By Madeleine Kates   

Dry salt therapy, also known as halotherapy, has grown in popularity among many Western New Yorkers, especially during allergy season. The concept for halotherapy originated when a physician in Poland noticed that individuals working deep in the Wieliczka Salt Mine didn’t have lung issues like the workers in other mines.

AURA Salt Cave and Wellness’ (AURA) salt cave was created by a fabricator who traveled to the United States from Poland, and utilizes roughly 22,000 pounds of imported pink Polish salt. “While the cave itself is decorated with much of this salt, the key to having a true salt cave experience is the halogenerator that works by crushing medical-grade salt into aerosolized particles. Halotherapy takes place by breathing in the salty air,” says Kelly Deberg, owner and founder of AURA.

Kelly suffered from sinus issues for most of her life, but found little relief until she tried halotherapy during a visit to Canada. Kelly spent two decades working at a corporate job that required extensive travel. During this time, she took the opportunity to visit salt caves and try halotherapy at different locations throughout the United States. A Western New York native, Kelly decided to settle down her life of constant travel, and returned to Buffalo to open her own salt cave, incorporating all of the best qualities she experienced from those she had visited.

“Many of our clients come to AURA with sinus problems or respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD, respiratory allergies, or chronic cough. Others come for the relaxation the cave provides,” says Kelly. Clients of all ages are welcome at the AURA Salt Cave. In addition to the salt cave experience, there are many class offerings hosted in the cave, including Family Hour in the Cave, Guided Meditation, and Healing Circles. AURA also offers massage therapy, reiki, hypnosis, infrared saunas, skincare services, and more.

One of the myths about salt caves is that clients will be sitting in a dark tiny space, but actually, the Salt Cave and Halo Room at AURA are spacious, softly lit rooms with comfortable chairs. And for those with mobility issues, AURA’s Halotherapy Room is fully wheelchair accessible and utilizes the same halogenerator as the cave.

“It means everything to us to create a friendly place where we meet so many wonderful clients who become family. Best of all, we see them leave AURA feeling better than when they arrived,” says Kelly. “Our goal is to make coming to AURA an experience you can feel good about.”

To book an appointment at AURA Salt Cave and Wellness, call 716-276-9120. Find AURA online at, or visit their location for a tour at 6429 Transit Road in East Amherst.

Madeleine Kates is a graduate of Niagara University with degrees in Environmental Science, Life Science, and Psychology. She holds certificates in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, and CHEF Coaching from Harvard University.