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Holistic 'salt cave' in downtown Rutland

Are you stressed about the economy?

Overwhelmed by monthly bills?

Is your body a bundle of knots and nerves?

If so, you need a break - a salt break. Why not immerse yourself in downtown Rutland's "salt cave," the only facility of its kind in Vermont.

While there are no natural deposits of salt in Rutland County, there is a one-of-a-kind ersatz cave that you can visit at the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center, located on Merchants Row in downtown Rutland. The simulated cave is crafted of natural materials containing thousands of pounds of pure Himalayan salt.

Rutland's downtown "salt cave" was designed to look just like a real eastern European salt mine, according to Pyramid owner, William Kelley. The cave was created by Dr. Margaret Smiechowski, a homeopathic doctor from Europe, and a Pyramid practitioner.

Pyramid makes no medical claims about its remarkable "salt cave"- it's basically a relaxation chamber. However, salt is known to be an anti-inflammatory agent. In other parts of the world, salt-cave therapy is used to treat a variety of medical conditions, Kelley said.

"Visitors get the benefits of the salt-cave experience from the safety and comfort of our 'zero-gravity' chairs without going to the dangerous depths of the Earth," according to Pyramid's Web site.

Halotherapy (salt therapy) is an ancient form of healing. Ancient Roman aristocrats were said to take "salt cures," inhaling the steam of boiling salt water from the Dead Sea.

In times past, patients took the "cure" deep in the natural salt caves and salt mines of Europe and the Mediterranean region.

According to Russian holistic healers, medieval Orthodox monks carried the sick of their villages deep into salt caves. There, patients breathed in microscopic salt particles suspended in the air.

Today, halotherapy is better known in Russia and parts of eastern Europe. For many New Age esoterics, salt crystals resonate at a natural frequency that appears to help balance the inner self. While there is no Western scientific evidence supporting the therapeutic effect of inhaling salt dust, practitioners say that salt, in its aerosol form, helps destroy bacteria and fungi in the lungs. Perhaps modern science may come around to halotherapy since several researchers have already discovered that the release of negative ions from salt appears to act as a kind of natural detoxifier.

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