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Salt therapy

We get the scoop on exactly what salt therapy means—and where to find it in Chicago

Photograph: Jill Paider

For years, we’ve been told to avoid salt for fear of bloating (egad!) or, worse yet, increased blood pressure. But according to some experts, not to mention a recent New York Times article, the white stuff is making a name for itself in the world of wellness. “I think a lot of people have misconceptions about salt,” says Isabella Samovsky, owner of Solay Wellness. According to Samovsky, our bodies are 80 percent salt water, so we have to replenish them with good salt [mineral-rich Himalayan or Celtic versus refined Morton salt] and water. “People [who do] notice a huge difference in terms of energy level, and they don’t get sick as much,” she says. In addition to offering a shop chock-full of salt products (edible salts, salt lamps—which are said to generate healthy, negative ions and cleaner air—etc.), Solay features a range of treatments, from ayurvedic massages ($75 for an hour) to Tibetan singing-bowl sessions ($45), in its rooms, which come equipped with 15 to 20 salt lamps. Otherwise, guests can sign up for a class or simply hang out and meditate in the salt room decked with tiled salt floors, 40 salt lamps and a fog ionizer that replicates the feeling of being by the ocean. Up the ante, and the number of neon lights, by heading to Portage Park’s Galos Caves (pictured). Between the soundtrack of crashing waves, a mermaid statue and the aforementioned Technicolor illumination, the New Agey spot offers guests of all ages 45-minute sessions where they can kick back in a reclining beach chair, relax and enjoy the scenery ($15 per session for adults, $10 for seniors and students, $8 for kids). For a more traditional spa experience, check into River North’s Tiffani Kim Institute for the Exfoliating Sea Salt Glow ($70). After the aesthetician sloughs off dead skin with a sea-salt scrub, rinses you off and moisturizes your bod, you’ll feel good as new.

Solay Wellness 8051 N Ridgeway Ave, Skokie, 847-676-5571, natural-salt-lamps.com
Galos Caves 6501 W Irving Park Rd , 773-283 7701, galoscaves.com
Tiffani Kim Institute 310 W Superior St, 312-260-9040, tiffanikiminstitute.com

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