Lighting the Way

wellness spa offers sensory floating pod, alternative therapy

Lauren Fisher, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

Infrared Sauna at the Luminary
Infrared Sauna at the Luminary

Kari Jo Green has some ideas for T-shirts – one that says “Get Salty,” and another that says “Go Float Yourself” – to promote her new business, The Luminary (714 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire). Her husband teases that she has lots of good ideas – too many – and that she should focus on follow-through. Starting an alternative therapy spa from scratch seems like follow through, doesn’t it?

The Luminary’s services are meant to help people relax, get supplemental treatment for medical conditions, and take care of themselves in general.

“Self-care is an act of self-love. And when you get in that right mindset and you’re feeling good and you’re positive about yourself, it’s like ripples in the water,” Green said. “That will go to your family and your friends and your professional life, and everybody’s doing better and feeling better.”

The T-shirts are inspired by some of Green’s main focuses: halotherapy and sensory pod services. She also has an infrared sauna where clients can warm up and enjoy some chromatherapy.

Some of these services might be new to people, so Green is happy to explain how everything works to benefit her guests’ minds and bodies – and it does involve a lot of salt. Halotherapy involves resting in a chamber with aerosolized salt particles that draws bacteria and foreign substances out of the body. It can be used to treat respiratory problems, acne, cold sores, and even dry skin, Green said.

A happy yellow room at the Luminary hosts a sensory float pod, which Green thinks of as her The Luminary’s “Main Event.” It’s a large white tank with a movable cover. When filled with 1,100 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade salt and body-temperature water, it becomes a place where someone can lose track of where they end and the water begins.

“It’s like the Dead Sea,” Green said. “You can just float effortlessly. It’s like zero-gravity – your body is in natural alignment.”

This stimulus-free floating takes the pressure off of the body, allowing weight-bearing muscles to relax and heal. It also provides an opportunity for brain rest, Green said.

With such a high salt concentration, even notorious sinkers can relax on top of the water with zero effort for a session.

If Green had nothing else, she would be happy to offer pod services, she said. She suffered an injury in 2014 that did not respond as expected to medical treatment. The injury was not compatible with the physically taxing work of nursing, so she had to reduce her workload. Green believed that floating in a sensory pod would help treat her condition, but there were no options for the service that weren’t an hour or more drive from the Chippewa Valley.

“I knew that floating would help me,” Green said. “I know what it can do.” Now she is glad to offer the opportunity to people in the area.

The Luminary’s services are intended to complement physician-guided medical treatment or enhance a healthy person’s life, and each form of therapy works best when administered regularly over time, Green said.

“In the end I’m grateful for (the injury), because that’s what forced me to go down another path,” Green said. If she hadn’t been forced to re-evaluate her life and work, she would have been happy to continue punching the clock, and might never have tried something new and opened her own business. “My own healing journey is what led to the fruition of The Luminary, but The Luminary is all about the community, serving others and loving what I do every day.”

The Luminary is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11am-3pm and Sunday from noon-3pm, or by appointment. In addition to the halotherapy chamber, infrared sauna with chromatherapy, and sensory float pod, Green also offers an oxygen spa and an inventory of essential oils, CBD oil, and salt products. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-833-356-2832 (1-833-float-EC) or find @TheLuminaryWellnessCenter on Facebook.