. As someone who very much enjoys being in control of herself and likes to have some idea of how to navigate her surroundings, I discovered a great deal about myself during the 45 minute session. Keep in mind the experience will be different for everyone. My mind just travels miles a minute despite being completely present within a situation.
I have trouble with meditation and I have not taken a nap since 2013, so here are some things I discovered about myself and thought about, during my first salt cave experience:
- How did I ever survive the beginning of the Tower of Terror ride at Disney World?
- Has David Lynch ever experienced a salt cave because Twin Peaks has definitely been influenced by salt lamps.
- I really clench my jaw a lot.
- Wow, my feet are fat and they feel like big weights.
- Why is Tomi Lahren so out of touch with reality and how come Mike Pence’s head is so small?
- Clutching the salt pillow really made me aware of how my muscles actually feel.
- God, the Spice Girls were so influential.
- Wow, do we really produce this much spit? Spit is like, some natural drink.
- I am so glad there are no bats here.
- I need to do this constantly!
Maybe with more sessions I will learn to completely give myself to the cave. Every body part was so relaxed, and as corn ball as it sounds, I was pretty amazed at some of the functions our bodies do naturally seemingly without any interference from our brain. If you’re able to go to a salt cave or buy a salt lamp, or use salt in your bath, do it. Absolutely do it. You will not be salty about it (sorry).