Fran Hasekoester was looking for a solution for her own family when she came upon the idea that led to Sweet Serenity Massage & Salt Therapy.

A massage therapist for 13 years, Hasekoester was at a conference five years ago when she met someone who ran a salt room in Centerville, Ohio. “I have a grandson who has many issues and one of them was chronic lung disease,” she says. “I was telling him about my grandson, would something like this help him, and he’s going, ‘Oh yeah, it’s amazing what it will help with.’”

Hasekoester researched salt therapy and decided that this was something she wanted to bring to Northern Kentucky. Sweet Serenity opened its location at 9910 C Berberich Drive in Florence a year ago and Hasekoester has already seen results from the therapy.

“Lucas has come on a regular basis since I opened up. He used to take a lot of antibiotics,” she says. “He has not had one antibiotic for a year. His pulmonologist is amazed at how well he’s been doing this past year.” While she knows that many factors have led to her grandson’s success, she says the salt therapy was impactful, too.

Salt therapy is meant to mimic the environment of a salt cave. Salt is diffused into the air so that clients can breathe it in while relaxing in a 68-70 degree Fahrenheit room. “[It’s] much like sitting on the beach in Florida,” says Hasekoester. “It’s not like you’re going to see this stream of salt coming out.” She says she tells skeptical clients to lick their lips—they can often taste the salt on their skin. Clients who wear dark clothing into the room may even notice salt on their clothing, though it can easily be brushed off.

The theory behind the salt room is that the salt causes mucus to break down and naturally drain. “Say you have asthma, hay fever, allergies, sinus conditions, even children with cystic fibrosis, it’s very helpful for them because they are always very clogged up,” she says.

While most people simply sit in the room and relax, Sweet Serenity also offers small meditation, yoga and Pilates classes in the room.

The salt room may be the reason Sweet Serenity exists, but it’s not the only service Hasekoester offers. Those who visit can get a massage—from therapeutic to hot stones to bamboo to salt scrub—or enjoy the infrared sauna. Hasekoester says she wants to offer the region many affordable ways to relax.

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