BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — A centuries-old healing practice comes to Maryland. Imagine sitting in a cave filled with pink Himalayan salt rocks to ease illnesses like asthma and allergies.

Gigi Barnett explains customers are turning to the state’s first-ever salt cave.

Carefully hand-mined from thousands of feet below the Earth’s surface, four tons of pink Himalayan salt–crushed on the floor and lined on the walls–fill a room in Bethesda. It’s a salt cave and a first for Maryland.

“I put my body in there and it recharges itself,” said massage practitioner Janine Narayadu.

Narayadu owns the cave and opened it back in June. She says sitting in it is a centuries-old healing method.

Pink Himalayan salt has more than 80 trace elements and minerals. It’s the closest to the salt in the human body, so breathing the cave’s moist air can heal.

“The air in there is ten times purer than outside,” she said. “Sometimes, just being exposed to the beach, being in the sea air really lifts our bodies up because we get those minerals back in. And that’s what we’re creating.”

Narayadu says a reduction in illnesses like seasonal allergies, eczema and psoriasis aren’t guaranteed, but some customers are already noticing a difference.

“We’ve had a couple of people come back already, telling us with asthma that the number of times a day that they use their asthma inhaler has been reduced. And we’ve only been opened up two and a half, three months,” she said.

Narayadu says she built the cave with $15,000 of seed money from her clients. Many of them are already asking for a second location.

Since the salt cave opened, the owners say more than 1,200 customers have experienced it.

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