LET’S GET SALTY: Downtown Vicksburg’s Salty Sisters Spa on a mission for wellness, healing

Published 4:54 pm Friday, July 14, 2023

Salty Sisters Spa, located in downtown Vicksburg in Gordon’s Alley beneath the Cinnamon Tree, has taken off since its grand opening last month.

Owner and on-site Usui Reiki master healer Amanda Harris said she is encouraged by the customer feedback she’s gotten so far and is eager to teach others about the benefits of halotherapy, or salt therapy.

“The salt therapy is what I focus on,” Harris said. “This is something I think downtown Vicksburg can benefit from, from the people on the boats to locals. I am the only salt therapy spa that is available to these people traveling on the Mississippi River.”

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Salty Sisters is outfitted in floor-to-ceiling pink Himalayan salt decor, which Harris sources from Pakistan through a Florida-based company. Clients can take advantage of sessions in the individual salt sauna, which reaches up to 140 degrees, or simply sign up for a 30- or 45-minute relaxation session in the salt cave.

During a relaxation session, guests are guided to the darkened “salt cave,” where soft relaxing music drowns out any outside noise. The room itself can accommodate parties of up to six people, all seated in anti-gravity chairs. There are no electronic devices allowed in the room, which is covered in salt panels on the walls and has loose Himalayan salt on the floor. A halotherapy machine, similar to a diffuser, distributes a soft fog of salt air throughout the space.

A waterfall with more than 100 pounds of salt running through it trickles along the back wall, softly illuminated by fairy lights.

“We have over 400 pounds of Himalayan salt on the floor, and in the water, it’s already crystalizing on the bricks and surrounding surfaces,” Harris said. “It’s dark, calm and just eases your mind. Even if you’re not interested in the health benefits, that relaxation is something everyone can benefit from.”

Halotherapy involves breathing in air with tiny salt particles to improve one’s breathing. It is considered an alternative treatment for a variety of respiratory illnesses including asthma, bronchitis, long COVID, cystic fibrosis, COPD and allergies. It also benefits certain skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and rosacea.

There is no age limit for salt therapy, but Harris said prospective clients should consult with their doctor before taking advantage of the service.

Harris said she first learned about salt therapy in 2020 when her mother died due to complications from COVID-19.

“I started looking at how other countries were handling the COVID situation because it was rampant everywhere,” she said. “And in my research, Pakistan kept coming up. Doctors were actually sending sick people to the salt caves for days at a time, and the health of a Pakistani person during that time was unmatched.

“You’re breathing in that salt air, and your airways and sinuses are opening up,” she added. “You’re not getting sick. It boosts your immune system in a way.”

After three years of work, Harris opened what is only Mississippi’s second-ever salt cave with the help of her sisters and family.

Salt therapy sessions are available by appointment on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The spa is closed on Wednesdays and open again from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday. Sunday appointments are available between 2 and 5 p.m.

In addition to the sauna, salt therapy and Reiki, Harris also sells salt lamps, salt inhalers and hand-mixed bath salts and scrubs at the spa.

For more information or to make an appointment, visit saltysistersspa.com.