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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Breathing Easy in these COVID Times: Q&A with Fusion Therapy

by Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer 


Whether it’s residual symptoms of COVID, chronic stress from all the changes to our normal, or other health issues taking a toll on the body, I think most of us can agree that it’s been difficult to breathe easy over the last two years. In both the literal and figurative sense, we could all use a deep, full exhale to relieve the tension our systems are encumbered with.   

And that’s where Fusion Therapy comes in. This local wellness retreat is in the business of helping our community relax, de-stress and breathe. What a difference it makes when the lungs are clear, the mind is calm, and the body can start to heal itself, right? It’s for this exact reason that I wanted to feature Fusion Therapy in this month’s edition of the Community Spotlight, and Gena Lewis-Schibler, LMT and Senior Partner of Fusion Therapy, was so gracious to lend her expertise to the conversation below.    


Natural Awakenings: Can you describe how the Dry Salt treatments at Fusion Therapy can improve lung function and help those with respiratory issues breathe deeper and easier?  


Gena Lewis-Schibler: Our modern Dry Salt Therapy rooms are made to replicate the naturally occurring salt caves of Eastern and Central Europe. We have a Grande Salt Suite for families and groups, and we also offer a Petite Suite for private Dry Salt Therapy treatments.  

Dry Salt Therapy helps with numerous respiratory ailments such as asthma; chronic ear, nose or throat conditions; bronchitis; emphysema; and allergy cold or flu symptoms. This modality also helps to relieve a number of post-COVID symptoms. In addition, it calms the nervous system to relieve mental strain, anxiety and insomnia. 

In our Salt Suites, a person is surrounded by tons of mineral-rich Dead Sea Salt. Once inside a Salt Suite, a halogenerator crushes then disperses microparticles of pharmaceutical-grade salt into the air which reach deep into the lungs and function as a powerful healing force. These tiny salt particles work like sponges to absorb foreign substances and help to thin mucus which allows the body to expel troublesome toxins naturally.  

By clearing out debris, those with respiratory conditions can breathe easier and deeper. We have seen remarkable results in clients with asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, coughs or colds, chronic wheezing and even oxygen dependence.  


NA: What does the process of visceral manipulation of the lungs entail, and how can it benefit anyone who is experiencing residual COVID symptoms or vaccine side-effects? 

Lewis-Schibler: Visceral Manipulation is a gentle, manual therapy that evaluates the structural relationships between the viscera (organs) and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to various systems in the body. It assists with functional and structural imbalances such as musculoskeletal, lymphatic, vascular, digestive, respiratory and nervous dysfunction. 

In these COVID times, Visceral Work has helped many of our clients with their breathing function with gentle manipulation of their lungs. For a number of people, post-COVID symptoms will include scar tissue in the lungs. This makes it difficult to inhale and exhale fully. Some people will even continue to experience a reduction in oxygen absorption long after the COVID virus has left their system.  

Terry Schibler, LMT, our Lead Therapist, has several years of experience helping the body to release restrictions and unhealthy compensations that cause pain or deep-rooted tension. As a result, many of our clients experience their first full, nurturing breath after visceral manipulation. Usually one lung is more restricted than the other, so when performing these osteopathic techniques, the touch will be light. It can feel like a gentle stretch or pressure which results in mild tingles, numbness or heat as blood flow increases to the area. 

NA: Are there any other natural health and wellness properties of Dry Salt Therapy that our readers ought to know about? 

Lewis-Schibler: Dry Salt Therapy has numerous benefits. It acts as a detoxifier for the respiratory system; it helps to strengthen the immune system; and it both restores and relaxes the central nervous system. This is because salt’s nature is to pull toxins—in fact, before the invention of the refrigerator, salt was used to prevent food from spoiling. 

So when breathing in these salt particles, the pharmaceutical-grade salt pulls mucus and toxins from the respiratory system. It can even liquify and pull toxins from the lower rails of the lungs. Some of our oxygen dependent clients have been released by their doctors from using oxygen after a series of Dry Salt Therapy treatments. 

Fusion Therapy offers a 30-day, unlimited package of Dy Salt Therapy sessions for just $99 to jumpstart the healing process. In addition, because Salt Therapy targets the respiratory tract—not the digestive tract—Dry Salt Therapy can also be used by those with high blood pressure or limited salt diets. 

NA: Could you talk about the holistic benefits of combining Dry Salt Therapy with other therapeutic modalities such as massage?  

Lewis-Schibler: Fusion Therapy now offers Therapeutic Massage in the Petite Salt Suite each week on “Massage Mondays,” during which time, our studio will only be open for Dry Salt Therapy Massage treatments. 

Massage is a form of therapy that utilizes hands-on techniques to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress or anxiety, improve sleep and down-regulate the nervous system, so it can heal. Dry Salt Therapy in conjunction with massage helps to increase these benefits by calming the body and pulling out toxins or stressors, so the body can achieve balance. 

The benefits of Dry Salt Therapy are magnified when combined with other modalities such as therapeutic massage. The body is at ease during this treatment which allows for more effective tissue mobilization. In addition, greater skin exposure allows for the salt to interact with more areas of the body which increases moisture in the skin, improves skin pH balance and acts as a gentle exfoliant over the course of the massage. 


Gena Lewis-Schibler is a licensed massage therapist, esthetician and Senior Partner of Fusion Therapy. Her expertise and training spans across numerous modalities such as pranic healing, aromatherapy, sound healing, lymphatic drainage, craniosacral therapy and Reiki treatments. Fusion Therapy is located at 7069 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call 941-921-7900 or visit 


Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer is the Managing Editor of Natural Awakenings Sarasota–Manatee. She also works as a freelance writer, blogger and social media marketer. Her personal blog features tips for embracing an active, nutritious, balanced and empowered lifestyle.   






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