stay salty

New 'salt cave' spa promises allergy relief and more for Houstonians

Salt the day away in these treatment caves. Photo courtesy of The Salt Suite

Locals suffering from the assault of our city’s many allergens, or from lung or skin afflictions, may soon find relief thanks to one of the most common compounds on the planet: salt.

Halotherapy, a treatment in which users breathe in tiny salt particles that dates back to the 12th century, will be available later this year in Houston thanks to The Salt Suite, the nation’s only salt therapy franchise chain.

The company has announced plans to open 20 new locations in Houston by the end of 2022. Areas that The Salt Suite is targeting include River Oaks, Galleria/Uptown, West Memorial, I-10 Villages, and Katy, a company spokesperson tells CultureMap.

How does it work? Through 45-minute salt therapy sessions in Salt Suite’s “caves,” a machine — dubbed a halogenerator — grinds pharmaceutical-grade dry salt into micro-sized particles, which are dispersed into the air of the salt rooms, per a press release. Guests are encouraged to lounge, relax, and breathe in the purified, antibacterial micro salt particles in the air.

This halotherapy, the company claims, helps allergy symptoms, respiratory ailments, skin issues, and boost the immune system. (The salt lounges are certainly cozy.) Membership plans start at $109, per the company website.

Salt Suite brass adds that the company tapped Houston for one of our more famous, or infamous, features — allergies.

“Not many people know that Houston is also one of the country’s worst allergy cities in the U.S.,” said Tiffany Dodson, CEO of The Salt Suite, in a statement, “which has us excited to bring much-needed relief to local Houston communities and introduce them to the benefits of halotherapy.”

Other Salt Suite options include children’s sessions, skin care, salt booths, and private events.

Those interested in salt sessions or even franchise opportunities can find information online.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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Building Houston

 
 

With the consumer price index rising 9.1 percent since last year, many Americans are evaluating new employment opportunities with better pay. However, employees would be wise to consider the risks of accepting a new position in the face of inflation and a possible recession, which could leave employers unable to sustain higher wages and generous benefits.

As a safer option in the longterm, employees may wish to ask for a raise from their current management, yet many do not know how to start the conversation. By understanding best practices for negotiations, employees can improve their chances of obtaining a pay raise without undermining relationships.

Understand the risks of job-hopping

Conventional wisdom suggests that job hopping can result in higher salary increases than an annual raise. During the pandemic, many employees took advantage of labor market shortages to secure new positions for higher pay. However, job hopping presents risks, particularly in an uncertain economic environment. Companies may institute “last in, first out” layoffs, leaving recent hires unemployed.

Even in strong economic conditions, job-hoppers face uncertain outcomes. When employees leave a company, they may leave behind teammates, mentors, client partnerships and friendships years in the making. These relationships can redevelop in a new organization, but employees may find themselves in an unfamiliar setting, facing unrealistic expectations or unexpected challenges that were not clear during the interview process.

Prepare ahead of time

Before approaching management with a request for a raise, employees should understand their own financial needs and how much additional compensation would improve their finances. If inflation has caused financial strain, employees should gather recent data on inflation, including the consumer price index, to share with management. The more information employees can offer about changing economic conditions, the more management will understand and accept their position.

Focus on the positive

Employees should begin a conversation about salary with praise for the organization and a reiteration of their commitment to the team. By beginning on a positive note, employees set the tone for a mutually productive conversation. Although employees may view salary negotiations as adversarial across the table, productive negotiations are a conversation with both employee and employer on the same team.

Likewise, while employees may worry about looking greedy, employees should not let that fear prevent them from opening the conversation. Employers also understand that employees work to meet their financial needs. While employers may face budget constraints or other considerations in salary allocation, strong management also recognizes the importance of nurturing growth among employees, both in compensation and job responsibilities.

Nonetheless, employees should focus the discussion on broader economic conditions like inflation, not on their personal budget items. By acknowledging the economic environment outside of the employer’s control, employees can then respectfully request their salary be adjusted for inflation.

Employees with a record of strong results can also gather data or performance reviews to demonstrate their contributions to the team beyond the expectations of their role. In doing so, employees can frame a salary increase as a celebratory recognition of the mutually successful partnership between employee and employer and an investment in the relationship.

Be flexible if negotiations stall

If employers decline to adjust an employee’s salary for inflation, employees should not give up on negotiating additional compensation or benefits. Rather than a pay raise, employees can ask for reimbursement for gas mileage or additional remote days to cut down on their commutes. If management declines a pay raise based on timing, employees can acknowledge that management may face budgetary constraints, remaining flexible but firm. For instance, a compromise may involve revisiting the discussion in three to six months.

As employees face record-breaking inflation, it remains critical to consider the risks of departing one role for another. By implementing best practices in salary negotiations, employees can secure a salary increase that matches inflation, avoid the uncertainty of job-hopping and invest in the future at their current company.

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Jill Chapman is a senior performance consultant with Insperity,a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions.

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