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Austin Salt Room Invites You to Breathe In and Chill Out

Relaxing wellness space on South First Street offers salt therapy to help remedy allergies during cedar fever season

View inside the Austin Salt Room (photo courtesy of Austin Salt Room)

While some wellness treatments come with a barrage of terms you’ve never heard of, or with a complicated process that feels counterproductive to relaxation, salt rooms are very straightforward. A visit to the Austin Salt Room, located in an inviting bungalow on the bustling South First Street, provides similar results of that magical healing you feel when you step onto the beach and breathe in salty sea air. Salt therapy essentially captures the benefits felt by the shore but concentrated in a relaxing indoor space, located miles away from the gulf. 

What happens in a salt room?

Austin Salt Room is an active salt room. Unlike passive salt rooms, active salt rooms offer a higher concentration of salt in the air by utilizing a vent system called a halogenerator that grinds up pharmaceutical-grade salt which blows through the 66-degree air in a process known as Halotherapy.

The salt-filled air circulates in the space, allowing the microscopic salt particles to work towards healing skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis as well as clearing up allergies, asthma, bronchitis, or sinus infections. As many Austinites know, allergies can last well beyond a seasonal suffering with dust pollen and mold active year-round. To have a space that offers sinus relief is literally a breath of fresh air.

Chill out and lay back in a chair in the relaxing salt room (photo by Heidi Okla)

Building Austin Salt Room was a labor of love.

Austin Salt Room is tucked inside a charming, remodeled residence. It feels like a homey escape from the increasingly busy thoroughfare. Isabel Lavercombe, the proud owner and renovator of the space, knows the benefits of spending time in a salt room firsthand. Having grown up in Minnesota and being inspired by a family friend and mentor who runs a successful salt room, Lavercombe decided it was time for Austinites to have a salty escape close by.

Breathing easy after the kismet meeting of her landlord, who hopes to maintain the bohemian Austin spirit, Lavercombe picked up a hammer, and she and her partner got to work on transforming the property. “It’s been a labor of love.” Lavercombe sighs as she leads a tour the space that she built by hand.

Austin Salt Room interior (photo by Heidi Okla)

Enter a cool and relaxing space.

When you enter the peaceful salt room, a pretty mural beckons visitors to the ocean-less beach of big, white salt grains covering the floor. You’ll find two windows sealed by salt bricks which act like briny stained glass. Zero gravity chairs are ready for you to lay back and recline. Visitors can simply breathe easy and benefit from the chilled salty air. Seconds into the session, you can taste crisp salt and feel the tiny grains start to work — inside and out. Allergy headaches and tension subside. Lungs feel like they’re being cleared for the first time. All while enjoying a curated playlist, you can seek refuge from the dust and dander polluting the hot summer air outdoors. With the Austin Salt Room set at 66-degrees, this therapeutic and relaxing space also offers a much-desired break from the blistering heat.

A typical session lets you simply shed your shoes, sink into a chair, and let the air do the rest, but Austin Salt Room is far from a one-purpose space. Yogis can get a break from hot yoga and try a chiller, saltier, and more dynamic session on the salt rock floor as the air helps boost flexibility. Parents and caregivers seeking a way to relax while also spending time with their kids can rejoice as Austin Salt Room offers kid passes. Children or anyone who gets a bit fidgety, can enjoy the stimulation of playing with the salt rock on the floor like being in a big sand pit. With toys tossed in, parents can unwind as their kids play, and all walk out with healthier lungs and skin.

Warm glow in the cool air of the salt therapy room (photo by Heidi Okla)

Breathe free from allergy symptoms.

As Austin quickly becomes a city in desperate need of a cold breath of fresh air this summer, Lavercombe upholds that, “you’ll feel you’re breathing deeper” and that will last well after the session. She purports that guests who come in on a regular basis keep reporting that they are breathing better and achieving a break from the heavy symptoms of allergies. It’s not just her word, many report Halotherapy’s benefits of respiratory relief and skin repair.

After a session, the salty taste subsides, and a cleaner, deeper breath stays throughout the day. Like spending time by the shore without leaving city limits, the chilly air inside the Austin Salt Room is a sweet relief. 

You can book a 45-minute salt therapy session by yourself or with a small group. Or opt to book a yoga session, guided meditation, sound bath, or session with kids in tow.