In the mid-1800s, Polish health officials noticed salt mine workers didn’t suffer from the same types of upper respiratory problems and lung diseases as the general population. Officials attributed it to the small particles of salt they breathed in on a regular basis.
Fortunately, trekking to underground salt mines is no longer necessary to reap those same health benefits. A short trip to Salt for Your Soul can deliver the same results.
In July, Shauna Hale and her husband, Darren, opened Salt for Your Soul after Shauna watched her mother fight, and ultimately lose, a hard-fought battle with stomach cancer.
“I researched and used a lot of alternative treatments to help treat my mom and help ease her pain,” Shauna says. “And I am allergic to most every antibiotic there is, so I also had to find alternative treatments to illnesses for myself.”
So, the former kindergarten teacher earned an applied neuroscience degree from Butler University and set her sights on a different type of instruction – teaching the life-altering benefits of salt.
“I’m a teacher now, but not inside the four walls of a classroom,” she says. “I was pulled out of the classroom, almost like a magnetic force that pulled me into this.
Halo is the Greek word for salt, and halotherapy, also called dry salt therapy, is a procedure where pure, pharmaceutical grade salt is heated and ground up in a machine called a halogenerator, according to Shauna.
The crushed salt particles, which are 15 times smaller than a human hair, are then dispersed into the air to mimic the microclimate of a salt cave. The particles saturate the respiratory system where they work to remove toxins. This process, Shauna says, helps open and expand the constricted airways allowing her clients to breathe easier. She says the salt also reduces inflammation throughout the body and helps boost the immune system.
“There are plenty of studies I can produce for people, but the proof is in the salt,” Shauna says. “They need to just come and try it out. They will quickly see that the sound of salt is safety.”
And that is Shauna’s biggest goal – to make her clients feel safe.
“There aren’t a lot of places left where you can just feel safe,” she says. “And that is what I want people to feel here, from the moment they arrive until they leave.”
Shauna says that each person’s healing is important to her and that making her business feel like a healing space is critical.
“Everything has personal touches, from the moment you walk in until the moment you leave,” Shauna says. “Every person is extremely important to me.”
Children are welcome and encouraged to visit the salt rooms, and Shauna even has rocks, sticks, and shells for them to design Mandalas in the salt while they’re getting their treatments. Up to four people can be in a room at a time.
Those visiting Shauna’s other healing therapy, the flotation pods, are encouraged to “let your troubles go down my drain.”
The floatation pods are private, specialized pods filled with 10 inches of highly-saturated Epsom saltwater that allow you to float effortlessly on top of the water at near zero-gravity. The water is kept around 94 degrees, so it feels like your skin, and you don’t need to know how to swim because you basically float on top like a cork.
“We use 400 pounds of Epsom salt in 100 gallons of water,” Shauna says. “It is such a relaxing experience, and it allows you to absorb magnesium through the largest organ of our bodies, the skin.”
Shauna says the flotation pods also help reduce cortisol levels while raising the body’s endorphins.
Even though Shauna, who battled chronic sinus troubles, can personally attest to the fact that she has not had a sinus infection since she started halotherapy, she still battles the ongoing myth that salt is bad for you.
“I always hear from people who say they are on a low sodium diet, so they don’t think salt therapies are good for them,” she says. “But that simply isn’t true. Our treatments aren’t ingested, they are inhaled.”
Salt is very healing, Shauna says.
“Remember your grandma who told you to go gargle with salt water when your throat hurt?” Shauna asked. “That is because salt heals.”
But Shauna says the best time to visit either the salt rooms or the flotation device is before you feel bad.
“Come see us before you are sick to stay healthy,” she says. “Twenty sessions can boost your immune system for up to a year.”
For more information about floatation and halotherapy, visit saltforyoursoul.com. Salt For Your Soul is located in Indianapolis at 3802 W. 96th St. Keep an eye out for the pet services that will be coming soon to Salt For Your Soul.