A 45-minute session in the salt room at Onyx Wellness in Billings has health benefits equivalent to being at the ocean for about three days, according to Onyx Wellness owner Lisa Oppegaard. The walls are made entirely of Himalayan salt blocks, which she says helps folks with everything from respiratory ailments to glowing skin.
“When you are at the ocean you feel good, you can breathe. Just so many incredible benefits. Your skin feels amazing,” says Oppegaard.
Fine salt dust fans the room during the Halotherapy Salt Session. It’s pure sodium chloride, and it's a triple threat with every breath.
“The salt itself is anti-bacterial, antifungal and antiviral. As school is starting, it is great to keep our immune system up. Also, the pollutants in the air, the wildfire smoke,” says Oppegaard.
“We have smoke season every year, and I have really suffered from the smoke as most people have, and this treatment will help that. It will eliminate those toxins,” says Onyx Wellness client Dona Hagen.
“As you breathe it does clear out the airways in the respiratory system. It is like a toothbrush for your respiratory. It works out mucus and pollutants. Some people will cough a little bit because it works out whatever is in the system that wants to come out, same with drainage, so we do provide Kleenex for you,” says Oppegaard.
“I’ve been coming to Onyx for two years and I love it. I come about two to three times per week,” says Hagen.
From breathing easier to better skin, the list of benefits is long, and the experience relaxing, complete with a snuggle blanket and maybe even a book.
“They are completely different humans when they walk out the door than when they come. Most of us carry some sort of angst or anxiety with us and when they come they can really breathe. Mostly it's a fun place to come and do nothing,” Oppegaard said with a laugh.
Whether one aims to do nothing, detox or de-escalate, it's definitely a salty escape helping Montanans breathe easier.
Onyx Wellness is at 149 Shiloh Road suite 6 inside the Shiloh Commons.