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Elisabeth Ruff, owner of Salt AER in Brunswick, sits in the halotherapy (salt) room.

Stepping into the halotherapy room at Salt AER Studios in Brunswick, you’re immediately enveloped in a soft pink glow. A full wall along the back is comprised of pink Himalayan sea salt hand-crafted in Pakistan. The floor, too, is covered with delicate pieces of salt, adding another layer to the ambiance of the space.

Settling into a zero gravity chair, one melts into a world of complete and utter relaxation. Gentle music plays on the sound system as an ionized salt mixture is lightly misted into the room.

While it is certainly relaxing and visually stunning, there is more to this than meets the eye. Salt therapy is beneficial for a multitude of ailments and conditions, says Salt AER owner Elisabeth Ruff.

“It can provide relief for clients diagnosed with asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis and seasonal allergies,” she said. “Clients have also found it beneficial for skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema. And of course, it’s helpful with stress anxiety and fatigue.”

The 45-minute session allows clients to absorb the aerosol into their lungs, which studies have shown provides cleansing of the bronchial tubes as well as a decrease in inflammation. This creates better lung function and clearer airways. When a session is completed, the air is filtered from that room so the next guest can relax in a safe, sanitized environment.

“It really is fantastic and so relaxing,” Ruff said.

As beneficial as it is for humans, it works equally well for pets. Salt AER has a separate salt room for pet therapy that may help ease stress, anxiety, skin conditions and allergies in pets.

“I have a client who brings her two big dogs in every week, they love it and she says they are not as anxious as they were prior to treatments. Then, of course, the humans get the benefits too because they get to sit in the room with their pets.”

Offering a comprehensive space for mind and body healing was Ruff’s goal when she opened her studio in the spring. She wanted to craft a place where the entire family — from adults to children to pets — can relax and unwind while also creating and healing.

To assist that mission, she added one the studio’s most innovative elements — the Somodome meditation pod. The piece (which looks like it belongs in a science fiction film) is the latest in relaxation technology. The comfortable craft offers guests a place to entirely disconnect from the outside world while binaural beats are played inside. There are two distinct sounds through headphones that lull brain waves into a state of deep relaxation.

“You can choose from a menu of programs with either a guided meditation or you can just listen to the sounds. The dome uses colors that relate to the chosen program. “I always say this is the answer for people who don’t think they can mediate,” Ruff, who is also a certified yoga instructor, said.

“And you can keep it kind of open or close it, depending on how comfortable you are. I think people are afraid they’ll get claustrophobic but you really don’t. It’s very spacious in there.”

The halotherapy and Somodome are just two of the ways that Salt AER is creating a hub for rejuvenation and relaxation in Brunswick.

But Ruff is also a big believer in movement. To that end, Salt AER Studios has hand-selected programs that benefit mind and body. The studio’s fitness programs include aerial yoga, HIIT training, meditation, yoga nidra and barre. Body treatments are also available, including massage, Reiki and reflexology. Each is offered by seasoned professionals and experts in their respective fields.

In addition to being a yoga teacher, Ruff herself is also certified in Pilates and her previous role as a local school teacher also motivated her to engage the youth of the community.

“We also have our children’s programs and open play gym for kids,” Ruff said with a smile, turning on the light of the room.

Local artist Ed Hose’s whimsical designs cover the space with colorful sea life and textile toys perfect for learning and exploring the land of imagination.

But using one’s creativity isn’t just regulated to the youngsters. At Salt AER, everyone is encouraged to cultivate a sense of curiosity. Taking the stairs (complete with inspiring messages) to the second floor, one is met with a large space for crafting events for friends or families.

“We have a lot of girls’ nights up here. We have all sorts of crafts you can do and we have the materials. We’ll walk them through how to do it. They have a lot of fun,” she said.

To join the Salt AER wellness community, one can select a monthly membership for a flat, $90 fee. It includes multiple sessions of the studio’s signature programs. If offerings and therapies are not used through the month, they roll over to the following month. Clients are also welcome to pick services in packages or individual sessions.

For more information, visit saltaerstudios.com.

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