Prana Salt Cave is slated to open in late July, bringing more holistic medicine options to the Cape Fear region.
The business, a Himalayan salt therapy space, will open in Crosspoint Plaza at 7110 Wrightsville Ave., Unit B-8, said Liana Belanich, owner of Prana Salt Cave.
“I want it to be a space that not only has dry salt therapy, but it will have some meditation and a little bit of yoga," Belanich said.
As a yoga teacher who holds a business degree, Belanich knew she wanted to open her own business and discovered salt therapy, which she says helped her allergies.
“I kept seeing different salt cave rooms online,” Belanich said. “I did some research and I was really excited about it. I've had allergies my whole life. I have a sister with asthma, and I saw some remarks on how it could help different people with respiratory issues and skin conditions.”
Belanich started the business plan in 2017 and began looking for investors.
“I got my first investor in February of 2018,” she said. “I started looking for spaces, started looking for more investors and loans. So, I just kept plugging away and I just knew that this is what I wanted to bring to Wilmington.”
Belanich found a space at Crosspoint Plaza in January, which she said is a good fit for Prana because of businesses like Thrive Active Wear and Lithe Core Pilates Studio that are located there.
Belanich had to ensure that the materials used for the room that houses the salt cave could withstand the salt.
“There's different things that we had to do to make it safe for the salt, because salt can be corrosive if it gets wet, so we have to keep it at a nice humidity,” she said. “We have to keep it at a cool temperature and we also have to keep it contained in the room. So, there’s a drywall ceiling in the room instead of regular ceiling tiles like that in commercial spaces and everything is made with stainless steel.”
There will also be a space for workshops and yoga and a retail section. Currently, Belanich is waiting on the shipment of Himalayan salt to arrive to construct the salt cave.
To experience salt therapy, visitors would go to Prana for a 45-minute session which costs $35.
“You come in your regular clothes, take off your shoes, you can wear white socks or little booties over your socks and that's just to kind of protect your feet because we have Himalayan salt on the ground. When you sit in a chair or you can sit right on the salt with a blanket,” Belanich said. “You just breathe, sit there and can meditate or close your eyes and take a nap.”
Prana Salt Cave will be joining another salt cave location in Wilmington.
Native Salt Cave & Wellness, located at 1540 S. Second St., Suite 130 in the South Front District
, is expected to open in about a week, Andrea Kearns, co-owner, said Friday in an email.
“Our journey to bring a salt cave to Wilmington has been very long and winding one, starting over two years ago. I was working at the Montauk Salt Cave in New York performing massage therapy and helping to facilitate healing in the cave, while my business partner, and aunt, Kris Sako, had been living here in Wilmington, where she has lived for over 30 years,” Kearns said. “She noticed a need for a salt cave here, and my husband, Morgan Roman, and I were eager to build a better life for our family than what we had in New York. The stars aligned just right, and our venture began.”
Native Salt Cave has two caves, one that will be used as a massage treatment room and a children’s cave and another for sitting.
There has been an increase in the number of people in Wilmington who are interested in trying out alternative ways of healing, Belanich said.
“I noticed that more and more people were becoming health-minded here and holistic, so I thought that they would appreciate salt therapy,” she said. “We would not say don't use western medicine. It would be something in addition to. I think some people already appreciate the salt air that we have, being close to the water. I wanted to create a space for healing from inside out, a place that people can feel comfortable to explore holistic modalities.”