By Marian Dennis, The Mercury
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> A business in Lower Pottsgrove is introducing the community to a new form of healing and relaxation.
A grand opening for Himalayan Salt & Wellness Cave, 1494 N. Charlotte Street, was held last month and the new business offers a variety of options that allow for local patrons to take advantage of holistic health and wellness therapies.
“I looked at a couple areas like Gilbertsville, Limerick and of course Lower Pottsgrove,” said Anita Heft, owner of Himalayan Salt & Wellness Cave. “I thought Lower Pottsgrove was the best fit because of the dance studio, salons, The Sunflower Café and the holistic store across the street. I thought it was a good complement and thought it would help everyone in the area.”
Heft’s new business is the first of its kind for the area and features several forms of therapy including halotherapy, or salt therapy, reflexology, yoga and Reiki.
“Salt therapy was developed in Europe and in Russia they have hospitals in the salt mines because of how great it works for people. It started in the 1200s and they noticed that people doing the salt mining never got sick. Doctors did some research and realized the ions and minerals were rebalancing the body and helping people. They still use it,” Heft explained.
The therapy has been relied upon for relief of allergies, asthma, stress, high blood pressure, respiratory infection and hangovers.
Heft said that she had always been interested in holistic health and that after she received her MBA from Alvernia College, she wanted to get back into the holistic world. After being introduced to salt caves last year and noticing her son benefitted from them, she decided it would be a great complement to her interest in reflexology.
She explained that a typical session in the salt cave lasts about 45 minutes as guests sit in the room with a halogenerator, a device that disperses salt into the air.
“For the salt caves, you typically go into the room and remove your shoes. If you don’t want to walk on the salt you can remove your shoes and we have booties available,” said Heft. “We have zero gravity chairs that people can sit in to make them as comfortable as possible and music comes on and plays for 45 minutes as the generator is running. It disperses salt into the air. Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals in it and negative ions. It acts like a sponge to absorb toxins and allergens in your respiratory system. Most people will want to drink more water after they come out to flush out the toxins in their body,” she added.
The salt used at Himalayan Salt & Wellness Cave began in the mountains of Northern Punjab, Pakistan, according to the company’s website (www.himalayansaltnwellness.com). Salt stones were converted into bricks and then transported by cargo ship to the United States.
Since the cave opened on July 2, Heft said she has received more than 700 likes on the business’s Facebook page and has had about 160 customers visit the location, including repeat customers.
The new business also features a beach-themed kids play area where children can experience the therapy’s benefits while sitting on a salty floor reminiscent of sand at the beach.
“It’s good for all ages. I’ve had a 3-month-old baby come in and the mother has brought him back for a second session. She was amazed at how the baby feels. I also have an 80 year-old woman who comes in. There’s really no age limit,” said Heft.
The grand opening for the Himalayan Salt & Wellness Cave begins Friday with wine and cheese from 4 to 8 p.m. and lasts all weekend. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at the business at 10 a.m. Saturday and specials will be offered all weekend. Normal hours of operation are: Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.