16
Sep
2010

Earlsfield’s Healing Salt Cave

Having had asthma since the age of four and suffering from hay fever, allergies, insomnia and a persistent sniffle, I thought myself the perfect candidate to try out a natural drug free treatment known as halotherapy, or salt therapy, at London’s very own Salt Cave.

The idea of salt having healing properties, particularly for respiratory problems, is not a new one and halotherapy has been practised in the salt caves of Russia and eastern Europe for many years. But now Londoners can experience the natural benefits of salt therapy too. No, London underground workers haven’t stumbled upon a previously undiscovered salt grotto whilst carrying out ‘improvement’ works…but rather, the microclimate of a natural salt cave has been conveniently recreated in a basement on a residential street in Earlsfield.

Hearing bold claims to cure all my ailments along with a host of others including chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, ear infections and eczema, I entered the salt cave with both excitement and scepticism. The ‘cave’ itself, as you would expect, has an all white interior with salt encrusted walls and sand like salt underfoot, the temperature is pleasantly cool and the soothing sounds of sea lapping the shore and distant seagulls can be heard.

All that is required of patients is to sit back on one of the comfy chairs, put your feet up and breathe in the special salty air. The air that is pumped into the room is what it’s all really about. It contains tiny particles of ground natural salt that are so small they get deep into the respiratory system, the staff are able to regulate the quality and concentration of the salty air making it even more effective than the natural salt cave where people will immerse themselves for two to three hours a day.

I began my hour-long session by reading some of the testimonials written by happy customers, and there were stories from all walks of life describing how salt therapy had improved their conditions and decreased their dependency on medication. However, after 15 minutes or so of reading my eyes began to sting, the only real physical effect I felt from being in the cave, so I decided to close my eyes and try to relax.

Now, being someone who’s not very good at enforced relaxation I was surprised when I started to drift off into a very serene state, in fact I think I may have fallen asleep completely had it not been for the rustle of the plastic shoe covers on the fidgeting feet of the man next to me.

Since the session, I have to be honest, while it was certainly an interesting experience I have not felt any noticeable effects of the treatment. But if the scientific research and personal accounts are anything to go by it seems one only begins to feel the real benefit after several closely consecutive visits. So if you have serious respiratory problems and are willing to offer a bit of commitment to this alternative therapy I’d say it just might be worth a try.

If I had the money (it’s not cheap!) I think I would definitely be going back for more as I was won over by the potential of the Salt Cave, but until then I will have to live with my niggling nasal issues along with thousands of other congested Londoners!

The Salt Cave
320B Earlsfield Road
United Reformed Church
Earlsfield
SW18 3EJ

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