Good health is not exclusive to weekly exercise or fruits and vegetables, but is found in a salt cave along Nashville Road.
Be Happy Yoga & Salt Cave has been in Bowling Green since May 2016 and its focus on natural wellness makes it a unique spot for Bowling Green residents and WKU students alike.
Though Be Happy's offerings range from yoga therapy classes, Swedish and Thai massage appointments and buyable Himalayan salt lamps, it's known for its salt cave sessions.
A typical salt cave therapy session lasts 45 minutes, but 25-minute salt cave "refreshers" are also offered.
Each session begins outside of the salt cave with instructions to put on a pair of fuzzy socks provided by Be Happy. Though this practice might initially seem odd, a glimpse into the salt cave is enough explanation.
Six tons of Himalayan salt cover the cave's floors, fit together as blocks along its walls and make up a variety of glowing salt lamps dispersed throughout the room.
These lamps are complemented by a number of similarly color-changing stones placed on the walls, intended to induce "color therapy," which is a process by which lights of shifting color work to relax and balance the body on a cellular level.
Paired with color therapy, the salt cave exposes you to an abundance of salt-emitted negative ions which are diffused through vents in the ceiling and emanate from the salt all around.
Opposed to positive ions, commonly found in electronic devices and plastic, negative ions are produced by plants and water. Negative ions are known to help alleviate allergy symptoms, sleep disorders and migraine headaches.
Upon entering the salt cave for a 45-minute session, you choose from a number of zero gravity reclining chairs within the room and sit down. You are then welcome to reach into your chair's respective basket and pull out a wool blanket to use during the treatment.
Once settled, you are greeted by a voice flowing from an overhead speaker which remarks upon the salt's ancient formation and its numerous healing properties.
The voice soon closes out to which soothing meditation music takes over and the process begins.
Inside the enclosure of salt and glimmering light, with only the sound of recorded bird chirps, trickling water and a piano backdrop to keep you company, it is easy to be skeptical of the procedure's effectiveness.
However, as your eyes begin waiting for each alteration of light, and the salt-soaked air reaches your tongue, you might realize you have started to enjoy the room's pinkish hue and floral scent.
Eventually, the same voice that first spoke to you returns, signaling the end of the session.
After exiting the cave, it is common to breathe slower and feel noticeably more clear and at ease.
Manager Casey Lloyd said she believes salt therapy is a great stress-reliever and could be of legitimate benefit to college students, especially during finals week.
"During finals, you tend to lack sleep, which causes stress," Lloyd said. "The salt cave is a natural remedy to alleviate symptoms of anxiety, fatigue."
She also believes the salt cave serves other fun and social purposes.
"It's an awesome date night," Lloyd said.
As mentioned, Be Happy contains various yoga rooms and offers over 30 "small and private" classes every week.
Owner Susan Polk had been teaching yoga classes for years before she started Be Happy, and viewed the pairing of yoga and salt cave as a perfect combination.
"This was a natural fit, to combine yoga and the stress reduction of the salt cave," Polk said.
Polk hopes the salt cave can continue to gain recognition and attract the student population.
The price of a standard salt therapy treatment is $35, or $30 with student discount, and a single yoga class costs $15, or $10 with student discount.
Though prices are steep, Be Happy offers various multi-visit packages for both the salt cave and yoga classes. Further information can be gathered at Be Happy's website or in store.
A salt cave session is a unique way to go about maintaining your health and happiness, but it is a great option if you grow weary of salad or trips to the gym.
Reporter Griffin Fletcher can be reached at (270)745-2655 and firstname.lastname@example.org.