HONESDALE, Pa. — A counseling center in Wayne County is offering a new type of therapy they claim everyone can benefit from.
Claudia Bayly jokingly admits she became something of a hoarder over the past year.
She was buying pounds and pounds of salt and keeping it in her basement until she was ready to open her "salt cave" inside Northern Light Counseling in Honesdale.
"You put medical-grade salt into what's called a halogenerator, and it cuts it up into these microscopic pieces and disperses it into the air," Bayly explained.
It's called dry salt therapy, and there's a long list of benefits.
"Some of the basic ones are anything respiratory-related, so allergies, asthma, maybe like side effects of having COVID. For skin, for eczema, psoriasis, then my favorite, of course, mental health. It's wonderful for anxiety, depression, trauma, just stress relief."
The treatment dates back to the 19th century when doctors in Poland noticed something unusual about people working in the underground salt mines.
"We all are very familiar with coal mines, right, and the horrible medical conditions of their lungs. And so what doctors were discovering is that in the salt mines, they were like the picture of health. Their lungs were fantastic; they had no issues."
Whether you're 1 year old or 100 years old, an animal, or an athlete, Bayly says breathing in the salt air can do wonders for anyone.
"My mission from day one was to try to make an environment where people feel safe and calm because what better way to work through uncomfortable feeling than when you're already in a safe place? So to bring this in now, it opens the doors to everyone, not just clients, but it's open to the public."
And if you want to try it out for yourself, Northern Light Counseling is hosting a free community event this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.