natural allergy relief

People are already starting to complain about their allergy symptoms in New England. How do you manage your allergies? Have you considered trying salt therapy?

Two years ago in May, I was on a retreat in Vermont. I was not having fun. Not because the retreat wasn’t fabulous. It totally was. However, I had a headache and severe congestion from my allergies. I was taking Claritin but it was just making me sleepy and foggy-brained. It was difficult to focus and I wasn’t feeling well.

On the second day of this retreat, we went to a salt cave in Vermont. We experienced a guided meditation by Lisa Campbell and spent 45 minutes in this little cocoon. When we came out, I could breathe through my nose! What an amazing feeling. My headache was gone and I had a lot more energy. I was able to really enjoy the rest of the retreat.

This lasted 2 or 3 days without medication.

As my symptoms returned, I decided that I wanted to try a salt room at home to see if I could control my symptoms with a more holistic approach than medicine. I started exploring salt caves near Boston and I discovered that the closest one was over an hour away in Salem, New Hampshire. I started going there and quickly discovered that the symptom relief that I had experienced in Vermont was a real thing.

Since opening a salt room in Westborough, I hear many stories from my clients about how coming to the salt room has allowed them to reduce or eliminate their allergy medications.

  • John was on Flonase daily for chronic year-round allergies for years. He started coming to Just Breathe two years ago. When he first came, he salted, on average, twice a week for a couple of months. He was able to wean it down to once a week. Now he comes when he needs a “tune-up” which is once every two weeks or so.
  • Allen had to adopt his cat’s son. To make life tolerable with the cat, he had to take Claritin daily and sometimes Benadryl when the cat want to snuggle, which it loves to do. He was also on an inhaler for “possible asthma” according to his doctor. Allen started coming to the salt room about a year and a half ago. He no longer needs Claritin or Benadryl. He does still carry his inhaler but finds that he fills it about every 6 months instead of monthly.
  • Our very own Francesca, who teaches Guided Meditation in the salt room, used to need allergy medications for her seasonal allergies. She no longer experiences allergies and has not taken medication for them in over a year and a half.

These are just a few of the stories of how salt has helped people with their allergies rather they are seasonal, year-round, or environmental.

If you think salt therapy is expensive, think again. If these stories have not convinced you, perhaps trying it for yourself will. We offer packages for those who just want to try it and memberships for those who are ready to feel clearer, less congested, and reduce or eliminate their medications.

Please note: Halotherapy has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Your medication may not be safe

Are all medications bad? No! Used short-term, they may offer triage to help the body heal while the root cause of what is happening is addressed.

However, it is important to understand how your medication works and why it is important to get to the root of the issue as quickly as possible.  Statins for heart conditions, metformin used to treat diabetics, and beta-blockers, also for heart conditions, all interfere with CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 is a vital part of a biochemical reaction in the cells that makes ATP which is the chemical that provides us with energy. If you are on these medications too long, you will eventually feel weak and tired. Often time, patients are given a medication on top of the old to address side effects caused by the depletion of vitamins and minerals that resulted from the first medication.

One of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety and depression are Prozac and Zoloft. These medications fall into a category called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRI’s.

Serotonin is an amino acid that is important for pain perception. When in balance it also allows us to control food cravings and helps us feel satisfied after a meal. It is also the pre-cursor to melatonin which is an amino acid that helps us to sleep. So, when serotonin is insufficient we struggle with pain, metabolism and sleep.

An SSRI works by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. That allows the serotonin to be recirculated so the body is “tricked” into thinking that it has more serotonin than it does. The production of serotonin shuts down rapidly and eventually there is little to none left and the body does not think that it needs to create more.

SSRI’s lead to changes in the brain function and, should you decide to withdraw from one, should be done very gradually and under a physician’s guidance. Side effects from the medication and the withdrawals include anxiety, nervousness, sleep trouble, diarrhea or constipation, and low libido.

Serotonin is formed from tryptophan which is an amino acid, iron, folate, and vitamin B6. One of the reasons that people suffer from serotonin deficiency, which leads to anxiety and depression, are low stomach acid which may be caused by age, medication such as proton pump inhibitors, or stress.  People may have a perfectly healthy diet but not absorb the nutrients into their cells. If the nutrients do not make it into the cells, they can’t do their job. Some people have been on a low fat diet for decades and because of this do not have cell membranes that allow the nutrients into the cells and toxins out as fat is necessary to create healthy cell walls.

Many people find relief from anxiety and depression by making changes to their diet and adding in supplementation. In today’s world, even fruits and vegetables do not have the nutrient content that they did even 50 years ago. Some foods that help boost serotonin levels are salmon, poultry such as chicken and turkey, fried eggs cooked in a little fat such as coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and organic soy. Supplementation that may help you find relief include iron, folate, a vitamin B complex, and tryptophan.

