Introducing Point Pleasant’s first Himalayan salt lounge and dry salt therapy cabin. Pampered Spirit Wellness Center was created for you and we invite you to take the next step to wellness. Unlock your potential, breathe better and optimize your relaxation experience.
The Owner’s Journey – Holistic Health Visionary and Licensed Massage Therapist
Pampered Spirit Wellness Center’s Owner/Operator Bridget Riley entered the spa wellness business in 1998 when she obtained her massage therapy certification. “I went to Garden State Center for Holistic Health Care, a small school in Lakewood, NJ. At that time, the school focused on technique and self-development. I found the anatomy and physiology fairly easy as I had just completed my BA degree in science, and so I was able to concentrate on the finer points of massage.” Massage therapy was not a popular vocation in the early 90’s. The job market mostly consisted of spas in hotels, destination locations or vacation spots. Bridget “broke in her hands” at the Hilton in Long Branch, NJ.
After about a year, she saw an opportunity to practice massage therapy and live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Breckenridge Colorado. Skiers and weekend warriors embraced massage as a means to keep going down the hill. Ski towns are expensive and Bridget hustled, working at two spas and offering mobile or in-home massages. She drove a 1997 Nissan Pulsar T-Top sports car, and recounts, “I would sometimes get stuck in snow banks on my way to appointments but the car was so light that all it took was a shovel, some cardboard and a good push from a couple of guys to get me on my way!”
Bridget believes massage is a vehicle to wellness and she strives to offer her clients the most beneficial treatment possible. For the therapist, massage is also a way to connect with another individual. Once she makes that connection with someone, her focus changes.
“The energy flows through my body, out my hands and aligns with the areas on the person’s body that need addressing ~ I find those knots and get in there,” she says.
Convinced she had found her purpose, Bridget moved back to NJ and opened a massage therapy office in Point Pleasant Beach called Body ‘n Mind. It was a single office space and Bridget was a solo practitioner. “I wanted something bigger, something more, but at the time I didn’t know how to go about it.” Feeling the pressure to expand her career and salary, Bridget accepted a teaching position at Kearny HS. It seemed like a good fit at the time, and offered a steady salary, health benefits and a pension. For the next several years, Bridget focused on her teaching career and caring for her then husband and young son. Yet, the feeling of wanting to open a business always remained in the back of her mind, and she kept her skills strong by working part-time as a massage therapist at the Atlantic Club in Wall, NJ on weekends and during the summers. After five years of teaching, Bridget saw an untapped niche in the spa industry and began developing a new business model for a mobile spa business. The year was 2006 and the economy was starting to falter. Less overhead and more flexibility in scheduling seemed like win-win to Bridget and The Pampered Spirit Mobile Massage and Spa was born. She left teaching to focus on the new business. Today, The Pampered Spirit Mobile Massage and Spa has a network of over 40 therapists throughout NJ and NY, specializing in individual services, corporate events and spa parties. “The business is busy and I love what Pampered Spirit Mobile has developed into,” exclaims Bridget.
With the eye of an entrepreneur, Bridget was looking for the next wave of opportunity. A location was the next logical step in the evolution process as a therapist and business owner. Bridget muses, “I knew I wanted to open a business in Point Pleasant, NJ. I love this town, and all the residents both summer and year-round. I raise my son here and I think it’s one of the most desirable places to grow up. You just can’t beat living and working by the beach!
After looking at several business models and franchises, and even considering Cryotherapy, Bridget decided nothing made more sense than salt. She had been to salt caves and found them relaxing and improved her breathing. Her son was having a terrible time with allergies and it broke her heart to watch him suffer. The doctor suggested a using a neti pot. And then she realized….we need a salt lounge in our area! Bridget started the process of researching all things salt: salt business, salt caves, salt chambers and salt cabins. She spoke with pulmonologists and allergy doctors and received tremendous feedback and interest. Bridget’s research continued in Florida where Halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, is popular. During a research trip to Southern Florida, she was able to visit four different salt therapy facilities within a 25 mile radius.
Having decided that dry salt therapy was the business for her, the question of which type of administration system remained. Bridget wanted a place where people could come to relax and leave their worries at the door, along with their shoes (PSWC is a shoe-free facility!). The caves were big and expensive to build and she didn’t felt like the concentration of salt was intense enough. Bridget reports, “When I experienced the salt cabin on my visit to Florida, I knew that was the model for me and the people in our community.”
The space in the newly created Pampered Spirit Wellness Center is intimate, warm, clean and the salt is concentrated enough that you might taste a touch on your lips. It provides an opportunity to relax, rest and breathe deeply. The session time in a cabin is also less than that in a cave. In just 30 minutes you can improve your respiratory function, clear your sinuses and reduce inflammation in your airway passages. The salt cabin seats four people in upright reclining chairs or two people in full length reclining chairs. The lighting and music are soft and soothing.
Halotherapy is not the only service offered at Pampered Spirit Wellness Center. Bridget wanted to create a space that not only offered this beneficial therapy, but to also include the services that her mobile clients have come to love and enjoy. “I wanted to offer massage therapy, skin care, reflexology and a sauna experience to my guests as well. A salt franchise would not have afforded that opportunity. I created the space to enjoy all the same mobile services and also to include the dry salt,” says Bridget. There is enough room for parties, classes and events in the center as well.
Bridget feels incredibly excited and blessed to be able to bring The Pampered Spirit to this location in Point Pleasant!