Fusion Therapy Salt Room Experience

Looking for date-night ideas? Tired of the mall?

Until invited to experience one, I had never even heard of a “salt room.” An after-work invitation to visit a new business in town with 10 close colleagues seemed mysterious, intriguing and I was instantly curious.

I had been stuck on the couch for a few days leading up to the scheduled gathering, dealing with an offensive head cold and ear/throat infection. After reneging on the invitation, I was convinced by the host to attend last minute.

With my last ounce of oomph, I pulled it together, dawdled getting dressed, and negotiated my way to Fusion Therapy. It is set back in an aging, shadowy office plaza, appropriately called Pine Park Centre. One step inside the building, however, and there was a shift in the atmosphere.

Waiting Area at Sarasota Salt Room

Welcome to the purely elegant and fresh, airy lobby at Fusion Therapy. I was instantly transported to a page in a favorite home design magazine! Greeted by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff, I began to feel better already. Husband and wife team Terry and Gena Schibler are the brains behind this business, and, let me tell you, at this point I had tons of questions (some arguably more urgent than others).

  • Am I going to get everyone sick?
  • Do you wear shoes?
  • What does this salt room look like?
  • What do you do in there?

To my wonderment, natural dead sea salt actually creates a sterilized, negative ion environment, three times cleaner than a sterile surgery area in a hospital. Guess I wouldn’t be spreading any germs. It is also known to help in the healing of those suffering from ear, nose and throat illnesses, asthma, bronchitis, cold, flu and more. That’s not all. It is known to assist children, yes you read me right, with skin and respiratory conditions. How do you like them apples?

Skin Care Specialist at Fusion Therapy

Shoes off, I was invited to find a restful seat amid the dead sea salt, which was light in color, encasing the entire room (walls included) and felt, under my feet, like stepping onto a pebbly beach. (There are slippers to wear over shoes for those feeling less adventurous.) The room was closed off, the speakers streamed Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys and the Halotherapy treatment began. Few of us knew what to expect at that moment. I think we were all waiting for the room to explode or the walls to start moving or something else bizarre to happen.

There were lots of nervous giggles and wide eyes, although the single male in the group was one of the most laid back there.

Sarasota's Premier Salt Room

We were all pleasantly surprised when, from a tube in the wall, a steady mist of aerosolized salt, or, micronized medical grade salt flowed. Once I felt a sense of comfort, I stretched my legs out on my NASA-inspired, no-gravity reclining chair, and deliberately focused on my breathing. Anuloma Viloma (or Alternate Nostril Breathing) as modeled by Gena, was encouraged as a way to restore imbalances in the brain and calm emotions. So I began in through the right, out through the left and vice versa.

A primary colored beach ball made its way around the room and some of us even wore sunglasses. I smiled, wondering whether Terry and Gena have clients that go in clad in bikinis and swim trunks. Maybe even a Speedo?

It was quiet, other than the music and light laughter weaving through conversation, and when I closed my eyes, the muffled sounds reminded me of standing in a field of paper white falling snow. I imagined this was what heaven could feel like; light buzzing and humming, blissful alignment with the universe. The sweet, deep edge you balance over before falling asleep.

Upon completion of the 45-minute Dry Saline Therapy session, I experienced a considerable lift in mood, a slight improvement in energy and a gentle cleansing of my nasal passages (which was just what the doctor ordered). Bring on the tissues; let’s kick this sick!

Salt Room Experience

Post treatment, we were all thirsty, so decided to hit up a local spot for some fluid replenishment. There were mixed reviews about instant results among the group, but the overall consensus was that we would go back in a heartbeat. We all appreciated the opportunity to decompress and alleviate the stressors of the week in such a unique and fabulous place.

Inspired by European salt caves, the Suncoast’s premiere dead sea salt treatment center will certainly satisfy your curiosity in new and innovative health and wellness practices. For details on therapeutic and restorative sessions in the salt rooms, visit Fusion Therapy’s website.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out these commonly asked questions – the answers might surprise you. Fusion also offers a number of additional services including massage, infrared therapy, and skincare. Ahem…can I sign up now?!

Full Spectrum Infrared Therapy Sauna

This is the infrared therapy station.

Fusion Therapy Skin Care

Here’s a peek at the skin care treatment room, where Gena does a lot of her work.

Mindful Minerals

Had to share the mini shopping cart with you…

Get Babied

Have you ever been to a salt room? Is it something you might like to try?!

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2012 In Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for 2FeelPositive.com. Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. 2FeelPositive.com was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people. How cool is that?

What’s more is that if 1/4 of those viewers were subscribers, we’d nearly hit a community of 1,000! Thank you for all your support in 2012.

Cheers to a bright and healthy New Year. And, Happy Birthday, Mom M!

Click here to see the complete 2012 report.

Fun Poll: Are you going to make a resolution for the New Year?

Stickie Notes 

Important Holiday Check List

Through all the holiday “hustle and bustle” (which may include a few unfortunate shattered ornaments) I always make sure to do a few things.

