Entering Spiritquest Healing Center in Ocean Isle Beach is like being enveloped by grandmother’s quilt. Kathy Gregory, clerk in the Center’s Angel Gift Shop, extends that warm feeling, and owner Lisa Ann reaffirms it. As she states on her website, “We help people to be the best and happiest they can be!”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Milton Morris
To further accomplish that goal, Lisa Ann opened her new Salt Sanctuary this year. It is the first and only one in Brunswick County. There are only five other salt rooms are in North Carolina and about 150 throughout the U.S. The list is available online.
Centuries ago monks used dry salt therapy, also known as halotherapy (“halo” is the Greek work for salt), to treat respiratory disorders and skin irritations. Research indicates that halotherapy, which is drug-free and non-invasive, has eased symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, eczema and a number of other ailments. It also reduces stress, increases lung capacity and invigorates the body.
In today’s salt rooms, which can be active or passive, people breathe in microparticles of salt in the air. A passive salt room includes a variety of salts, but an active room uses a halogenerator. Sodium chloride is put in the halogenerator, which crushes the salt into microparticles that are dispensed in the air. Lisa Ann’s Salt Sanctuary is an active one.
“I wanted to bring something unique to this area,” Lisa Ann says. She explains that Salt Chamber Inc. in Boca Raton, FL custom designed the 30 salt panels on the walls and provided the halogenerator, as well as the 3,000 pounds of Himalayan salt on the floor. She and her boyfriend, Kyle Studer, designed and built the Sanctuary, choosing the ideal earthy color.
Folded blankets rest on each of the eight zero gravity chairs, and the lit salt panels and mood lights provide minimal illumination. “We designed the space from our hearts,” Lisa Ann says. “I want people to feel peace, calm and love.”
Deb Jones says she happened upon Spiritquest as she was driving on Shore Drive and stopped in. “I look for things calming and relaxing,” she says and explains that she has asthma. After a recent flare-up, she decided to try the Salt Sanctuary. “It is total relaxation,” she says. “I could feel I was breathing better.”
Dean Nelson says she has eczema and understands the benefits of salt therapy. “Your skin feels like satin,” she says of the salt treatment. “It’s medicinal for me. It’s a mini-vacation.”
Kimmie Durham is a retired surgical nurse and has knowledge of halotherapy. “I thought it was so relaxing,” she says of her treatment. “I felt my nasal passages were clear. My skin was so soft. It’s so wonderful to have something like this in Brunswick County.”
(I had a mini-treatment myself, and didn’t want to leave the room! I felt I was transported to another dimension where there are no worries or stress. My muscles relaxed as if I were getting a massage.)
Lisa Ann spent her career in retail in New York until her grandmother’s death in 1991 led her to psychic and healing work, which she has done full time since 1999. She moved to Brunswick County in 2013 and has continued to add services to Spiritquest. Besides the Salt Sanctuary she offers meditation, psychic development, creative painting and message circle, which connects participants with loved ones who have gone before.
Massage therapist Beth Elliott provides a variety of treatments including Swedish massage, hot stones and reflexology. Bonnie Leeson offers facial and skin care, specifically for anti-aging skin. Kyle offers crystal healing. Another service offered is BioMat sessions, which are a combination of far infrared light, negative ions and amethyst crystals. BioMat can ease chronic pain, improve circulation and promote relaxation. Costs of all treatments are on the website.
Throughout the 12-plus rooms at Spiritquest there is a pleasant, appealing scent. “I think it’s the air, that pure air,” Lisa Ann says.
She wants to spread optimism, so when visitors come to the Center, the receptionist encourages them to take a positive thought from the container she extends. Mine said, “Believe.” Blue heart-shaped papers encircle a fountain where people can write a prayer or any petition. A gift shop offers a variety of essential oils, crystals and hand-crafted jewelry. Another room is dedicated to original art.
“I follow what I’m guided to do,” Lisa Ann says.
That proclamation suggests she will probably expand her services in the future.
Want to visit?
Spiritquest Healing Center & Angel Gift Shop
6649 Beach Drive SW
Ocean Isle Beach
Shop hours Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Private sessions by appointment
Classes listed on website