A new business on Allegheny Avenue in Towson that caters to people looking to relax and revitalize reflects these cautious times and the need to socially distance.
The storefront Touch-Free Wellness Spa allows clients to experience an array of massage and spa services without the touch of a massage practitioner or therapist.
Taking inspiration from sauna bars and spas in places like Miami and New York City, owner Michael Dent opened the spa to bring to his hometown a touch-free experience, using the latest technology that has been around for years in Asia, Europe and California, according to a press release.
“The name ‘touch-free’ just made sense with the pandemic since I know a lot of people are looking for self-care and wellness where they may not want to have a practitioner applying a massage or a treatment,” Dent said. “The idea to have private rooms with spa technology [where] you can be there either by yourself or [with] a loved one would allow the individual to drop their mask and relax and enjoy a touch-free spa treatment.”
Since opening its doors in January, the spa has served a rotating clientele, ranging from athletes and fitness trainers to college students and older adults.
Dent decided to open the spa after founding and operating, Twinkle, Twinkle, Yoga, Yoga, a children’s yoga company that, for five years, sent yoga teachers to 150 schools across the region before closing in 2019.
“I had been looking to continue a new endeavor in wellness after my kids yoga [business], and when this magical, spiritual space opened up, I felt like this was the perfect space to start a wellness spa for North Baltimore,” he said.
Although touch-free technology had been used before the pandemic, he said the concept has enticed clients who are looking for safe self-care and wellness alternatives.
The spa uses anti-gravity robotic massage chairs, cryotherapy, hydro-massage chairs, infrared sauna pods, lymphatic compression massages, near infrared light therapy and whole body vibro-acoustic treatments to deliver a hands-off spa experience.
The infrared sauna pods, which require the client to lie down in a tanning bed-like machine, offer a full-body detox treatment to help burn calories,energize the body, reduce stress and treat issues like inflammation and pain, according to its website.
Prices at the spa range from $40 to $65 for a 30-50 minute treatment, according to a press release. Prices start at $40 for 30 minutes in the anti-gravity massage chair or hydro-massage chair, $50 for 30 minutes in the lymphatic compression massage chair, $65 for 40 minutes in the infrared sauna pod and $65 for a full-body cryotherapy session.
Additionally, clients can sign up for a diamond, gold or silver membership, which allows them to mix and match two to 16 sessions for a monthly fee ranging from $92 to $480.
Marangely Quiñones, general manager of the spa, said clients have responded positively to their experience.
“[The customers] think it’s an amazing concept and everyone says that [the spa] is beautiful,” she said. “[Dent] put a lot of work into every precise detail, from the art to the custom-made nameplates on each room. He went above and beyond to create this unique spot.”
According to Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.’s latest executive order, personal services establishments, including, barbershops, beauty salons, massage parlors and tanning salons may operate at 50% of the establishment’s maximum occupancy, however, they are required to clean and disinfect the areas in which services are performed after each customer.
Although the treatments at the new spa are touch-free, Quiñones said the business is still taking precautions to ensure their clients’ health and safety.
Prior to receiving their treatment, the clients are required to have their temperature taken and to sanitize their hands. They also fill out a health form, and employees, besides sanitizing the machines between clients, interact with the clients from behind a plastic glass barrier.
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Despite the precautions, Quiñones said some people are still hesitant to schedule an appointment.
“Once [clients] come in and see how clean the facility is they have no second guesses or thoughts about booking an appointment,” she said.
Justin Inman, an instructor at Knock Out Fitness in Towson, said he receives treatments at the spa two to three times a week.
He said when he first visited the spa, he was impressed by the customer service and immediately became a member.
Since visiting the spa, he said he has tried nearly every treatment offered and feels refreshed and relieved after each appointment.
He encouraged others to consider the touch-free experience.
“It’s so necessary and mandatory that you take advantage of these kinds of atmospheres and environments just for the simple fact that as a human you put your body through so much stress knowingly and unknowingly,” he said. “Any opportunity that you get to reset and refresh and have that kind of tension relieved from your body, I would definitely suggest that you do so.”