Zionsville residents Shauna and Darren Hale struggled with sinus pressure and allergies for years until they tried a therapy involving Himalayan salt.

“It made a huge difference in my life,” Shawna said. “The headaches were gone.”

“We did the salt therapy together for the first time three years ago,” Darren said. “It really helped. It was very relaxing but more importantly, the pain was gone.”

After Shauna received her applied neuro science certificate from Butler University, she was convinced starting a business was something she wanted to do to help others.

“I studied the brain for the past year and the brain science behind this is amazing,” Shauna said. “I feel like I’ve been pulled. In the beginning I thought I would always be a teacher. (Shauna is a former kindergarten, having taught in Zionsville and, more recently, Speedway.) It was really hard for me to walk away from the classroom, but I feel like I can truly help beyond the four walls of the classroom. I feel it in my heart.”

Salt for Your Soul, on the town line between Zionsville and Carmel, offers two therapies, with more planned in the near future.

The salt room features 700 pounds of Himalayan salt on the floor. Once a session begins, a fine mist of salt is pumped into the room, based on a client’s symptoms and needs. The mist is finer than a strand of hair and may not even be noticed, but the couple says it can still do its job..

Customers walk in and lie in a lounge chair for 25 minutes and simply breathe in the effects of the salt, Shauna explained.

“In here you just kick back and chill,” Shauna said. “It helps with upper respiratory, sinus, allergies, headaches and skin conditions such as acne, eczema and more. Remember when your mom told you to gargle with salt water? It’s the same principle. Salt is healing and it puts healing properties in your body.”

All ages are able to take advantage of the therapy. Children have access to buckets and shovels to play in the salt. They receive the therapy and feel like they’re playing at the beach in the process.

Many people, Shauna said, have seen amazing results. They walk out of the room feeling calm and relaxed.

Flotation is the second type of salt therapy.

The Hales say they have the only water tank system in the United States, with the exception of the Philadelphia Eagles, that drains all of the water out of the tub each time, filtering it in a holding tank with UV treatment, allowing Shauna to clean out the inside of the tub between each client and before clean water is pumped back in.

Clients shower before they float to rinse off oils on the skin. They can float in a swimsuit or naked, with the lid opened or closed (it’s all according to preference) and relax in the highly concentrated salt water and let the process take effect.

What may feel odd at first is that the salt in the water causes the body to float. All shapes and sizes have tried it and people often walk in saying they have no ability to float in a pool, but yet they do in the salt bath.

“It’s the salinity in the water; like floating in the Dead Sea. Nothing can live in this water because the salinity is so high. I still treat my water with enzymes and hydrogen peroxide, among other things,” Shauna said. “It takes 15 to 20 minutes to get used to it. Flotation is kind of a learned thing because you have to trust it, but you’ll fall into a relaxed state.”

The treatment is meant for relaxation, but also for joint and muscular pain, arthritis, cramps and chronic headaches.

“Your endorphins are sky high, so you feel like you’re on top of the world,” said Shauna. “At first, we hold all of our tension in our neck but I’ve found if you put your hands above your head, it can relax your shoulders and you slide into it. It’s incredible.”

Either process can be done daily if a client requests it, though effects typically last the evening and up to a couple of days. Some compare salt therapy to a massage, but with longer effects.

“People have told us they felt great for the rest of the day and they had a great night sleep. For me, after a massage, it feels good, but I get back in the car and I’m stressed again in 30 minutes. This has a longer lasting effect,” Darren said.

There are several more rooms and several more plans for the business.

A quiet space offers an area clients can unwind or prepare for the drive home. The space has grounding mats with minimal vibration that provide a calming connection.

There is a community room where the Hales will offer various one-day events, healing courses, support groups and art exhibits. The room will also be available for baby showers, birthday and bachelorette parties and other events.

In the next four weeks, they expect to receive a pet container for animal salt therapy; also healing in allergies, joint and muscle relaxation and more.

Salt for the Soul is at 3802 W. 96th St., Indianapolis. Visit the website at saltforyoursoul.com or call 317-876-SALT for more information.

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