To the Salt Cave!
No. I’m not a wannabe Batman, but I am a woman who suffers rather too many sinus problems. Mum thinks she did something wrong when she was pregnant (perhaps on the day she was making my sinuses she had a chicken vindaloo, tap-danced in the library and drank two double gins; I don’t know: it was the ‘70s) – and basically these air pockets of mine have very narrow drains, which leads to them getting congested a lot.
Especially in Dubai, where they air we breathe is perhaps 40% air and 60% airborne dust.
So I do a lot to try and relieve my chronic and painful sinus congestion. I’ve tried saline sprays, decongestants, Panadol Sinus, nasal sprays, neti pots, oil-pulling (Google it), both drinking and inhaling pure apple cider vinegar, acupuncture and even full-on antibiotics.
Nothing seems to work.
“You need to see a specialist and get it sorted surgically,” DH told me as I woke in puffy-eyed agony the other morning.
So I did what I like to do and ran for another alternative cure: the Salt Cave. The one in Dubai (the only one in the region, actually) calls itself a Salt Cave Spa, but I think “spa” is pushing it a bit.
Claiming to alleviate over 20 problems alphabetically from acne, allergies and asthma to sinusitis and snoring, the Salt Cave is a space in which you sit for 45 mins, breathing in the salty air.
“Just like being at the beach,” said DH.
But it was far more than being at the beach.
Inside the “spa”, you crunch over the salt granules, lie down on one of the many recliners, and relax while listening to lounge music. I had a violent burst of coughing, then nothing. The recliner was not reclined enough for me to take the nap I so desperately wanted. On the plus side, there is free Wifi but, I have to admit, I did a bit of yoga-breathing, read the paper and clock-watched.
“If you turn on the torch on your mobile phone, you’ll see the air looks like snowflakes,” said the assistant. I didn’t bother, but, when I licked my lips 15 mins into my incarceration, they tasted of salt – clearly the atmosphere was dense with the stuff (I wondered what damage it was doing to my Tod’s bag). My hair went curly.
At 45 minutes precisely, I left the Bat Salt Cave. Other than feeling mildly annoyed about the curly hair and a bit crispy round the lips, I didn’t feel any different.
But that night, as I woke to my nightly juggle of right-then-left blocked sinuses, I lay on my left side and, for the first time in what felt like 100 years, my right sinus cleared. I blew my nose, and out it all came, with a crackle, from the top of my forehead (sorry for TMI). For the first time I remember, my right nostril and sinus was clear. It was 3am but I could have danced a jig.
But will I be going back? To clear the other side? At AED 250 a pop plus a tedious drive to Wafi, your guess is as good as mine…
Find the Salt Cave Spa at Wafi Mall. 04-3708877. This is not a sponsored post.