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Galos Cave Spa: a healthful hangout

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Imagine this: it’s a cold winter’s day with the wind howling and the snow drifting, the late afternoon is dimming quickly with the sun going down early…and you’re lying on a beach chair in a sandy cove, sheltered from the weather. No, you’re not vacationing in the tropics—you’re in sublime Galos Cave Spa in Chicago!

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Groupon offers a Galos Cave coupon whereby you can get several sessions for half the regular price. Even so, it’s an affordable adventure: it’s $15 for a 45-minute Galos Cave session at the regular price, and buying a Groupon ticket of five sessions will get you in at only $7 per session.

So what is Galos Caves all about? It’s about your health and well-being. Apparently breathing in salt sea air has a wide range of benefits to the human body and one’s emotional state. Obviously, since it’s all about breathing the therapeutic salty air, the full host of respiratory problems--including allergies, stuffed sinuses, and asthma--is said to benefit from lounging about Galos Cave, which is designed to mimic lazing at a pristine beach beside a salty sea.

Check out this page for a list of additional benefits, some of which may surprise you. What won’t surprise you is that it’s also soothing to your psyche. Galos Caves claims that a 45-minute session is as therapeutic as a day at the beach. This is not just any salt, however; the salt used in the atmosphere within Galos Cave is said to be imported from the purest sources. Galos Cave is modeled after a Galos Cave in Poland where folks flock for health and beauty; the salt air is also said to do wonders for your skin.

It helps if you go onto Yelp and pick up a few pointers before visiting Galos Cave. Also realize that it’s in a far-flung northwest area of Chicago called Dunning, a long haul from downtown Chicago. However, when you get there, there’s free parking across the street. And here are some additional tips:

- Get there well before your appointment to pay, ditch your shoes and coats, and use the washroom. If you get there late, you might have to wait for the next session--if there’s room--or be ushered in during a session-in-progress while those who got there on time and are already settled in may not appreciate the door opening and a bright light shining in nor the sound of you crunching around in the salt while you find a blanket (they do run out) and a chair.

- Before you enter the cave, you leave your shoes and jackets outside. There is someone on duty who watches over your stuff. Naturally you can bring your purse into the cave with you.

- The cave is a comfortable climate suitable for short sleeves; you may even want to don a swimsuit. The advantage of this is that it’s recommended to play in the salt (it’s like a gigantic sandbox with salt instead of sand) and rub it on your body. There are blankets available if you fear you might get chilly.

- The salt is white. If you wear dark colors, you could emerge looking a mess. Wear light colors if at all possible, especially white socks.

- There is a corner for children with toys. When you make your reservation, you might want to check and see if there will be children present at the same time. You can ask for a time slot with or without children, your preference. Whole families representing every generation visit the cave together.

- The cave is intended to be a peaceful place. Some even drift to sleep when they turn down the lights. It’s not a place where rowdy drunks or chatterboxes would fit in nicely.

You will probably want to buy some of the delightful bath salts for sale at a very reasonable price at the front counter so you can continue your beauty and health regime at home.

If you’re hungry afterwards, you’re in luck: right next door is a restaurant, the Jolly Inn, with a Polish buffet that is out of this world!

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