Salt therapy aims to bring relief for chronic illness

Erin Brown and her three children understand pain. They have traveled a 19-year long road of disease and sickness resulting in a total of more than 50 surgeries between them. Brown has been diagnosed with cancer, twice. The doctors, medicines and procedures were helping her family to survive. Brown wanted her children to thrive. She turned to centuries-old remedies that are practiced so commonly in other nations that they are covered by insurance companies – oils, salt therapy and infrared sauna. And, they worked. Her children no longer ingest a shelf full of medication for asthma, migraines and seizures. Instead, they’ve been able to manage their symptoms with help from the more natural remedies. “We’re all walking cesspools,” Brown said. “The question is how to get it out of us. This is where you start.” The meshing of the high tech treatment and long-trusted remedies were a force to be reckoned with. One healed, the other helped in the healing process and managed symptoms. Earlier this month, Brown and business partner Brent Dowsey, of Fairhope, opened Salt Life Spa in Fairhope to introduce others to the therapies that her family has relied on for relief. The spa’s main salt therapy room features a gigantic wall of gorgeous, pink salt bricks, 8,800 pounds worth. In the center a halogenerator grinds the pharmaceutical grade salt into micro-particles. Guests relax in chairs and sit quietly while the salt floats through the room and falls onto the skin and is inhaled. Much like a visit to the sea, you can taste the salt on your skin and lips. The spa also offers a children’s play area that looks like a sand-covered beach except instead of sand, the children play in more than 2,500 pounds of salt grains. “The very salt they play in can help them,” Brown said. The inhaled salt opens airways and reduces inflammation by breaking up and loosening mucous. The salt also absorbs impurities in the body to help remove allergens, toxins and bacteria from the lungs and skin. Studies have shown salt therapy to help overall health but to especially benefit people who have suffered mold exposure, allergies, bronchitis COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, psoriasis, eczema and acne. “It really opens you up and generally gives your body a break,” Brown said. “And, every service is backed up with peer reviewed medical journals. “It won’t and can’t heal a disease but this can complement medical treatments,” she said. “Everybody’s body is different. There is a suggested amount of sessions but it may take more or less.” There are no adverse side effects to sitting in the salt rooms. In addition to the salt therapies, Brown offers an infrared sauna which heats your core. The health benefits can include weight loss, reduction in blood pressure, pain relief, anti-aging and wound healing. Brown also teaches clients how to use essential oils. “So many people have these oils and don’t know what to do with them,” she said. “They are therapeutic grade so they really need to learn how to use them correctly.” Brown said she has been asked about other services such as massage but Salt Life Spa focuses on the therapies the family has used and become experts in during their nearly two decades of managing their own health issues. “We’re thriving and the kids now know how to do more than just survive,” Brown said. “With all that has been dealt to us, if we use what we’ve learned to help other people, that’s where you find living.”