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Healing salt


August 2015

In 2012, Michael Power was a successful human resources executive with a great job and dozens of people reporting to him. But he had a slight problem. He couldnít breathe.

"I had seen three different specialists and got three different diagnoses," Power recalls. "I was having a chronic coughing attack in one of the doctorís offices at the same time he was telling me there was nothing wrong with me."

At that point, Power, who has suffered from asthma, hay fever ("Iím allergic to anything that grows outside"), chronic sinusitis and severe migraines was presented with the option of "risky, invasive surgery."

Power turned to the Internet to find courses of natural relief for respiratory conditions and found a new path from something quite old.

Halo Therapy, the inhalation of dry salt to address respiratory issues, while not overly practiced in this country has been present in Europe in various forms for hundreds of years. Sodium chloride is heated to maximize its therapeutic properties and ground into microscopic particles. The particles are released into a special room where patients breathe them in, achieving deep penetration into the respiratory system, killing bacteria and relaxing breathing-related muscles to reduce hyperallergic responses while stimulating the overall breathing process.

In its earliest history, patients would be lowered into salt caves for treatment. These days, patients are led into 500-square-foot "salt rooms" for the therapy. In December of 2013, Power discovered one of the few treatment centers in the U.S. in suburban Chicago, found relief after three visits, and decided to move on from his career in the corporate world and open his own Halo Therapy facility, Breathe Ready in Menomonee Falls, which began operations in March of this year.

While other centers place groups of people in larger salt rooms, Breathe Ready offers smaller individual salt rooms, custom designed for each patientís particular condition and treatment needs. Power says patients aged "2 to 87, relatively healthy (including performance athletes) to chronically ill," have enjoyed great relief from asthma, allergies, COPD and cystic fibrosis.

Power says he wanted to make the therapy "feasible for everybodyís budget to improve the quality of his or her life." Each session costs around $30, with anywhere from 10 to 15 sessions recommended for a course of treatment. Breathe Ready, which also offers skin therapy, has done little advertising, but word of mouth referrals have meant brisk business. The clinic hosted more than 500 sessions in its first three months.

Power wants to partner with physicians and medical professionals to advance the use and understanding of Halo Therapy. He still receives remedial therapy, which he says has produced the kind of sustained relief he wants others to enjoy. "Itís such a warm and wonderful feeling. It gives me motivation to know Iím doing the right thing."

Try Dry Skin Brushing

You probably spend a lot of time every day taking care of the skin on your face, but what about the rest of your body? For an increasing number of people, dry skin brushing is becoming a popular and important part of a daily skin care routine for their arms, legs and torso.

Dry skin brushing is brushing the skin in a particular pattern (toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and working to the chest is most recommended) with a dry brush, usually before a bath or shower.

The possible benefits reported from various healthcare publications include increased flow in the lymphatic system to detoxifying the body. It also exfoliates (removing dead skin cells and cleaning pores) as well as increases energy and blood flow and can even reduce cellulite.

Quality dry skin brushes are inexpensive (under $20, Google "dry skin brushes" to see a variety of choices) and should feature bristles made from natural material and a long handle to reach the back and other tough to reach body locations.

Brush firmly, but not too hard so that it hurts or your skin reddens. Brush daily, but not right before bedtime when your skin could become too energized to enable sleep.


This story ran in the August 2015 issue of: