Asheville is one cool town. I really dig the vibe. The downtown section is a virtual vortex of free spirited hippies of all ages, from incredibly talented musicians and artists to yoga clad, dread-headed, multi-tatted mountaineers. Their love for free expression is evident in their food, music, art and holistic endeavors. I can honestly say that aside from Barcelona, Asheville is one of my favorite cities. Asheville seems to have a bit of everything and it’s never pretentious or surly – it’s as cool as the gentle gusts blowing off the Blue Ridge.
On a recent visit, I found myself in desperate need of rest and rejuvenation. In considering which indulgence would leave me feeling like Empress for the Day, I decided to skip the ubiquitous pedicure and visit Asheville’s Salt Caves. Located in the heart of downtown, tucked along a side street, this incredible salted cavern beckons the weary.
From the moment you enter the reception area you feel engulfed by the gentle salmon glow of salt lamps, any tension begins to dissipate. The salt cave is a microclimate of pure salt crystals imported from Poland. Two water features and very light Reiki music add to the blissful essence that surrounds.
Apparently, the salt crystals release negative ions into the air which help to restore, balance and optimize a body’s health. As of late, I have been suffering from slight respiratory ailments and was willing to give it go. Sessions in the cave involve on average of about 10 people who either enjoy the feel of a zero-gravity lounge chair or choose to experience the 45 minute session supine on a serape amid fluffy pasha pillows. Since I was the last to enter the cave, I was relegated as a ground dweller. I actually didn’t mind it so much. It was almost like enjoying a slumber party with perfect strangers – minus the girly chit-chat and s’mores.
I do admit it was extremely relaxing and soothing to my respiratory system. There was something almost comforting in the subtle snores produced by the woman next to me. When our time was up and the dimmed lights drew brighter, we all emerged sleepy-eyed and stretching like the black bears of Asheville after a winter hibernation.
I then followed up my salt cave experience with a 45 minute therapeutic massage. By the time my pampering was complete I felt like I just returned from a weekend in the Caribbean. I was feeling stress free, cleansed and detoxified. As I floated in my reverie out the front door I knew that I’d be back on my next visit to Asheville.
Take a gander for yourself, visit their website at www.ashevillesaltcave.com