Written by Beth Exley

Are you in need of getting away to relax and rejuvenate? Among the ancient pines of Cook Forest, the Gateway Lodge is a calming retreat offering locally sourced fine foods, a full spa, and an atmosphere of relaxation and personal attention. Let your mind and body experience the calming serenity offered exclusively at The Woods Spa. Treatments can include a relaxing two-night stay in the Fireside Jacuzzi suite, breakfast, dinner, and onsite massages. Massages range from Head & foot massage, elemental nature massage, stress-fix massage, or fusion stone relaxation massage. The Woods Spa is an exclusive Aveda-Inspired Retreat to wellbeing.

At Western PA’s newest Himalayan Salt Room in Knox, surrounded by pink Himalayan Salt, you will enjoy a 40-minute Halotherapy session. Sit back, relax, rejuvenate, and breathe. Himalayan Pink Salt is an all-natural, mineral-rich salt that is harvested from ancient sea salt deposits located deep in the Himalayas. Once a prehistoric ocean, the water evaporated and left behind pure, crystallized salt. People have known of its benefits for thousands of years. Salt therapy, known as halotherapy, is a holistic method that reproduces the natural micro-climate of a salt cave by dispersing dry salt in a room whose surfaces are covered with layers of salt. The dry salt in the room may provide relief for sleep problems, allergies, COPD, and some skin ailments. A salt room session lasts 40 minutes and requires no more than lying back and breathing. Micro particles of salt are dispersed into the room by the halogenerator while you relax, listen to music, sleep, or meditate. Halotherapy is safe for most people. Eating or ingesting too much salt can be bad for your body, breathing it in does not affect your heart, stomach or kidneys, as exposure during salt therapy is limited to your respiratory system. Even then, the concentration of pharmaceutical grade salt that you breathe in during salt therapy is very low (between .5 and 10 milligrams per cubic meter — less than a teaspoon). Because of salt’s natural anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to clear passageways and break down mucous, it has only healing effects when taken into the body this way.

The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors is great for so many reasons. Whether you are looking to hike, bike, kayak, canoe, swim, camp or just looking to relax and rejuvenate, we have something to offer. For more information on the PA Great Outdoors, go to


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