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Salt Caves Could Offer Relief, Relaxation For Allergy & Asthma Victims

(Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

A Bloomington business could provide allergy sufferers an alternative to over-the-counter medications.

It’s called the Bloomington Salt Cave, and the owner says it could help those suffering from stuffy noses, headaches and breathing problems. The practice started in Europe back in the 1800s and is known as halotherapy.

From the moment you step inside the salt cave, it’s hard not to feel your mood shift.

"I think the majority of people feel very relaxed when they get out of there and that they can breathe so much better," says Owner Laura Chaiken.

The softly-lit cave is made up of about four tons of pink Himalayan rock salt. You sit in the cave for 45 minutes while a generator crushes pure sodium chloride, which then blows into the room.

Chaiken says it affects each person differently.

"Just breathing the salt infused air, it reduces inflammation in your respiratory system, it encounters allergens, pollutions and things like that that the salt bonds with," she says.

Chaiken opened the cave just a year ago. Her goal is to help those in need of a relaxing experience, but she also wants it to be a community space.

According to the American Lung Association, salt therapy could provide relief for some obstructive lung diseases, but there are no evidence-based findings to create guidelines for treatment. The organization says people should talk with their doctors before relying on alternative therapies.

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