Gayle Washington, owner and founder. Courtesy photo.
As more people realize the importance of self-care, Ohm Lifestyle Center in Wolfeboro has expanded services and doubled its size to meet that demand.
The organic spa, beauty and wellness center completed a $200,000 expansion and renovation in May. In November it became one of the few facilities in the northeast to offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and the expansion allowed Ohm to install three more chambers, which provide pressurized, nearly pure oxygen. The expansion also included adding another treatment room and a tea room where clients can relax.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers. Courtesy photo.
The spa also added the region’s largest therapeutic float room last October. The float room can accommodate two people in the sound and light-proof 8-foot-square space that allows people to float atop nearly 11 inches of body temperature water and more than 1,100 pounds of Epsom salt. Ohm can also customize the experience to incorporate light music and adjustable LED lighting with a “lagoon” feature that creates the effect clients are floating beneath a starlit sky.
A therapeutic float room. Courtesy photo.
In April, Ohm Lifestyle Center introduced Cryoskin, a treatment that warms the temperature of the skin in targeted areas and then rapidly lowers the temperature to remove the fat cells and tighten loose skin. It also offers Spinal Reflex Therapy that deploys a thermal scanner to identify and treat exact pain points.
Prior to the pandemic, Ohm was growing 15% to 30% annually until the 2020 three-month shutdown. “When we reopened, people were desperate for services. There was panic-booking,” says Gayle Washington, owner and founder of Ohm Lifestyle Center, explaining clients would call often booking all available treatments that week.
Since then, Ohm has been “incredibly busy,” Washington says, prompting the addition of new services and the expansion. “We have been back to our pre-COVID numbers and growing 50% instead of 15 to 30%,” she says. “This pandemic has shined a bright light on the mind/body connection. It’s such a powerful and stark experience we are all living that’s palpable. We can feel what is happening to our bodies, and we can feel the difference when we get a wellness service.”
Washington knows firsthand the difference wellness practices can make when the body is traumatized. She started her first wellness business that took off in her 20s, but her career and active lifestyle came to a screeching halt after she was diagnosed with Lyme disease and became bedridden. “It was a dark time. I was in bed all day watching television and barely able to feed myself. It was a lot of introspection,” she says, adding that she developed a deep sense of compassion for others and their struggles and became committed to helping people through their wellness journey. A decade later, she was healthy enough to pursue that dream again and opened Ohm in 2015.
Washington and her team take a holistic approach to the wellness of clients, providing a consultation to determine the client’s needs not only for treatments at the center but for their continued well being at home. “We want them to feel better about themselves days after they get a treatment,” she says.
That approach has created a loyal clientele, some of whom paid for services they could not take during the pandemic to help the business stay afloat, Washington says. “I can’t tell you how wonderful that was. It was not something we expected,” she says.
Ohm pivoted and found ways to innovate. “We developed an online massage protocol so we could interface with clients on Zoom or Facetime. They could tell us what was going on, and we could tell them how to relieve that,” she says.
The float room became an attractive offering as it is a private amenity area that was contactless as staff was able to use a walkie talkie to guide people on how to use the room.
Ohm also found ways to give back during the pandemic, from donating sheets for masks to launching a $10,000 grant program to help a qualified cosmetologist looking to establish and build his or her cosmetology practice.
Ohm also doubled its staff to eight during the pandemic. “We’re doing great. We’re super busy,” Washington says, adding she is poised to add a consulting service for other spa owners.
For more information, visit ohmlifestyle.com.