They have been used for centuries across the globe to cure various health ailments and induce relaxation. Last year on Nov. 30, a salt room opened in Brookings, South Dakota.
Kristine Skorseth and Brenda Lanz founded Salt Serenity, a therapeutic salt room, as an extension of their other successful business, Prairie Breeze Massage. The building is located directly next to the massage spa in the City Plaza mall on Sixth Street near Cinema 5 and Midstates Flooring. Founder Skorseth has been a massage therapist at this spa for almost 20 years.
“We’re really just looking to help everyone with health issues. Halotherapy is great for people with respiratory problems and it’s been proven helpful for things like asthma and seasonal allergies,” Skorseth said.
Halotherapy is a form of physical therapy that uses salt to cleanse the body. Salt is vaporized into tiny air particles and blown into a room where patients breath in deeply. As ionized salt particles fill the lungs, they are cleansed of allergens and environmental contaminants as well as other various ailments.
The idea came when Lanz visited Orlando, Fla. six years ago and first encountered a salt room. She was intrigued by the experience and was eager for the opportunity to introduce one in South Dakota.
The salt room is small with dark woods and salt blocks lining the walls. Heat lamps provide a dim, yellow light that fills the room as soft music plays in the background. Clients step into a pit filled with crystallized Himalayan salt and sit in one of several reclining chairs as salted air is blown into the room from another room.
Both Skorseth and Lanz are excited to offer their services to South Dakota State University students looking for relaxation or a health cleanse, especially athletes.
“For athletes, the salt room is great for opening up lung capacity,” Lanz said. “There are a lot of studies to prove that people are able to perform and just live better when they have prolonged exposure to the salt.”
Multiple sessions exhibit more results than one, Skorseth said.
“Each session builds on the last,” Skorseth said. “That’s what makes the salt room so good for sinus problems as well, and I think we’ve had a lot of our clients notice that too. People might notice that their noses start running as the salt starts to seep in and their sinuses start clearing up.”
Anyone at any age can use the salt room. A single adult can schedule a 45-minute session for $28 and a child with an adult can have a 20-minute session for $30. Salt Serenity sees about 20 clients per week and have seen children as young as 18 months.
Gretchen Lambrecht has been visiting the salt room with her daughter about once every two weeks for the past two months with her six-year-old daughter Finola. Lambrecht says she’s dealt with sinus problems her whole life.
“I had seen specialists who just kept telling me to take allergy medications. I didn’t want to do that. I had seen Kris [Skorseth] for massage therapy for almost 18 years and she told me about her idea for the salt room,” Lambrecht said. “After my third session, I noticed a major difference. The constant drainage from my nose and my sore throat both went away.”
Salt Serenity also offers retail products including edible salt for consumption, cook books utilizing the Himalayan salt they use and heated salt lamps. The business owners also plan to add a second room if their first is successful.
“We would say to just try it out,” Lanz said. “ There are just so many advantages to salt therapy and we’re really happy when someone walks out feeling better than when they had when they come in.”