Meredith Utley plays with her sons, Gavin, 6, and Tucker, 3, in the Breathe Easy Salt Spa’s children’s room. Photo by Jay Paul
Rob and Stacy Gebhardt's quest to find additional therapies to treat their son's cystic fibrosis led them to a Florida salt spa in 2010. They were so impressed with the results that they set out to open their own version close to home.
The Chesterfield County couple thought of visiting the salt spa after a doctor suggested that trips to the beach might help their 4-year-old son, Myles. Relatively new to the United States, salt spas are popular in Europe. Proponents say that salt therapy (or halotherapy) helps with relaxation as well as respiratory conditions such as asthma, sinus infection and allergies.
The Gebhardts' Breathe Easy Salt Spa, which opened in January in Chesterfield's Westchester Commons, emulates the environment of naturally occurring salt caves found in Eastern Europe. For the family, the spa is a passion as well as a business — in fact, both Rob and Stacy hold down additional full-time jobs.
Inside the spa, the walls and ceilings of the 250-square-foot rooms are covered in natural Himalayan rock salt. A computer-controlled salt generator grinds medical-grade salt into micron-sized particles that then fill the air. In addition to respiratory ailments, a 45-minute session is said to help ease stress and clear up skin problems like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Open seven days a week, the spa also has a room designed especially for children. Sessions range in price from $25 to $140, depending on the package and a client's age. 794-6167 or breatheeasysaltspa.com .