Saline solution for stress


An article in a recent Time Magazine reported on the new popularity of salt caves as restorative retreats. Long a mainstay of European folk therapy, the concept has been revived in the Chicago area due to its high number of people of Polish heritage.

Aficiandos claim that sitting in a salt cave can aid problems such as asthma, eczuma and high blood pressure (isn't salt a contributor to hypertension?). The Poles have a long tradition of salt mining, so they should be familar with the effects of such an atmosphere. The Wieliczka Salt Mine, a World Heritage Register site, features an incredible chapel carved into the crystal, the St. Kinga's chapel. The Great Lakes region has a number of huge salt mines, including the Cargill Mine in Cleveland where more than 400 miles of tunnel stretch three and one-half miles out under Lake Erie.

Some salt caves and rooms are constructed above ground, often in spas or in private homes. In fact, Megi's Spa Salt Cave in Park Ridge, Il is made from salt imported from the Wieliczka Mine. Another uses salt from the Dead Sea.

I can't help but think that a below-ground salt cave would bring even more benefits. Imagine how many Ohioans could enjoy such benefits of a salt cave simultaneously, in the Lake Erie mines. We may have used up many of our natural resources, but perhaps that hole in the ground could reinvigorate us.