April 8, 2019

I Visited A Salt Room...

Recently I've been experiencing migraines and back pain more than normal.

Unfortunately I have a long history of migraines and have a bad back. Usually the pain from both is manageable, 
but it's been out of control the past few weeks and I wanted to try something new. Add seasonal allergies and
sinus congestion to it and I've been miserable. I wanted to share about my visit to the salt room and the benefits 
I experienced after, this post is not sponsored. 
A few years ago, AKI opened in Erie and I was intrigued. I popped in once when I was out running errand
with Bella and got some information. It was one of those things that I didn't do right away, so I naturally
forgot about it. AKI is a local business that uses halotherapy with the soothing capabilities of Himalayan salt.
Halotherapy is a treatment that involves breathing in salty air. It's been known to help treat conditions such as
allergies, asthma, bronchitis, and assist in reducing inflammation and lessen mucus production, making it easier
to breathe.
I called looking to get in within a few days and the employee on the phone kindly offered me something later
the same day if I was available. I took the appointment and was excited to visit the salt room for the first time.
I arrived a little early, probably out of anticipation and decided to go in so I could browse and take some pictures
if permitted. I was greeted and given a waiver form to read and sign. It explained that I should visit a health 
professional to be treated for specific symptoms, that I could not take electronics in to the salt room due to the 
the damage that may be caused, and a few standard other things. While reviewing the waiver, the owner
did some things in the salt room, like raking the floor of salts and prepping the equipment. I was told to remove
my shoes, and that I could wear my own socks or the ones provided in to the salt room. You can not wear shoes,
because the salts should not transfer from the floor of the room out to the normal space of the business. There
were lockers to store my valuables and after taking care of my belongings I continued to browse while my
visit was getting set up. AKI is in a plaza of local businesses in Erie and is a great location for people in town,
like myself. Next door is The Juice Jar- my favorite place to get smoothies, and on the other side is Brew Ha-Ha-
a cute coffee shop. I love supporting local businesses and hope that more people check out AKI for all the
benefits it can provide.
AKI Salt Room has a storefront with natural scrubs, lotion, beard oils and essential oil blends for various uses.
I use and love essential oils, and the owner Kathy makes all the blends that she sells and for the first time ever I
was shown an inhaler type oil. I purchased an anxiety relief blend to help when needed and the smell is amazing.
I also purchased an organic salt soap that is absolutely heavenly and know this will become a regular staple for me.
Another awesome option for the lotions and scrubs is to add a perfume oil. There are about 40 options of perfumed
oil that you can add to fragrance any lotion or scrub you purchase at AKI. I wear a few different perfumes, and Kathy
has mimicked the scents of designer brands if you want to smell like that with your lotion and scrub too. My beloved Juicy Couture and Prada Candy smelled exactly like the samples at AKI, how awesome!

I was then taken in to the room that is inside the storefront of AKI, that is the actual salt room. There are 4 chairs inside, so you can enjoy the experience with friends or family, or you may be paired with depends how many appointments AKI has set for your time slot. Two of the chairs an Adirondack/hammock style and the other two are zero-gravity chairs. I chose a zero-gravity chair and was shown how to use it. Each chair has a little station next to it with a Himalayan salt ball, a sheet on 12 ways to relax and enjoy your experience, a blanket and neck support pillow. Kathy explained that the music would continue, a nice relaxing mix that you would hear at a spa and that the thermostat would occasionally kick on to regulate the temperature of the room. At the beginning of my time a recording would come on and tell a little bit of information then I would relax for 45 minutes and at the end the music would lower, the doors would open and my session would end.
For starters, the room is absolutely beautiful. The salt walls are backlit and the recording states that this salt room is the first of it's kind because of this. Most rooms are darker and don't have light beaming from behind. Although the walls were backlit, it was still very zen-like and I was able to relax just fine. The list of ways to relax was so helpful and talked about ways to release and relax your muscles, do hand massages and let your brain go to a place of calmness. I've never done meditation so at first it was difficult for me, since I was thinking about my to-do list and other things. After a few minutes and doing some massage and playing with the salt ball in my hands I noticed myself drifting and thinking of happy things and my body became relaxed. I don't know the last time I sat and did NOTHING for 15 minutes, let alone 45. It was absolutely heavenly and much needed. A few times I 45 minutes has to be up, but it wasn't. It goes to show just how much our body needs this. I closed my eyes and never fell asleep, just relaxed and let my brain and body enjoy the calm space.

My session ended and Kathy cleaned up some equipment while I gathered my belongings and we talked about my visit. I was so intrigued, relaxed, and impressed. She was a wealth of knowledge, so easy to talk to without being "pushy" or feeling like I was being sold something. She answered all my questions, talked to me about the benefits of the salt room and gave me information about her move to Erie and starting the business. I felt like I could talk to her all day. She went over products I inquired about and stayed past closing time to help me, which was much appreciated. I asked if I could take some more pictures to accompany a post on the blog and she happily agreed.
Once I left, I noticed my migraine was gone. Kathy told me that the salt room can help with depression, anxiety (which I have), and feeling sick. If you wake up congested or with a scratchy throat, you should immediately visit. Salt is proven to break down mucus and will rid your body of the sickness from the mucus. There are less than 1,000 salt rooms or caves in the United States- so check it out and see if you have one close to you to visit! The one in Erie was built by builders from Poland, and as I previously mentioned is the first of it's kind due to the backlit room. Kathy is currently doing some case studies with people who experience different symptoms of sickness, pain such as arthritis and more to learn more about the healing properties of salt. She said you could essentially get the equipment used in the salt room to pump a dry aerosol of salt in to the air of a room made of drywall and experience the same results in terms of the mucus and sickness, but it would not be as beneficial due to the mediating state of the salt walls inside AKI.
I want to add that the products are reasonably priced- I left with soap and the essential oil inhaler for $18. The 45 minute salt room session was $30 and there are passes and memberships also available to purchase.

Needless to say I'm hooked and was absolutely mind-blown at all the information I received and how well my visit went. I highly recommend checking out a salt room, even if you're not sick or experiencing pain. The calmness and peace I felt for those 45 minutes was much needed and appreciated. Thank you AKI for the hospitality and bringing this greatness to Erie, Pa.
Tell me- have you ever done something like this? Would you visit a salt room?

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