Found this article today:
Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center, 120 Merchants Row, Rutland, VT 05701, March 21, 2011 – Dr. Margaret Smiechowski, North America’s foremost expert on Himalayan salt, is pleased to announce that her latest salt cave design is set to be revealed on March 29th, 2011, at the opening of the Tranquility Salon and Wellness Center in Carlisle, PA. Like all of her salt caves, the Carlisle cave features eco-friendly building materials and a highly sophisticated climate-controlled environment. However, this cave represents what Dr. Smiechowski calls the “new generation” of caves in the United States.
In doing research, all I’ve been able to find of “Dr.” Smiechowski is this:
DR. MARGARET SMIECHOWSKI – Professor of Pathology, Skin Diseases, and Natural Medicine. Dr. Smiechowski graduated from European medical college with a midwife degree and also holds degrees in health education, health consulting, homeopathy, and currently holds a doctorate in homeopathic medicine. She has been a massage therapist for twelve years and has expertise in anatomy and physiology, as well as cupping.
Since Homeopathy isn’t a “science”, I’m not sure how seriously one should take a degree in it, let alone a doctorate. I haven’t been able to track down “European medical college”, so I’m not sure if it’s an accredited school.
“The Carlisle cave has significant design improvements far surpassing previous designs,” says Dr. Smiechowski. “In particular, this cave has a unique proprietary ceiling design that allows for a very high-tech ventilation system, offering the visitor the best of modern technology combined with old-world salt therapy.”
The Carlisle cave contains approximately 12,000 pounds of Himalayan salt, which is believed to be the purest salt on earth, containing all of the minerals that the human body requires for healthy living. The salt in this new cave is primarily of the darker burgundy color has been mined by hand without the use of equipment or chemicals. Visitors to the cave will enjoy the decor, which features recycled wood from an 1800′s barn, and soft lighting from unique copper lamps. While relaxing in the peaceful environment, up to ten visitors at once will absorb the minerals from the salt, as well as the negative ions given off from it, which creates a natural detoxification effect.
Purest salt on earth? Pure salt is one sodium ion with one chlorine ion. [Editor's note: Salt can be other anions besides chloride but NaCl is the most common form.) I find it suspicious that anyone would claim that mined salt is in anyway purer than refined salt. Table salt is simply pure salt with Iodine added. Salt is one of the easiest compounds to synthesize and to purify. Claims of a “Natural detoxification effect” on any level that provides a “dollar-for-dollar” benefit to your health are specious at best. Make no mistake, these services aren’t cheap. From the FAQ on pyramidvt.com:
Q: What is the pricing for the Salt Cave?
A: Single sessions are $10 per person per 55-minute treatment.
We do offer a ten-session punch card for $90, and we offer an
unlimited monthly pass for one person for $60. The entire cave
can be rented for $100/hour. The Salt Cave treatment room is
available for $40/hour.
Salt is used in Dr. Smiechowski’s home country of Poland and throughout the world to help reduce inflammation, treat respiratory problems, prevent and reduce the severity of colds and flu, and for a wide variety of other medical problems. Tranquility Salon and Wellness Center will offer speleotherapy, the clinical use of salt through their new salt cave, in conjunction with a full array of wellness options. “Tranquility will be offering only services using all-natural products,” says Lisa Ramsey
There may be health benefits to ingesting or inhaling salt. There are studies that show that there is a benefit to inhaling a salt solution, through a (cheap) inhaler, to help with bronchitis or cystic fibrosis. It’s laughable to claim that you will get that benefit merely by “hanging out in a salt cave”. There are certainly no actual scientific studies to support the idea.
One final note. My spell checker has no idea what speleotherapy is. Not a good sign at all. [Editor's note: Speleo- means cave. I suppose hanging out in a cave is good if you are being pursued by hunters. However, I'd agree this is a tremendously silly idea.]