Getting Salty

Salt Therapy with Capturing the Essence…

Salt is more than just a savory seasoning in the kitchen; when used in different ways, salt has all kinds of health benefits. Did you know that, in a spa setting, salts can help regulate your mood and clean out your respiratory system? In perusing massages and other spa treatments, you may have come across the option of halotherapy, otherwise known as salt therapy.

When local health entrepreneur Yolondo Lupoe discovered halotherapy, she was immediately taken by its physical, emotional and mental benefits. After living abroad for several years, Lupoe returned to the United States and hoped to open an Asian- western style spa.

Yolondo Lupoe

Halotherapy stood out to her in her research, and she has a fitting comparison for those who have never heard of it. “It’s kind of like being at the beach, where you’re breathing in the salt air,” Lupoe says. Much like time at the beach, halo therapy can decrease inflammation and blood pressure. It’s also a natural decongestant and can even help you sleep better.

So, what is halotherapy, and how does it work? Halotherapy is a respiratory treatment, not to be confused with the benefits of Himalayan salt. With halotherapy, you are breathing in aerosolized sodium chloride. This pharmaceutical-grade salt is used in IVs and serves other medical functions, as well.

To enjoy the benefits of this salt treatment, you can visit salt caves, where salt is dispersed into the air for you to sit and breathe in. At Capturing the Essence Salt Cave in Redding, the salt is not just in the air, it’s also between your toes.

The benefits in the salt caves are two-fold: Himalayan salt on the ground, and the pure sodium chloride in the air. In nitty-gritty science terms, the aerosolized sodium chloride emits negative ions. Negative ions can help regulate mood and sleep, reduce stress and boost immune function, all from salt immersion.

On the other hand, Himalayan salt is known to have a regulating, calming effect. Sitting, playing or burying yourself in Himalayan salt can also help draw toxins out of the body, dehydrate them and kill them, Lupoe says. In this way, Himalayan salt is also a natural disinfectant.

“I wanted to open health-oriented businesses that would serve the community,” Lupoe says of starting Capturing the Essence in early 2020. Her goal was to open a business that could serve people of all economic backgrounds. Originally from Morgan Hill, she came to Redding about seven years ago with a heart for the community.

Halotherapy became especially important during the coronavirus pandemic, when families were stuck at home, getting sick and lacking socialization. Lupoe, who had opened the salt caves a few months prior to the pandemic, advocated to the health department for her business to re-open.

“Everyone was stuck in their house, and I was ready to open up. We needed a place for families to get together,” Lupoe adds. The cleanliness of the salt made Capturing the Essence a safe space during the

pandemic. Through one treatment in particular, they also noticed that clients said halotherapy helped with COVID-19 related ailments, like loss of smell and taste.

The “Knock-Out Tent” service is a tent with an extremely high concentration of salt in the air, giving an intense but highly effective respiratory treatment. The air is so dense with salt you can actually see a cloud of it. Lupoe says there are tissues and trash cans in the room for draining sinuses. The treatment is also safe for kids, she says, but the concentration changes depending on their age.

According to Lupoe, the tent sessions have produced remarkable results. People who thought they lost their sense of smell or taste forever regain it after sessions in the knock-out tent, she says. Lupoe has been privy to many emotional reactions from her clients, who sometimes fly family members in from other states just to get their senses back.

But the benefits aren’t limited to the knock-out tent. One of Lupoe’s goals was to create a space for stressed-out parents and stressed-out kids to come and find healing. Many families have had positive experiences in the salt rooms, including emotional self-regulation.

“The peaceful and tactile sensations of the salt caves allow kids with sensory issues to really thrive,” Lupoe says. “And when kids are sick, this is a fun way for them to get well.”

“Think grounding,” Lupoe adds, emphasizing the relaxation component of halo therapy.

Lupoe’s passion for community and wellness is palpable, which is no surprise given her background in business development and her doctorate-level studies of clinical psychology. She wanted to create a space for the community to experience peace, and she incorporates all kinds of calming practices into her spa. •

Capturing the Essence www.capturingtheessence.com

Article Written by:

Madison Heller was born and raised in Redding, and as a result spent her summers swimming and camping all over the North State. When not writing, she enjoys baking sweets, drinking coffee and spending time outside.

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