Project Best Life | Salt Caves and Good Vibrations: Creating Your Best Life With Alternative Health Options

Research has shown that your mental health is directly related to your physical health. So it seems only natural that people are combining the two when it comes to taking care of their wellbeing. Whether it be through the uplifting practice of dance and sound healing, or the calm serenity of a Himalayan salt cave – people are turning to holistic health modalities in an attempt to live fuller, happier, and healthier lives.

Holistic health is an approach to wellness that simultaneously addresses the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual components of health. As a field of practice, holistic medicine draws from many disciplines, religions, and cultures to heal or prevent illness in people.

Firefly Guidance

“Holistic health modalities use different treatment options that allow someone to come back to homeostasis within themselves. When given that space the body innately moves towards healing,” said Kimberly Holmes of FireFly Guidance. “We use holistic modalities to treat the whole person — taking into account more than just the physical symptoms of a disease or injury.” 

Kimberly is a Buffalo-born intuitive guide, classically trained violinist and sound healer. She studied multiple holistic healing modalities at the world renowned Esalen Institute in California, before returning to Buffalo and creating her healing modality company – FireFly Guidance.

“Emotions are stored in our body and these blockages can create physical ailments,” said Kimberly, with an almost melodic voice. “You know when they say ‘you have the weight of the world on your shoulders?’ And you can really feel your tense shoulders. Essentially these are our stored emotions and our traumas that we are holding onto in our body. So when we release these emotions you will actually feel the physical bodies release. It’s this interconnected web of mind, body and emotions that we are trying to work on all levels to heal.”

FireFly Guidance is all about releasing those stored emotions through the use of sound therapy and intuitive healing. Kimberly offers somatic sessions where tuning forks are pressed on acupuncture points. This technique helps to clear energetic blockages in the body promoting healing on the physical and subtle emotional bodies. Tuning fork therapy is a very gentle, yet powerful modality that works with the nervous system. It is deeply relaxing and restorative and oftentimes Kimberly will play violin, sound bowls or even the didgeridoo in her sessions. 

Whether it is caused by injury or stress, using sound waves to counter an imbalance in our emotional body is thought to achieve harmony and bring about physical healing. The concept revolves around the idea that a person can feel mentally, physically and emotionally unwell because their “life vibrations” are out of balance.

Kimberly also offers Intuitive guidance. In her session, she gives you a place that allows you to be heard and understood while finding your way to your own authentic self. “My job is to help lead you home,” she says with a smile. 

You can learn more about FireFly Guidance and her other offerings such as space clearing and astrology sessions here.

Fifth Element Soul

Another local healer who is incorporating “good vibrations” into their healing sessions, is Sarah Fisher of Fifth Element Soul. Fifth Element Soul is a community of people who gather for ecstatic or conscious dance ceremonies, breath work and sound healing. 

“Conscious dance is a free form, cathartic movement meditation, in a safe, accepting atmosphere where everyone is sharing their authentic self” said Sarah, who facilitates the ceremonies alongside her 18-year-old daughter, Eva.

During these stunning and transcendent sessions, you will be welcomed into a warm and vibrant community atmosphere. “We show up sober or conscious,” said Sarah, “we don’t wear shoes and we don’t talk to each other on the dance floor. We create a sacred container for meditation [and] for this beautiful movement to come through. This is the dance you dance when no one is watching.”

This mother and daughter team are committed to bringing healthy nightlife and healing opportunities to Buffalo. “I love to be in a room full of sober people” said Sarah, “I think Buffalo needs more of that. Room for healthy night life – conscious night life!” 

Conscious dance ceremonies give each participant a chance to exercise while also celebrating the magnificence of their body and their life. It significantly improves quality of life by promoting physical health and vitality, mental clarity, emotional expression, spiritual connection and creativity.

“An hour of dancing in itself is a real physical challenge,” said Sarah. “But I also find I am less likely to get depressed or isolated (especially in these winter months) when I have vibrant, healthy and hopeful people around me.  Also you get so few chances to really pause and connect with your inner self. To have that moment to come back into resonance with good healthy sounds, cathartic meditative movement and other people who are showing up authentically. Plus it’s FUN! We can all use some more fun in our life.”

Fifth Element Soul offers weekly ceremonies on Wednesday evenings at the First Presbyterian Church, as well as other cacao and grief healing ceremonies. You can check out their instagram to learn more.

Southtown Salt Cave

If you’re not ready to put on your dancing shoes, but are still wanting to benefit from holistic health modalities, you can visit the Southtown Salt Cave in Hamburg. Here they offer a variety of modalities such as Halotherapy (salt caves), Infrared saunas with chromotherapy, and hand and foot detox sessions – just to name a few.

Owner Pam Toole is a registered nurse, psychic medium and reiki master. She stumbled across some salt caves whilst celebrating her anniversary in Europe. “While celebrating our anniversary we chose to spend a day at a Salt Cave and it transformed our lives,”  said Pam. “We knew we wanted to bring this back to Western New York for others to experience.”

Salt Caves are said to neutralizes the positive ions that we pick up from everyday electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, computers etc. Salt caves are also a natural and drug free option for respiratory ailments, skin conditions and mental wellbeing. 

When you enter the ambient and calm space you are greeted with a room covered in 10 tons of salt imported from Poland.  A gentle salt aerosol blows broken down particles of salt and mineral supplements into the room. This is known as halotherapy. 

Halotherapy is natural and safe and research has found that because of it’s anti inflammatory and immune boosting properties it can be used as part of the treatment for respiratory illness, asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, COPD and cystic fibrosis. Tiny salt particles used in halotherapy can also help repair your skin cells and protect your skin from aging and infection.

“Today there is a health clinic in an old salt mine in Europe because of the extraordinary health benefits it provides,” said Pam. “We have re-created this salt mine or cave, as we call it, so we can offer an adjunct to your current health regime and holistic options for wellness.”

You can learn more about the Southtown Salt Cave and what else they have to offer here.

Whether it be salt caves, conscious dance or tuning fork therapy there are so many new alternative treatments popping up right here in Buffalo that are rooted in the understanding that all experiences and aspects in life will affect your overall physical and mental health. So it is important that you work on both your mental and physical health in order to live your best life.

Harbhajan Singh Yogi said, “Your mind, emotions and body are instruments and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life.” 

Play on friends and stay healthy.

This series is sponsored by Project Best Life. Buffalo Rising and Project Best Life have teamed up to produce a series on wellness inspiration and advice to direct readers to the people, places, and experiences in Buffalo and beyond that will help them fulfill their health, nutrition, and wellness goals. For more information on how you can live your best life, subscribe to the Project Best Life newsletter.

Project Best Life

In tough times, our efforts to maintain fitness, healthy nutrition, and personal wellness can fall by the wayside as we direct all our energy into navigating our individual storm. Yet, in the face of what’s happening in the world around us, it is essential to make space for self-care and experiences that fortify our physical and mental wellbeing.

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Trying to manage a proper work-life balance, saving for your future while paying all your bills, all while keeping strong relationships with friends and family… We know that life can get pretty stressful, and it’s easy to forget what’s best for your health both physically and mentally. Project Best Life is here to help with our podcast: Happy and Healthy. We provide tips from experts and share stories that will inspire you to live your best life, whatever that means to you. Listen now on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google

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