By Kalea Hall
Tracy Prizant dips her hands into the pink Himalayan salt she’s imported from Pakistan.
Prizant likes to feel the salt, sit in it and breathe it in.
She wants others to do the same so they also can feel its power.
That’s why she’s taken on the task of opening her own salt therapy business in Boardman.
“It was remarkable for me,” Prizant said of the salt therapy. “For me, I thought it was a great alternative. If you can try something that’s natural, why not give it a try?”
Salt Sensations, 1449 Boardman-Canfield Road, Suite 220, opened in March with therapy sessions to help its clients breathe, relax, refresh and heal.
Imagine the beach. The ocean’s aromas wrap around your senses and you feel a blanket of relaxation. Inside Salt Sensations’ therapy rooms, clients get a chance to dip into the Himalayan salt, breathe in refined pharmaceutical-grade salt and watch views of the ocean and other scenes.
The lights are dim, and the air is cooled to a temperature of 65 to 70 degrees with 40 percent humidity.
Just eight months ago, Prizant, a seasonal asthmatic, was trying out salt therapy for the first time.
She went with her aunt, Judy Mazzanoble, who is on oxygen 24/7 and suffers from emphysema.
“We were like two little kids,” Mazzanoble said. “We went in, and we couldn’t believe it.”
Mazzanoble and Prizant came out of the salt therapy session feeling good.
Both continued the therapy and continued to feel good.
“I thought, ‘This is the real deal,’” Prizant said.
Prizant continued to look into salt therapy. She learned how it was used for healing purposes all over the world. Salt therapy started in eastern Europe about 150 years ago after a doctor noticed the health of salt-mine workers. They rarely showed signs of respiratory illnesses, lung disease or colds.
Salt therapy is said to help relieve the symptoms of allergies, asthma, bronchitis, ear infections and skin conditions.
Twenty-some years ago, Prizant ran her own gourmet gift basket business. She then worked with her husband, Ron, an anesthesiologist, running his medical practices.
She knew how to run a business and saw the benefits of salt therapy, so she went for it.
Prizant was soon buying thousands of pounds of the Himalayan salt hand-mined in Pakistan salt caves. She also purchased Estonia-made halogenerators to grind the pharmaceutical-grade salt into tiny particles that infuse the air.
She wanted the salt therapy sessions she brought to the Mahoning Valley to be different from what she experienced. Instead of a cave-like setting, she wanted a more-open feel to the therapy rooms. With the help of Boardman-based Architectural Design Inc., she was able to see her vision take shape.
“I wanted it to be modern and accessible to everybody,” Prizant said.
Salt Sensations has a burst of fun colors – mostly turquoise and green – that add to the oceanic feel. To top it off, portions of the walls inside the salt therapy rooms are lined with salt paneling. The heated floor is filled with the Himalayan salt.
Salt Sensations offers rooms for adults and children, both with suitable environments. Children play in the warmed salt with toys as if they are at the beach. Adults relax in chairs and the salt. There’s also a private room with a salt booth for those who want to experience the therapy alone.
Throughout the process of opening her business, Prizant has seen nothing but enthusiasm for something so new to the area.
Her aunt is “just over the moon,” Prizant said.
“I knew when she found the right niche she would explore it,” Mazzanoble said. “She’s amazing. I am just so proud of her.”
Prizant’s enthusiasm is visible within the first few minutes of meeting her. Her belief in the therapy and passion for sharing it is obvious. She already sees a future with more salt therapy locations. Her enthusiasm has brought on yoga instructors and a meditation facilitator to take up class offerings at Salt Sensations.
“For me, it’s more things to work with,” Kathy Garritano, the meditation facilitator at Salt Sensations, said of the salt therapy. “You can really experience the salt air opening up the lungs. You can smell the salt and taste it.”
Garritano, a registered nurse and yoga instructor, sees the benefits from both Western medicine and the alternative. It’s all about what helps people feel better.
“I really think people are getting ready to take more reasonability [with their] health,” she said. “All of this really fits in together ... promoting health and wellness in the simple, most natural way.”
For more information, go to www.saltsensationsUSA.com.