The Herald is this week profiling different beauty treatments in Auckland. Today, Alanah Eriksen tries salt cave halotherapy.
I find it pretty hard to relax on my days off.
If I'm reading a book or sunbathing, I'm always thinking about what else I could be doing -jobs around home, errands in town.
So when the opportunity came up to lay in a cave which is meant to be good for all sorts of health conditions ranging from a cough to allergies, I thought I'd struggle.
Apparently the salt particles travel to the smallest and deepest areas of the lungs which in turn helps support the body's immune system "through excretion of mucus and reduction of inflammation in the airways" (according to company's website).
As a journalist, I'm paid to be a sceptical person, so I didn't expect my world to change.
I pulled up to Salt Cave Halotherapy & Wellness Centre at Windsor Park on Auckland's North Shore, not knowing what to expect.
Dr Prashant Saraf, originally from Nepal, runs the place. He trained as a medical doctor in Russia.
He asked me a few questions about my health and the explained how everything worked.
We started with vibrasaun therapy - another treatment they offer. I hopped inside a funny-looking white device, which has a hole in the top for your head to poke out of.
The device heats up and vibrates and you can control the temperature and vibraryion yourself. The movement apparently relaxes the muscles while the heat dilates the blood vessels increasing the heart and pulse rate.
Dr Saraf says this in turn, increases the blood flow and intake of oxygen which is used by the body's cells to burn carbohydrates and fats.
Afterwards, while feeling hot and sweaty from the Vibrasaun therapy, Dr Saraf took me to the "caves", the walls of which are made from blocks of Himalayan rock salt. The ground was covered in sand.
There were a few wooden loungers which we were to lay on for 40 minutes, breathing in the salt air.
I'm not one to take naps during the day - I couldn't if I tried - so was expecting to be a little restless. But I nodded off soon after Dr Saraf shut the door and woke to him opening it again.
I don't know whether it was the salt working its magic or I was in need of a rest but I felt so relaxed afterwards.
Apparently multiple sessions are recommended to attain best results.
I'm not sure if I'll head back again, as relaxing is something I'm yet to learn, but would recommend it to anyone in need of a good rest.