As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “Depression is not a Prozac deficiency.” Depression is almost always a nutritional deficiency which a good functional medicine health coach can help you resolve.

  1. The Anti-Depressant Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celex, and Luvox by Dr. Peter Breggin: De Capo Lifelong Books, July 2012.
  2. “Why Antidepressants Don’t Work for Treating Depression.” Dr. Mark Hyman, 19 May 2010, drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/19/why-antidepressants-dont-work-for-treating-depression/.

thankful for 2018 and looking forward to 2019


As we say good-bye to 2018, I want to take a moment to reflect and thank the beautiful, growing community at Just Breathe. This past year was our first full year and people have quickly come to realize that Just Breathe is the place to come to escape the outside world and leave their troubles behind.

As more people have experienced salt therapy or halotherapy, one of the main offerings at Just Breathe, the word is getting out. This practice is centuries old but relatively new in the United States and people are quickly learning that if they have almost any kind of ailment, are feeling a little under the weather, or are experiencing a lingering cough from an illness, Just Breathe can help prevent you from getting sick or relieve the symptoms just about anything that ails you.  As my friend who is a nurse practitioner says, “It’s just salt but it is good for anything!” Think about how much better you feel after going to the beach but without the mess.

Using dry salt therapy, many of our clients no longer need allergy medications, have combatted Seasonal Affective Disorder, are using it as a complementary therapy to dealing with anxiety and depression, have returned to work after being on workman’s comp for COPD, have prevented themselves from getting the flu after sitting next to “patient ‘0’” at work, have found relief from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and have just found a place to rest and relax and disconnect from the outside world.

We have much to be grateful for in other ways too.

  •  Our meditation program, run by our very talented Certified Energy Healer, Francesca, has grown from a couple of people at lunchtime on Wednesdays to a frequently packed room on Wednesday and Thursdays at noon with a growing group on Thursday evenings at 6:30 pm.
  • We have added Hypno-Reiki into our mix with Deb who is a Registered Nurse and Certified Hypnotist who provides her calming energy to help those with anxiety and other concerns in private sessions.
  • Lexy, Certified Acupuncturist, has joined our team by providing community style acupuncture with salt therapy twice a month. People have found relief from fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, and general aches and pains by combining the two therapies.
  •  Mimi is a yoga instructor with over 11 years of experience, and is also a Certified Energy Worker, has created a new program at Just Breathe, the Empowerment Series for Women. We had 5 women in the first program who have bonded to create new friendships, found stability and happiness in their lives, and the support they need to make major changes from altering their marital situation, redefining their jobs, or finding the support they need to create lives that they desire for themselves. This has proven to be a very powerful program.
  • I am a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, and have run 3 successful cleanses this past year. I also work with clients on a one-to-one basis for more complicated cases such as SIBO, hormonal imbalances such as PCOS and estrogen dominance, and Type II diabetes.
  • My first employee joined the team this year as well. I was fortunate to have my dear friend, Ed, Law of Attraction Expert and Life Coach, available to fill in for me one day a week and it actually warms my heart when I hear clients say how much they love him and can’t wait to see his smiling face behind the desk.

From sold out sound healings, to Law of Attraction workshops, to celebrating the Full Moon, Enchanted Circles, Candlelit Yoga and more, Just Breathe has quickly grown from “just” a salt room to an thriving community of like-minded people and, for this, my team and I are truly grateful.

But we are just starting!  We have lots of exciting new additions for you in 2019:

  • The Empowerment Series for Women will be back with the first 8-week session beginning  January 8th.
  • No one is perfect. It is coming up to that time of year when it is time to drop the sugar habit that tends to sneak in in December. We will be starting the next cleanse to clean up our diet and improve our health with a live meeting on January 16th at 7 pm. As always, previous program members are invited to join at a steeply discounted rate.
  • We have added massage to our growing services with Marline while Linda continues to offer massage and Trager®. We have also added a Heart-Centered Color Therapist, Emiko, and another Energy Healer, Sylvia.
  • Our fun and educational workshops will continue with Ed channeling “What Your Soul Wants You to Know,” a special Healing Circle with Shaman Sue Angelo, Lisa Campion joining us to deal with the “Energy Vampires,” and more! And don’t forget to check out a Sound Healing with Priscilla or Jean.

Please, check back on our website under “Upcoming Events” frequently to see what we have coming up and follow us on Facebook at JustBreathebyNBH.

My team of talented practitioners and I look forward to continuing to help you grow and heal, physically and spiritually in 2019!