Salthaus, an ancient therapy in a modern format, with co-founder Amber Berger
THE CALMING AND DETOXIFYING EFFECTS OF HALOTHERAPY CAN SUPPORT THE IMMUNE, NERVOUS AND LYMPHATIC SYSTEMS. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS ARE REDUCED STRESS AND HEADACHES, INCREASED ENERGY, AND BETTER SLEEP PATTERNS. SALT IONS PURIFY THE AIR AND MAY INCREASE LUNG CAPACITY AND REDUCE PHYSICAL AILMENTS FOR ADULTS, CHILDREN AND ATHLETES. TREATMENTS ARE RECOMMENDED TO HELP KEEP THE BODY HEALTHY DURING FLU OR ALLERGY SEASONS.
an excerpt from an article by Steven Novella on June 13, 2018
INTRODUCED TO THE LRFA BLOG BY AMBER BERGER, HALOTHERAPY HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE SINCE ANCIENT GREEK TIMES BUT WAS A COMPLETELY NEW WELLNESS CONCEPT TO ME UNTIL AMBER OPENED AN IMPECCABLY SMART, INVITING AND BEAUTIFULLY CONCEIVED SPACE CALLED SALTHAUS ON LEXINGTON AVENUE BETWEEN 81 & 82 STREET, HOPEFULLY, THE FIRST OF MANY. IT WAS INSTANTLY POPULAR WITH ADULTS AS WELL AS CHILDREN, A GATHERING PLACE FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY, ONE OF THE SALT ROOMS DESIGNED AS A WONDERFUL PLAY ROOM TO FURTHER ONE OF AMBER’S STRONGEST GOALS, THE WELL-BEING OF HER CHILDREN AND ALL CHILDREN, TEACHING THEM SELF-CARE AND WELLNESS FROM AN EARLY AGE. AMBER AND HER BUSINESS PARTNER, STEFANIE, CONTINUALLY ORGANIZE SPECIAL EVENTS AT SALTHAUS TO KEEP THEIR CLIENT BASE COMING BACK FOR MORE – MEDITATION CLASSES IN THE HALOTHERAPY ROOMS, SOUND HEALING, TAROT, MASSAGE, JUST TO NAME A FEW.
AN ENTERPRENEURIAL SPIRIT ALWAYS ACCEPTS AND WELCOMES A NEW CHALLENGE. THE LRFA BLOG IS HONORED TO HAVE AMBER SHARE HERS WITH US.
AMBER, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS VENTURE AND WHERE DID IT LEAD?
I first launched a jewelry business called 27 Facets with a friend when I was 26 while working as a buyer for Henri Bendel. We created the business while both working full time jobs and after 6 months, left our jobs to take on the business full time. This later led me to consulting for a start-up called Hautelook.com (which later sold to Nordstroms) where I ended up working for three years while launching a jewelry concierge concept called Astarr on the side.
WHAT PROMPTED YOUR SHIFT FROM JEWELRY CONSULTANT TO CO-FOUNDER OF SALTHAUS?
I started my jewelry business to help people get the most for their budget on special occasion gifts from engagements to birthdays. I loved creating special moments for my clients while offering transparency on pricing so I could source the perfect gem for each client. With the industry shifting to instagram/you tube channels I was not interested in taking the business to the next level in order to stay relevant. I am always up for a challenge and wanted to break out to try something new that led me to create Salthaus.
HOW DID YOU MAKE A DECISION TO OPEN SALTHAUS?
Wellness has been a part of my lifestyle since I was 15. I did not realize how much valuable information I inherently knew until I became a mother and I started to become the go-to person on what to take naturally when trying to recover from a cold etc. The jewelry industry was changing and was no longer inspiring to me so I knew I needed a change. I wanted to shift my focus to the other part of me which was holistic and all about wellness. I was trying out everything in the wellness market, which led me to Halotherapy. The benefits were profound and there were limited resources available to receive the 100% natural treatment. I saw an opportunity to modernize the treatment and bring greater awareness to this incredible treatment, which mimics the microclimate of natural salt caves that exist in eastern Europe.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT SALT ROOMS INITIALLY?
I had been hearing about Halotherapy from friends in Florida. I happened to be visiting family with my husband who had a winter cough that would not go away. It was perfect timing to try out this treatment and after one session, his cough cleared. We were both taken aback and it was a light bulb moment for me that this was something special and more people needed to know about it. In the months that followed, the social wellness concept started to pour out of me.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF SALT THERAPY ALSO REFERRED TO AS HALOTHERAPY?
The use of salt as a health remedy has been around since the Greeks, when Hippocrates recommended salt inhalation as a respiratory treatment. In 1843, Polish physician Felix Boczkowski discovered that men working in the salt mines at Wieliczka suffered fewer respiratory problems than the general population. As the workers were mining the salt, micro-sized salt particles were being disbursed into the air. Additionally there were ideal conditions below the Earth’s surface where air pressure and circulation, and humidity and temperature affected the quality of the environment. In this environment, miners were receiving many natural health benefits by breathing in the salt particles. Considering that mining jobs were usually recognized as dangerous to life and health, salt miners seemed to thrive on good health. They rarely had any respiratory issues and also looked younger due to great skin appearance.
In 1964 the world’s first facility of its kind, the underground “Kinga” Allergy Treatment Spa, was created in the “Wieliczka” Salt Mine in Poland, focused on helping people with mostly respiratory conditions as well as exploring other overall health benefits proven to be successful and spreading to neighboring salt mines and caves in Europe as well as to former Soviet Union states. In 1968, the first speleo-hospital was opened in the Solotvyno salt mine in Ukraine.
Having the attention from the medical community, the need for more convenient access became a necessity, in order to conduct specific studies and do more specific research. In 1985 in Odessa, Russia, the Institute of Balneology, in collaboration with the salt cavers from Uzhgorod, developed the first Halotherapy device. This was a device that was replicating the grinding and crushing of salt that would disperse the particles into the air. One could say that Halotherapy was “born” in the medical environment, in former Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the knowledge of the halotechnology and established Halotherapy protocols became accessible to the rest of the world. Soon Halotherapy claimed its place in more commercial and wellness settings outside of the USSR in Eastern and Western Europe, Canada, Australia and finally the United States.
IN OUR NEXT LRFA POST, WE WILL LEARN AMBER’S PLANS FOR SALTHAUS. PLEASE BE SURE TO JOIN US.