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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

The Salt Room: Bringing Sea Air to Minnesota

Aug 30, 2014 10:02AM ● By Jackie Flaherty

Gloria WahrenBrock, owner of the Salt Room Woodbury, endorses the concept and therapeutic results of salt therapy from her own personal tragedy in 2012.

WahrenBrock came down with Legionnaires’ disease while visiting the Dominican Republic.

“I couldn’t run. I couldn’t walk. I was in bad shape,” WahrenBrock says. At one point, she was rushed to an emergency room where doctors wanted to admit her to a hospital. WahrenBrock declined.

When she started to look for alternatives, she felt the ocean calling to her, at her second home in Orlando, Florida. One day she spotted a sign advertising a local salt-breathing room. The sign said “Inhale. Exhale. Stay well.” WahrenBrock felt the sign speak to her and after visiting The Salt Room three times in one week, she felt well enough to stop using her inhaler. When she returned home to Hudson, WI, she felt she was cured.

Thus began the idea to create The Salt Room, Woodbury, was conceived.

Gloria WahrenBrock

Salt therapy, or halotherapy, has been around since the days of ancient Greece, where it was believed that the salty ocean air was naturally healing. The Greeks placed great faith in the healing powers of the salt-rich Mediterranean Sea. Eastern Europeans later rediscovered curative powers of salt by noticing that while those who worked in coal mines battled chronic respiratory problems, those who worked in salt mines were rarely ill and, in fact, were healthier than most people in their communities. 

Salt therapy, WahrenBrock says, is great for building the immune system and can ward off colds and the flu. It also improves energy levels.

Halotherapy facilitates relief by opening the nasal airways, killing bacteria and helping the drainage of sinuses. People suffering from chest congestion can breathe easier as mucus clears from the lungs. 

The Salt Room simulates the natural microclimate found in salt caves and mines but has the added benefit of a highly controlled sodium chloride flow. Dry sodium chloride aerosol containing particles is produced and pushed into the room by a halogenerator, which has a microprocessor that monitors and maintains the temperature, relative humidity and mass concentration of aerosol in the chamber.

The air in salt mines is permeated with negative ions, which can help clear breathing passages and lungs as well as other symptoms that dramatically improve a variety of health conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, COPD, cystic fibrosis, chronic ear, nose and throat (ENT) illnesses, eczema, psoriasis and insomnia. Recent medical studies in Europe and Canada have shown that salt rooms can also benefit other conditions such as snoring, colds, allergies, wheezing, smoker’s cough, influenza and chest tightness.

WahrenBrock, owner of two Massage Envy franchises in Hudson and Stillwater, already knew how to run a business and believed the east metro area needed a salt room. It’s the second salt-breathing business in the metro area, founded after the Salt Cave, in Minneapolis.

When clients enter the specially ventilated room, they crunch through three inches of salt on the floor to get to the zero-gravity lounge chairs, where they relax in chambers with salt-coated ceiling and walls. Warm blankets and soft music help create a tranquility zone for napping, meditating or reading.

In the children’s room, kids can use beach buckets and dump trucks to play in the salt. There’s also a smaller, private room where clients with wheelchairs, walkers and other medial conditions can enjoy the salt treatments.

WahrenBrock says that salt therapy isn’t meant to discourage taking prescribed medicines. “Breathing sessions should be used in addition to, not in place of, drugs. We would never recommend that people quit taking their prescriptions.”

She adds, “People who have gone to the beach say, ‘Oh, I feel so much better.' That’s because they have been breathing salt.”

The Salt Room is located at 2110 Eagle Creek Ln., Suite. 350, Woodbury. For more information, call 651-436-1725 or visit

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