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Ocean Elements Salt Cave, Float Center now open

By Kara Hallissey | Feb 15, 2018
Photo by: Kara Hallissey Owner Jeanne Mills relaxes in a zero-gravity chair while breathing in the salt spa room at Ocean Elements Salt Cave and Float Center in West Ocean City on Wednesday afternoon.

(Feb. 16, 2018) Ocean Elements Salt Cave and Float Center relocated to West Ocean City and added a few amenities designed to relax and rejuvenate.

“We do a lot to take care of our exterior, that people actually see, but what we don’t do enough of is take care of what is inside until it manifests itself in a break, anxiety, an illness or anger,” owner Jeanne Mills said.

At Ocean Elements, there are two, 200-gallon water pods filled with 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt. Floaters lay naked on their backs and the pod is kept at the skin-neutral temperature of 93.5 degrees, although it will vary throughout the session.

“You can’t tell where your skin ends and the water begins,” Mills said. “It releases tension, dopamine and endorphins. A session offers stress and pain relief. The objective is to lay in the water, relax, mediate and clear your mind.”

After shutting the pod door, all sounds from the outside world are gone. Patrons can choose a color light setting or unwind in total darkness and relax to calming music, bring their own meditative tracks or indulge in silence.

“It is totally up to the person having the experience,” Mills said.

A welcome message begins each session, which are generally an hour long. Ear plugs and hair ties are provided.

In addition, Ocean Elements also added a deluxe float suite, which is a 220-gallon, squared room with 1,050 pounds of Epsom salt and sparkling stars on the ceiling that can be turned on or off.

“The dissolved salt gives you a buoyancy and the feeling of floating on a cloud,” Mills said.

Afterwards, an exit message will play and clients are encouraged to take a shower, with all the necessities for bathing provided.

An appointment takes 90 minutes, including the hour-long session, but can be adjusted to be shorter or longer.

“The skin is the biggest organ in the body and Epsom salts absorb magnesium, which helps with nutrient balance,” Mills said.

Floatation spa therapy has been used to relieve chronic pain, anxiety and stress in addition to helping clients recover from injuries, PTSD and addictions, she said.

“There are a lot of good benefits and it is a more natural alternative for chronic pain management,” Mills said. “This is something I am passionate about. I have been a nurse [for more than 20 years] and I really believe in this.”

Military members and those suffering from stress and anxiety are encouraged to try out the rest station, which has a vibroacoustic bed that gently vibrates from underneath in conjunction with the beat of the music being played in headphones provided.

“It is a relaxation technique to clear your thoughts out, reduce stress and anxiety,” Mills said.

The rest station was created in a partnership with nonprofit organization, Pathways for Veterans, to help acclimate military members back into society after they are discharged, in addition to easing anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

“We are one of 16 designated research centers in the country for Pathways for Veterans,” Mills said. “If a veteran decides to participate in the program, they receive two visits for free and then are asked to complete the 16-week program, which helps with self-reflection and learning to deal with chronic pain or PTSD. It also helps with headaches, back pain and anxiety.”

The salt spa has more than a half dozen zero gravity chairs with pink Himalayan salt bricks on the wall and granulated pink Himalayan salt on the floor. Guests can lay back and breathe in the salt. Each session lasts 45 minutes.

“We wanted to have an elegant and peaceful environment,” Mills said. “We provide headphones, which plays salon-style, low frequency tracks and a blanket. The room helps with upper respiratory issues, asthma, allergies, bronchitis, COPD and skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.”

In the future, Mills plans to have yoga and guided meditation classes take place inside the salt spa.

Bath salts, salt pillows, salt lamps, Lucky Girl products and Colorado hemp honey are a few of the retail products available for purchase at Ocean Elements.

Mills discovered a salt spa when she was celebrating her anniversary with her husband during a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, over a year ago.

“We were looking for something different to do and came across a salt spa,” Mills said. “We loved it. The first thought out of my head was I have to have one of these and it would be wonderful to bring it to my community. There is nothing around here similar. You would have to go to Williamsburg or Annapolis.”

After doing research online, the couple found Superior Float Tanks, a manufacturer in Norfolk, Virginia, and she opened her business on March 7 inside Serenity Salon in Ocean Pines.

When Serenity Salon closed in October, Mills looked for a space for several months before finding 11934 Ocean Gateway in West Ocean City.

Construction started on the new 3,500-square-foot building in August and Ocean Elements officially opened to the public in its new location on Feb. 1.

Contractor Dale Ridgeway of Custom Line Contracting was essential in helping to get the business opened back up this month, Mills said.

To celebrate, Ocean Elements Salt Cave and Float Center will have grand opening party on March 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with giveaways, food and a 1 p.m. ribbon cutting.

“It is great for mental clarity, muscle relaxation and to just destress,” Mills said. “People with chronic pain and illnesses are encouraged to do it multiple times to get an acclimation effect. The more you float, the better you feel for a longer period of time.”

Ocean Elements Salt Cave and Float Center, which is located off of Route 50 in West Ocean City, is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call 443-664-2265 to schedule an appointment.

Package deals, memberships and gift cards are also available. Additional information is available at www.oceanelements.life.

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