6 Reasons Alaska Needs A Salt Cave

Salt caves are all the rage right now in metropolitan cities such as Los Angeles and New York. It has become a trending fad that many people have raved about, from asthma sufferers to the parents of children with ADHD. Salt inhalation, also known as Halotherapy or Spelotherapy has been a popular treatment in Eastern Europe for hundreds of years, even being recommended by doctors for the vast array of healing properties it imbues. Modern salt caves have taken this idea one step further by flying in several metric tonnes of Himalayan Crystal Salt, sourced from deep in the mountain ranges of Pakistan. This pink salt is known to have immense healing properties, thus propelling this therapy to new levels of healing heights.

Recently, the vast and stunningly beautiful state of Alaska opened it’s very first salt cave, run by an enterprising women name Char Boehm. At Glacier Salt Cave and Spa in Juneau, Alaskan residents can relax and refresh while healing all that ails them. Alaska is America’s largest state with over 700,00 people spread out over 1.7 million square kilometers. While it may not seem the first place you would think of to jump on global trends, there are several very valid reasons that America’s coldest state will benefit from such a place. Check out the reasons why and then see if you might like to visit this popular and health-forward therapy yourself.

1. Sunset, Sunrise

The winter months in many parts of Alaska are cloaked in darkness. For approximately 3 months ever year, the sun only rises for short periods of time and the resulting light can feel like hours and hours of dusk. In Juneau, where Glacier Salt Cave is located, the climate is a deciduous rain forest, which means plenty of overcast days. Studies have shown that low light levels can lead to depression and in some cases, damage to brain regions. Salt cave therapy has been known to help relieve stress, anxiety and depression in a 100% natural and non-invasive way. It has the natural ability to balance the positive charge by bidding the excessive positive ions with its negative ions. What this means is that it neutralizes our body, creating a calming affect on the nervous system. This practice is safe for all ages and can be repeated as much or as little as one likes. Spending time in the cave has created a new health paradigm for Char Boehm. ‘I feel uplifted,’ she says. ‘ I’ve stopped getting sick. The cave feels alive and takes you to another level.”‘ The dark Alaskan days seem to be a surefire route to depression Relaxing in the pink glow of a salt cave for an hour can alleviate those dark-day blues.

2. Natural Health for a Natural Community

For a small town, Juneau has a booming holistic health care scene. Residents seem quite naturally-minded and ready to try alternative medicines for what ails them. Salt Cave therapy has an organic place in this scene and Char Boehm’s spa has been embraced by the surrounding natural health community. Dr. Emily Kane has been a naturopathic doctor in Juneau for 25 years. She believes strongly in ‘health preservation’ as opposed to just ’disease management’. Dr. Kane, like many other alternative doctors in Juneau has fully embraced the new salt cave, recommending it to patients with respiratory issues and chronic skin problems. She has even held a number of self-health ‘cleanse’ classes at the cave and finds that ‘patients universally enjoy the experience’.

3. Sea-Change

Alaska produces the most seafood out of all 50 states. Alaska’s fisheries produce more than 5 billion pounds of fish and shellfish each year. A recent global analysis of seafood found that the world’s fish populations are contaminated with industrial and agricultural pollutants such as DDT, mercury, flame retardants and coolants. One surefire way to detoxify your body from high levels of mercury and other toxins is re-mineralization. The Himalayan salt used in salt caves such as Juneau’s Glacier Spa contains 84 minerals that are bio-identical to the minerals contained within the human body. ‘The Himalayan salt is a very complex mineral, similar to the complexity of electrolytes in the human body.’ Doctor Kane elaborates. ‘Minerals are crucial co-factors in all the thousands of biochemical reactions that comprise metabolism’. For those with a diet high in seafood, a monthly salt-cave routine can help eliminate many related toxins that build up over time in the body.

4. Moose Country

Alaskans are keen on outdoor culture. Recreationally and work-wise, people in Alaska spend more time outdoors than those in any other states. Known as ‘Moose Country’ to the locals, the climate is consistently cold. Studies have shown that colder climates exacerbate conditions such as joint pain and rheumatoid arthritis, while 29% of Alaskan adults ages 18 and over have been diagnosed with arthritis. Himalayan salt retains a high level of magnesium that helps our body relax muscles and nerve endings. Thus, salt cave therapy has a very likely ability to reduce muscle pain and swelling in joints and to combat arthritis.

5. Breathe Easy

For the last 15 years, asthma has been on the rise in the US. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in 12 people has asthma. From 2001 to 2011, the CDC says the number of Americans with asthma grew by 28 percent Alaska also has no shortage of asthma sufferers. More than fourteen percent of the adult population of Alaska have been diagnosed with asthma. This equates to approximately 64,500 people. Salt is vital for clearing the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis. A quick glance online shows many, many accounts of halo therapy, either by salt cave or salt inhalers to have beneficial results on asthma sufferers.

6. Moldy Business

Being in a mild-latitude rain forest climate, Alaskan weather is quite moist and incredibly humid. Humid climates have been known to produce mold, which is severlyl harmful to allergy sufferers and the population in general. The mold problem has become so severe that tribal groups were recently federally funded to address the mold problem. The sterile, pure air of the salt cave, along with the aerosolized micro particles of salt can penetrate into the bronchi and kill bacteria and viruses. Based on clinical studies the inhaled salty air contains bactericide and anti-inflammatory properties. Halotherapy helps to reduce inflammation in the whole respiratory tract, absorbing edema from the mucosa lining and leading to a widening of the airway passages. It also restores the normal transport of mucus and unclogs blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles leading to rapid elimination of the residual tar and foreign allergens, all of these in a natural process.

Whatever your reason, there is a vast array of studies that show how salt inhalation can benefit you. It’s an age-old technique that has undisputed results. Combining this uniquely relaxing experience with the rich Alaskan landscape and culture is an act of pure joy. Glacier Salt Cave and Spa is spearheading the way for what is sure to become a growing trend in a state that certainly needs it. One thing is for sure, whether it’s to provide relief or encourage relaxation, the gentle glow of a Himalayan salt cave is an experience like no other.

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Juneau, AK  99801