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To the Salt Cave Batman!

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Published on: Thursday, September 05, 2013

By Donna Broadway

BETHESDA- When doctors began telling their patients to watch their salt intake, they probably never imagined their patients would take to sitting in a room filled with large pink Himalayan salt crystals. Salt rooms, filled with as much as 17 tons of rock, have become a new health trend. Enthusiasts cite monthly trips to the salt caves for healing ailments such as allergies, stress, sinusitis, barometric headaches, asthma, eczema and psoriasis. If Janine Narayadu, a Bethesda-based masseuse, has her way, then Montgomery County will have the first salt cave in Maryland and the district.

“Sole releases a life giving force that our bodies needs to heal and get well and replenish and rejuvenate on a very cellular level. I am very passionate about it because I have seen the healing from it and people,” Narayadu said.

Sole is Himalayan rock salt dissolved in water. Aficionados recommend dissolving the salt in a gallon of water and drinking a teaspoon daily.  The cave goers are treated to halo salt therapy, which is the sole pushed into the air, an experience similar to sea air. A salt cave session may last 30 minutes to an hour.

Narayadu became passionate about salt caves after her husband took her on a trip to Ashville, N.C. The trip was intended to give Narayadu much needed rest after moving from South Africa to the D.C. area. Narayadu was sick from allergies and lack of sleep due to establishing her massage business. While in Ashville, Narayadu came across a Himalayan salt cave and said she felt healed after one session. Narayadu extended her stay in North Carolina and went to the salt cave daily. By the end of the trip, Narayadu said her ailments were all but healed.

“I got sick last year. I had a bad flu and lost my voice. I went into the salt cave and came out and sinuses were clear in my head and I could speak again. I stayed for a week and went to salt cave every day and was healed. It was unexplainable; it felt like I put my finger in a socket and refueled myself,” Narayadu said.

It was an experience that Narayadu wanted to have again. She was disappointed to find that salt caves haven’t caught on in the East Coast. The nearest salt cave is four hours away in Williamsburg, Va., and nearly as far away in Carlisle, Pa. It was then that Narayadu decided to bring salt caves to the D.C. area. The 450-square-foot space contains 17 tons of boulder salt and the floor will be made of salt crystals. The cave will hold six to eight people at a time and will be free for children under 10 with a paying adult.

The salt cave will share a space with Narayadu’s massage practice. Narayadu also wants to use the rest of the building to hold community events for alternative healing, meetings and art showings.

“We live in a community where people come from all over the world to settle here. Everybody comes with a little bit of knowledge from somewhere else in the world; we want to bring that all in and be able to say hey, this is a community based service where we can really offer this to people and draw inspiration by sharing all this knowledge everybody has,” Narayadu said.

For more information on salt caves and Narayadu’s massage practice, visit

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