Entering the salt cave at the Healing Grotto in Bellmore for the first time to teach a class, Glenn Dove noticed within minutes a salty taste in back of his throat, followed by an easing of his breathing. He immediately understood the sensation as a tool he could use in helping his followers to breath more easily and deeply, necessary elements to open up to the experiences he would soon suggest to them during class.
“It’s a slightly salty taste that leads to clarity in the chest,” Dove, a nationally renowned psychic who has set up shop at the new Healing Grotto, described it. The Healing Grotto, a new wellness treatment space at 1762 Newbridge Road, features yoga, meditation, wine tastings, psychic readings, a nutritionist and soon-to-be movies that will all revolve around its central feature: a salt cave.
Mary Jean, a lifelong North Bellmore resident who attended Newbridge, Jerusalem Avenue and Mepham schools, told Your NewsMag she is not one to relax or settle in quickly, but was taken by the wave of relaxation that came over her minutes after stepping in to the salt cave.
“I could feel my lungs expand and my breathing quickly became better,” she noticed, allowing her to form a more relaxed posture on the anti-gravity lounge chairs within the cave.
These remarks are not surprising for Healing Grotto co-owner Steven Izen and his partner Gen Horvath. Within two weeks of opening they have been contacted by someone with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) looking for treatment to relieve the heaviness within the chest.
“This treatment is standard in Europe and is paid for by health insurers,” Izen remarked of the salt cave. The method uses Himalayan salts (filtered to remove iron) that are dispersed through vents, which then envelop the darkened cave-like room in a dry mist (halotherapy) and surround those within it. The walls are composed of unfiltered salts as well, as is the granulated floor. The method is known to relieve asthma and allergy symptoms, and relieve other obstructive breathing conditions, as well as plaques and redness of psoriasis and a host of other conditions.
Because the salts are negative ion salts, they are thought to counteract the positive ions in the everyday atmosphere to create a holistic balance, leading to a feeling of relaxation and deeper breathing.
Izen’s wife Lori, who, as a registered nurse, had long thought of ways to offer alternative methods for treatment, learned of a salt cave room in Montauk. Steve, her husband, suffers from asthmatic bronchitis and has used inhalers during winter months.
Upon visiting the salt cave in Montauk, Izen said he “sat in the salt cave and came out feeling much better, I didn’t feel the wheeziness in the chest I usually feel” from his bronchial condition, adding, “I didn’t need my inhaler the rest of the day.”
Ed Horvath, co-owner Gen’s husband, was driven out to the Montauk salt cave to also experience it. “I suffer wheezing and coughing and allergies during these months, but thought the trip a waste of time.” But after the prescribed 45 minutes in the cave, he came away feeling much better, with a clear chest and no symptoms – which remained low for several days after.
Soon, the Izens – whose son Jamie is a personal trainer at Merrick’s Shaper’s Fitness – and the Horvaths began thinking of names to call a center for alternative methods of treatment, while also looking for a building that could fit their plans. “This is the old Thunderbolt electrical building,” Izen said. “The moment I walked into it, I knew this was the place.”
“A grotto is a cave,” said Izen. And, with his wife’s career in the healing arts, the idea evolved into a cave for healing to become the Healing Grotto.
The Healing Grotto, at www.healinggrotto.com, and on facebook at healing grotto, have a downloadable app available to link to reservation bookings and to learn of new events on the horizon.
Yoga classes and meditation readings are planned within the cave, a nine-foot screen has been introduced into the cave for movie watching, and relaxing spa music emanates within the salt cave for added relaxation. Wine tasting events are also being planned as a means of socializing before going in for a treatment.
For information you can also call 221-7258 (SALT).