Aki Salt Room a Den of Serenity
De-stressing at the Colony Plaza business
Aki Salt Room is a tranquil, transformative space. When you enter the retail storefront, you notice a small cave built entirely of Himalayan salt bricks. The warmth and glow from the room brings a calming sensation to your body, and your stress begins to melt away. In a world where we are constantly plugged-in and stressed about work or worldly affairs, almost everyone can benefit from a salt room session.
Aki is the only salt room located in the Erie area. Therefore, you might be unaware of what a salt room is or how it can be beneficial to your health. I was unaware until I got to experience the magic for myself.
Salt room sessions are typically around 45 minutes, which gives you time to take in all of your surroundings. After checking in with friendly owner Kathy Sheraw, you will place your phone and other belongings into a locker, because this session Is completely unplugged. You take your shoes off and put on a comfy pair of socks, and into the salt room you go.
When you enter the room, you get to choose whether you want a zero gravity chair that reclines or a hammock chair that hugs your body. I choose the hammock chair because it made me feel as if I were at the beach, and who doesn't want that? The doors are then shut and the salt blocks light up with orange, red, and pink hues of heaven. When you are settled in, you can take off your socks and feel small pieces of Himalayan salt in between your toes.
You are given a neck pillow and Himalayan salt eggs you can use during your session, which helps extinguish any anxiety you may have about this new experience. Kathy also includes pamphlets with tips and tricks on how to rest in the room in order to fully enjoy the experience. During the session, blissful and soothing music plays in the background, which helped me to unwind. After a few minutes, I closed my eyes and felt weightless. I forgot who I was, where I was, and just felt the stress leave my body.
According to Kathy, Aki offers a true salt therapy, which is called halotherapy. Machines in the room grind medical grade salts that are released into the air to make it easier for you to breathe. This mist provides an inhospitable environment for bacteria and viruses and can help boost your immune system. Even though people may not believe that Himalayan salt has health benefits, the serene room provides a healthy place to release stress that is difficult to achieve in our everyday lives.
The music gets quiet and then turns off completely, the doors open, and your session is over. You will certainly not want to leave the salt room, but you can make regular appointments to come back as much as you want. And after ten salt room sessions, guests receive one for free.
Though the salt room is a unique asset to the Erie area, Aki also carries handmade self-care items that can help bring your relaxation home. Most people walk past Aki without stopping because they believe it's just a spa, but that is not the case. Kathy makes all of the self-care items herself and I know from experience that they work.
Aki carries body scrubs, lotion, soap, cleaning gel, air fresheners, nasal inhalers, and much more. I bought an inhaler specially targeted for people with anxiety, which actually helps me to counter these feelings on a daily basis. It contains Himalayan salt and multiple essential oils: lavender, clary sage, clove, marjoram, and geranium. It causes me to breathe deeply and focus on the task at hand. If you have anxiety, you know that fast, shallow breathing can cause a panic attack; when you use the inhaler, you have to breathe deeply to smell all of the essential oils. However, this is just my personal experience with the "anxiety stress aid" inhaler.
Aki is similar to the trendy national chain Lush, but on a more personalized and comforting level. When you go to Lush, it can be overwhelming and the workers can be intimidating. When you go to Aki, there is always an approachable worker that helps you figure out exactly what you need.
Aki offers the option to choose and create your own scent for their lotion, gel cleanser, and body scrubs. The fragrance oils are lined up on a display near these products, and you can mix the products right there in the store. This is a perfect customized gift or activity to do with friends and family. All of Aki products are created with natural ingredients, therefore you don't have to worry about the allergic reactions you may get with larger skincare brands.
If you haven't had a chance to stop at Aki, look for it at the Colony Plaza. Aki Is located next to the popular coffee shop Brew Ha Ha and is a great place to stop during your shopping trip. Kathy intends to keep growing her business and keep adding products to her line. Everyone needs a little peace in their life, and Aki is a place to find that.
Lauren Demko can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram @Laurens_truth, or subscribe to her LaurensTruth YouTube channel.