Here is my Stay Sane Holiday Check List:

☐ Put on your slipper socks – the ones with the sticky bottoms

☐ Watch Love Actually

☐ Check doorstep for holiday shipment from Crate and Barrel

☐ Smell the pine (unless you opted for a fake tree*)

☐ Indulge in a handful of fancy dark chocolate covered almonds, like Amie’s of The Healthy Apple (or, a flute of bubbly and light Prosecco**)

☐ Connect with your spirituality, wherever you find it

☐ Make a wish/say a prayer for someone special

☐ Dress up (break out the bow ties and Carrie Bradshaw red lips)

☐ Order the After-Dinner Coffee Cocktail

☐ Toss three ugly ornaments (hey, you can use that extra storage space)

☐ Reminisce about past holiday blunders and successes

☐ Pamper yourself (you only get the excuse for spa treatments so often; guys – I am talking to you, too)

☐ Cook a colorful meal, like pizza with red sauce, spinach greens and fresh mozzarella (you could always order it in, too – wink)

☐ Listen to at least one Alvin and The Chipmunks holiday song

☐ Burn a batch of cookies (there is plenty more dough)

☐ Get at least 8 hours of sleep

☐ And don’t forget to shower (the dishes can wait)

☐ Do all things with a loving touch

☐ Give as much as you can to the local food pantry

☐ Discover wire ribbon. Trust us. (Family tip.)

☐ Call your grandparents, if you are fortunate enough to have them

☐ Arrive on time with a semi-full stomach and a hostess gift (you never know what the party food is going to be like)

☐ Kiss under the mistletoe. A lot. If you don’t have anyone to kiss, give yourself a hug. You deserve it.

☐ Pay the bills (you are still responsible for your rent, even though you’ve spent it all already)

☐ Find new places in your downtown community where you can celebrate and shop (I buy #MadeInUSA whenever possible)

☐ Visit with friends and family, whether nearby or by Skype

☐ Forgive someone, even if it’s just in your head

☐ Did I mention, watch Love Actually?

*Long story short, Kevin and I decided not to brave the Christmas tree bugs this year. We will never again take scented candles for granted.

**La Marca is one of our favorite, which is also completely affordable. (Note: Bottle is best when shared.)

What is your #1 Holiday Stay Sane Tip?

Baking Frosted Sugar Cookies for Christmas with Tracey Rapisardi

As the year closes, Tracey Rapisardi of Tracey Rapisardi Style and I fit in one last collaboration for you. We hope you enjoy it!

It was a sweet treat to work with such a talent in styling and photography (not to mention Interior Design). The real gift was to sit and spend time with Tracey, warm up with a steaming cup of sweetened green tea, and to create this fanciful gathering which we would then come to share with you.

cookies and ingredients

Another special gift this season came to me in my very own kitchen. I have actually, finally, figured out how to mix Royal Icing – the kind that hardens – from scratch. You know…the kind you see on snowmen cookies at Starbucks or at the cash wrap in Whole Foods around holiday time. If you know me, you probably know I have been experimenting with this tasty confection for some time (remember my Failure Happens post?)

Icing Decorates Cookies

Once I figured out the recipe, I admittedly went a little overboard. I bought a junk drawer load of pastry bag tips, used for decorating and writing with icing, and a few extra sets of couplers, which are used to secure the tip of choice to a pastry bag. Using all the tools I picked up, I created white, pink, green and blue shades in both outlining and flooding consistencies. Then I set up a Decor Station, which included icing, sugars, sprinkles, nonpareils, pearls, candy snowflakes and more, each in their own ramekin.

Icing on Sugar Cookies

Lots of fun work and experimentation led to a strong sense of accomplishment. (My newfound success was inspired by a video tutorial, Royal Icing Wet on Wet Technique, by Simply Sweets by Honeybee. Her steady hand and the quick, easy strokes she takes with the icing is a true art.)

Green Sugar Decoration

While the icing was still wet, sanding sugars in different colors and sizes are sprinkled over top. Immediately shake off any excess and place your decorated cookie on a flat surface to dry.

Letters Gift Tags and Star Sugar Cookies

Trick: Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper before using sanding sugars or embellishments. Place a cooling rack on top and sprinkle away. You can then funnel that special fallen sugar back into the jar for later use. Happy baker, padded wallet for more ingredients.

Delicate Cookies with Royal Icing

I had a blast creating different patterns and textures on tag cookies, letters, stars and snowflakes. The possibilities are endless!

Sugar Cookie Success

This snowflake is my favorite because of the warm and fuzzy, wintery feelings it evokes.

Royal Icing and Decorated Cookies

Glam Your Sugar Cookies

Don’t you just love Tracey’s use of colors and patterns? I bet those lollipops are as much of a delight to taste as they are to look at.

Area to Decorate Cookies

McLean Sugar Cookies

It is snowing in sunny Florida! Is it snowing where you live, too? 🙂

Decorated Sugar Cookies

The holiday tunes on the radio turned my afternoon with Tracey into a real party. Wait until you see what she did with the decorated cookies, and don’t forget to sign up for email updates on her blog!

Whether they arrive via visits with close friends, within personal achievements of any size, or under your tree, I hope you receive the gifts you have been wishing for this Christmas.

