As the pandemic has made its way through Dallas — and the world — businesses and people all over have been forced to pivot, adjust, and stay home. We’re left wondering if life will ever look the same as it did pre-pandemic, and in many ways it might not. However, for the leaders and owners of many Dallas wellness spaces, providing a space that’s just as welcoming and needed is more important than ever.
When it comes to Dallas’ wellness spots, which have long included everything from spin studios all the way to cryotherapy centers, the pandemic has left a black mark. Longtime favorites like The Ride House and The Refuge have been forced to close, and other wellness spaces have found it difficult to return to pre-pandemic numbers.
For the people behind Breathe Meditation & Wellness, The Ozone Bar, and Eleven Wellness + IV, keeping their doors open in the midst of COVID-19 concerns has become less about the challenge and more about their mission to serve their customers. With uncertainty looming everywhere and a virus that doesn’t seem like it’s on its way out, these Dallas spots have made it their goal to create safe, clean spaces that nourish their customers from the inside out.
Take a Deep Breath
When the pandemic hit, Breathe Meditation & Wellness — which had just opened on February 2nd — immediately shut down. But instead of closing the doors completely, owners Chelsey Charbeneau and Jenn Moulaison decided to move everything online. Production began immediately, and their online platform was soon live and full of content.
Once restrictions began to lift, they knew that it was important to maintain the relaxation and holistic healing that could be found in their space pre-pandemic.
“We really want to educate people on how to calm their nervous system, breathe properly, and make that happen. It has a profound effect on your overall wellbeing and how you approach life,” Charbeneau said.
Breathe immediately purchased air purifiers — “the only ones that can kill the virus,” Charbeaneau said — for each room at the studio to encourage breathing safe air, and they have implemented additional safety and cleaning practices within the studio such as running everything over with a UV and UVC wand, maintaining social distancing, and surveying clients and employees.
Breathe, which offers everything from guided meditations and reiki to Thai massage and craniosacral therapy, sees itself as a place for Dallasites to find comfort and healing from a period that left many people feeling alone. Their online platform is still live as well, and now has an ongoing library with over 100 videos.
“It’s all about improving connection,” Moulaison told us. “A lot of people felt isolated and alone, and [meditation] really does help you not to feel as alone and isolated.”
A Full-Body Boost
The Ozone Bar opened on February 6 of this year, right before the world began to shut down. Considered an essential business for pain relief, the business itself closed for just five days in March but has had to adjust to being open during a global pandemic.
“It’s been a challenging road but we’ve made it, thank God,” owner Laura Harbison said. “Every day that another business around me was closing was so scary, but I think we’ve weathered the storm. It’s been fast and furious. It’s been a sad time for a lot of businesses.”
At The Ozone Bar, visitors find everything related to health, wellness, and detox. With four major machines geared towards boosting oxygen level and immunity, increasing blood flow, and stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic system, ozone saunas, a DermaShape, an infrared sauna, and a HOCATT call the spot home.
“Our machines are completely sterile, because ozone is sterile. They utilize ozone to sanitize the Tyson chicken plant, they use ozone to clean airplanes, and ozone really is an amazing molecule,” Harbison said. “I kid with people that you could eat off the floor of our machines even though people are sitting in them all day and sweating, but that really is a true statement.”
While the machines themselves may be sterile, there are stringent cleaning and disinfecting procedures at The Ozone Bar to keep the space safe and welcoming to everyone. From hand sanitizer and social distancing to bleaching and sanitization of the store itself, each client also has a 10×10 room to themselves during their sessions.
All of the machines in The Ozone Bar are meant to help detox and assist with pain, and people can burn up to 600 calories during their sweat sessions. The HOCATT, what Harbison refers to as “the Lamborghini of the machines,” uses micro currents, color therapy, transdermal ozone, CO2, far-infrared therapy, and pure oxygen. The ozone saunas, which run for 30-minute sessions, use pure ozone to boost oxygen levels and increase energy.
“Any time you’re boosting your oxygen level, you’re boosting your immune system,” Harbison said. “I think more people right now are really wanting to invest in their health than anything else. It’s a different shift.”
A Different Kind of Cocktail
At Eleven Wellness + IV, which offers everything from traditional facials and acupuncture to lasers and IV therapy, the pandemic has brought challenges, but also a renewed focus to serving its customers and staff.
“It is certainly a huge undertaking to try to operate in this landscape, but our customers have been incredible,” said owner Suzi Nadeau. “We’re doing everything we can to make it work, but our main priority is to keep people safe. We’re a family at Eleven, and we want to make sure everybody stays healthy.”
At Eleven, loyal customers were really the ones that kept the doors open. By creating a delivery method for their products, the studio was able to stay afloat while deciphering how to open safely. Eleven’s IV-only location on Hillcrest was also categorized as an essential business, so it was able to remain open the entire pandemic.
In all Eleven studios — locations are found on Hillcrest, Lomo Alto, and in Preston Center — appointment times have been padded to allow for more stringent health and safety measures. The office is “pretty much bombed,” with deep cleaning measures enacted on every level as well as staff in PPE and constant disinfecting.
When it comes to IV therapy itself, Nadeau explains, “We’re not saying we’re the great fix. However, it has been proven that there are some specific vitamins and minerals that will absolutely help boost your immune system. We have lots of minerals and vitamins we put into our formulas to boost people’s immune systems, help with weight loss goals, boost energy, workout recovery, all the good things.”
Over the last few months, Eleven’s Immune Booster IV cocktail has proven to become “wildly popular.” The therapy includes a high dose of vitamin C along with zinc, B vitamins, selenium, and glutathione.
“When you deliver [those vitamins and minerals] via IV, the absorption rate is significantly higher. Not only that, but just staying hydrated is such an important piece of overall health. The majority of people don’t realize just how much water they need to drink every day in order to have a fully functioning system,” Nadeau said.