Proponents of natural healing lamps are going with the glow

Terry Lewis with some Himalayan pink salt productrs at the Natural Healing Lamps store. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson

For those seeking alternative treatments for breathing and skin problems, Himalayan pink salt lamps are all the latest rage.

Numerous stores in Sarnia now sell the glowing salt lamps, bath salts, even pink salt inhalers, and claim that Himalayan salt beds are so free of pollutants and so mineral-rich they improve everything from COPD to eczema.

So when local entrepreneur Terry Lewis invited me to his showroom of Himalayan pink salt products and his new halotherapy salt cave, I wanted to see what the hype is all about.

Himalayan pink salt products and treatments are not regulated and their proponent’s claims are not backed by peer-reviewed science. But many include TV’s Dr. Oz claim pink salt can benefit the respiratory system, sinuses, bones, libido and more.

Lewis was convinced of its therapeutic properties after his two baby boys developed croup. Himalayan pink salt lamps seemed to help.

“The twins were in the hospital for 10 days. We were told to use puffers twice a day to keep their airways clear,” he said.  “As a parent, that didn’t sit right with me.”

He researched alternative therapies and found reams of material on the benefits of Himalayan pink salt.  Proponents claim this particularly pure form of salt generates negative ions, and negative ions are able to neutralize positive ions in the air that aggravate everything from allergies and stress to migraines and bronchitis.

“All my research pointed to Himalayan pink salt,” said Lewis.  “I bought a few salt lamps and put them in the boys’ room.

“We saw an improvement in their mood, their energy levels and could see that their breathing was less heavy. We now have 15 lamps running 24/7 throughout our house.”

Lewis said he speaks from personal experience and doesn’t pretend to be a medical expert.

When buying his lamps, he did an extensive search for the best deal. Lewis said that’s how he connected with a family in Pakistan that ships him lamps and other Himalayan salt products at wholesale prices.

Lewis said he believes in their healing abilities and saw a business opportunity. At first, he sold the lamps from home and considered building a salt cave at his house.

But running a business with four kids at home was challenging. So a few months ago Lewis rented a storefront downtown and filled his shelves with Himalayan salt lamps (starting at $18), bath salts ($6/1 lb.), Himalayan cooking salt ($6/lb.), acne busters ($8), pink salt inhalers ($33) and even Himalayan salt shot glasses ($10 each).

The store – called Natural Healing Lamps – isn’t welcoming from the outside and the façade needs a facelift.  But inside, Lewis has extensively renovated. His showroom is full of beautiful, glowing lamps of every shape and size.

He has also built a halotherapy salt cave, a soothing room lit with 45 Himalayan salt lamps and walls covered in salt stucco.  Customers pay $35 for an hour or $250 for 10 sessions to sit in a recliner and breathe in salt vapours and neutralizing ions produced by a halogenerator.

Natural Healing Lamps is located at the northwest corner of Christina and Cromwell streets. It’s open Tues., Thurs., and Friday 4-8pm; Sat. 12 – 4 p.m.   Call 226-886-1524.

LINEUP FOR BUSINESS WEEK

Monday, Oct. 16 – Billionaire and philanthropist Charles Bronfman in conversation with business journalist Howard Green. Bronfman is heir to the Seagram empire and led the Canadian division.  Lunch at Best Western and copy of Bronfman’s new book “Distilled.” $40 each.

Friday, Oct. 20 – April Jones Boyle, founder and ED of BUILD Institute in Detroit, community builder, business champion and successful entrepreneur. “One Detroit – Building an Inclusive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.” Lunch at the St. Clair Corporate Centre. $40 each.

Tickets for both events at eventbrite.ca or call 519-383-1371.

Got an interesting business story?  Contact Cathy Dobson at cathy.dobson@thesarniajournal.ca or call 226-932-0985.