Gift Ideas for Guys

1. For the go-go-go guy who has everything, warm his mornings with an eco cup from the KeepCup Store. They are customizable, so you can use his favorite colors.

2. The Brawny Men out there will get a kick out of this knit cap and face warmer from Fab.com, which comes with a bendable mustache!

3. Book a hotel one short hour away, gas up the guzzler and go have some alone time!

4. If your beaux is all business, Ten Over 6 has a leather card holder that will be the gift De LaVie.

KimpoCard_BlackPearl_1024x10245. Hidden hint gift from one of my favorite boutiques:

Man: “This smells nice.”

Man 2/Woman: “Isn’t that great, honey?! I thought you could throw it in your gym bag.”

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6. I’m sorry (clear throat), what was that? Affordable cashmere?! Thanks UNIQLO.

7. Nothing says holiday more than a festively plaid scarf. This one from Sid Mashburn is truly “A fresh interpretation of old standards.” (For the slightly obsessed, it’s cashmere, too.)

8. For the traveling man (by bus or plane, not in a 1961, Ricky Nelson sorta-way) English Muffin Shop has creatively colorful prints on beautiful papers, perfect for his office. The hubs gifted me with a calendar designed by Bess Callard last year and I was impressed by the quality of print and attention to detail. You won’t be disappointed!
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9. A pair of funky cuff links in smooth porcelain are an easy conversation starter.

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10. If your amore is artistic, get him a Kraft cover sketchbook with acid free paper. He will picture you in his mind each time he uses it.

11. If you can rock the polka dots, why can’t he?

   

12. If he’s not afraid of color, these slim fit khakis are a stand-out. A little more reserved? Don’t fret, there are multiple shades available.

13. Anything off of the New York Times Bestsellers List.

14. Take him out dancing in Cole Haan’s twist on the classic cap-toe shoe. For an extra dash of individuality, swap out the black laces for blue.

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15. Has he been naughty? Hopefully not, but this Christmas Coal Candy from Sprinkle Bakes is sure to spark a chuckle or two. Gather up a small bag and drop it into the toe of his stocking on Christmas Eve!

A Playlist for Entertaining: Cocktails and Cheer

Have a twinkling time decorating the Christmas tree, gathering with friends, or toasting the year’s accomplishments with Cocktails and Cheer, my latest playlist on Spotify.

 

You can download a free account here if you don’t already have one. Have fun!

Warm Rosemary Olives from Real Simple

An Especially Warm Welcome from one of my favorite magazines.

Melanie Acevedo via www.RealSimple.com

Melanie Acevedo via RealSimple.com

The warmest of welcomes comes straight from the heart, and hot from the oven. This fantastic, colorful and fragrant opener makes an appearance at all of my holiday gatherings. In Cozy Nook, the Lenox house, I’d fill an entire jelly roll pan with these little bursts of salt and herb. When warmed, the fresh rosemary fills the kitchen with the scents reminiscent of Christmas parties past, laughter, homestead, hearth and good cheer.

Click here for the Recipe for Warm Rosemary Olives, via www.RealSimple.com. To follow Real Simple on Facebook, click here.

Holiday Preparations: Time to Get Festive

Pie and Brownies

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, Apple with Almond Crumb Crust and Sinful Fudge Brownies

The holidays are a wonderful time of year.

Let’s kindle the festive spirit  so that the glow of wonder and magic lasts throughout the long winter. Here I am going to share my favorite seasonal tips, treats and topics over the next few posts. Please join me on this sleigh ride!

And, if you’re feeling the spark, share your fave thing about the holidays below.

Pink Chocolate Popcorn for Movie Night with Tracey Rapisardi

Snuggling up on the sofa with a crunchy snack and an entertaining movie is one of the best ways to spend a quiet Sunday evening. Along with my good friend, Tracey of Tracey Rapisardi Design, and we experimented with some popcorn, pretzels and chocolate to make a scrumptious spread for movie night.

Naked Popcorn

Popping pure white popcorn is the first step to snack time success.

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Melt a Ghirardelli White Chocolate Premium Baking Bar in the microwave or in a double boiler. Add some red food coloring until you have achieved your desired shade of pink. (A touch of blue will tone down the pink.)

Insert amusement here, and have a ball pouring the warm chocolate over your popcorn. For best results, using a light hand, drizzle slowly and cover as evenly as possible.

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Using a rubber spatula, mix the popcorn and pink chocolate until you have achieved semi-evenly covered goodness.

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Transfer the popcorn to a large white ceramic bowl…make sure it’s roomy enough for you to fit your whole hand in!

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Drizzle with remaining non-tinted chocolate.

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If you are in the mood for toothache sweet, sprinkle with Classic White Chocolate Baking Chips and white non-pareils.

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If you have chocolate left over, why not dip some pretzels? Salty vs. Sweet. Who do you think will win the tastebud war?

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Don’t forget to put your pajamas on before you snuggle up on the couch! Now that you’ve got your snacks together, head on over to Tracey Rapisardi Style to see how she arranged our Sunday evening surroundings.

A special kudos to the talented Tracey for her wonderful styling and photography.