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The Salty Turtle: A Vibration of Healing

This morning I woke up, shuffled downstairs, and brewed myself a nice hot cup of coffee to start my day. Imagine my surprise when I came back to realize I'd never slid a mug under the Keurig to catch the pour. To its credit, the trough holds the new record in the house for being able to hold all 10oz, 'strong setting' coffee! So.... how is your day going?? =^.^=

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Our latest Spa Spotlight takes us to The Salty Turtle Float Center. Nestled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this beautiful location is an oasis where healing flows out to the community like a warm heartbeat. This particular strength and rythme stems from the dedication of the spa's founding partners, John & Kris Fernandez. This past summer, Kris and John warmly welcomed me into their establishment for a tour. We shared an hour of comfortable and engaging conversation as this dynamic pair shared stories of how The Salty Turtle came to be, and all of the wonderful things they're working to accomplish.

Meet the Founders

John and Kris Fernandez have been practicing partnership, cooperation, and dream-building together over the last 25 years. When it comes to their business they both jump in to share various tasks, but they also tend to gravitate toward their own personal specialties. John, a charismatic and warm soul, is, among many things, the on-call handyman! His background in HVAC allows him to expertly install, upgrade, and maintain their state-of-the-art equipment. He enjoys learning how things work, and can understand highly technical machinery. Ask him about anything in the building - the float cabins, a brand new halotherapy unit, or their vibro-accoustic infrared therapy mats and watch his eyes light up. (More on those in a bit!) He will happily walk you over and explain all you care to know about each function, setting, and benefit. He is also often the first friendly face you see as you enter the lobby. Currently, John stays on-site to assist guests, deep clean the units, and keep daily operations running seamlessly. His brilliant wife Kris works a bit more behind the scenes. It is her responsibility to manage the center's foundational organization. She's often thinking through optimization topics - ie. the best times to be open, how to reach clients and maximize their benefits, forecasting for future endeavors, and brainstorming various innovative projects for community outreach. You might just get to chat with her if you engage with their social media accounts:

Instagram: @saltyturtlefloats

Facebook: The Salty Turtle

Together, they have run this center since November 2021. If the location strikes a chord of familiarity, you might have known this spot under the former name of Bala Float Center. John was a regularly floating client of the former proprietor, Chris Smeltz. Under his tutelage and mentorship (and some heavy researching and apprenticeship at other learning centers), John and Kris have been trained on how to expertly care for the tanks, prioritizing cleanliness and comfort, with a splash of trendiness and fun that will leave any visitor walking out like they're on Cloud 9. When the former owner decided his passion was gravitating elsewhere, the couple knew it was their time to step up and shape this space into a center of healing transformation for everyone in the community.

Services Offered

2 Full Float Rooms

I was initially drawn to this location to experience their float cabins. The Salty Turtle has two rooms to choose from, fittingly named Oasis and Tranquility. As you can see from the photo above, they are spacious, modern, and exquisite. You can enjoy a 60-minute or 90-minute peaceful float session. The owners have taken great care to design these rooms to evoke the essence of a blissful, sun-washed beach. Luxuriate in your float suite in complete privacy, then take the time you need to shower in comfort before returning to the world.

Dry Salt / Halotherapy

A surprise star at the center is a new Halotherapy Salt Cabin - the first of its kind in the entire county! It features several protocols that promote respitatory health, deep meditation, and improve skin clarity. The best part is, you don't need to do a thing. You simply sit inside (its built very much like a sauna), relax, and breathe. The cabin emits incredibly fine microns of pure salt. The protocol is safe for everyone, including children. It is shown to be amazing for asthma relief, boosting your immune system, and increasing lung capacity. Additional features include gentle heat, relaxing audio, optional aromatherpy, and chromeotherapy - being bathed in visible-spectrum light. Don't be intimidated -- the halotherapy unit, with its wealth of features, is John's particular specialty. As a certified halotherapist, John would be happy to guide you through the optimal session for your needs. With cold and flu season upon us, there's no better time to prioritize health .Sessions can take only 20-30 minutes so they are perfect for a quick pop-in, or a healing addition to your float appointment.

2 VibroAccoustic Infrared Therapy Mats

These beauties are another feature I have not experienced anywhere else in the area. I was struck by how peaceful the room felt as soon as I walked in (surely a credit to all of the healing energy radiating from the space). Vibroaccoustic therapy uses gentle vibrations of the mat, paired with synced binaural beats (fed through comfortable headphones) to immerse your body in a wave of subconsciously perceptible tonal energy. There's a warming feature, and a blanket attached to the mat, so you are able to slip inside and feel warm and secure. The mat gently massages your muscles and has the power to transport you to a deeply restful, medative state. Additionally, the far-infrared rays eminating from beneath you help to improve circulation and regulate your body's internal sytems. The benefits can be felt even if you take a little nap while you're there! This service can be booked for 30- or 60-minute sessions to allow yourself to be dialed in and blissed out.

Growing Into the Community

An aspect of this location that I find particularly exceptional is their dedication to the Lancaster community. Taking care to innovate often, Kris enjoys creating specials and packages that allow the Salty Turle to partner with other small businesses. Last Valentine's Day, for instance, you could purchase a Sweetheart Package that featured wellness services at the spa paired with local chocolates and wine! How fun is that? I hope she brings that back for 2024. Go see what she has put together for the holidays, as it is sure to be unique and delightful. If you're looking for a gift to show gratitude for the cherished people in your life, a visit to the Salty Turtle might be exactly what they really need.

If you're a local artist (or a lover of art), you'll soon see this location feature a gallery in their lobby, in collaboration with the art district. Floaters know that the modality can truly unlock creativity and nuture the metamorphosis from inspiration through to artistic realization.

Keep an eye out for them at local events as well. They would love for you to say hi! They regularly partner with West End Yoga Studio (sign me up for that collab!), Pet Pantry, and the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team. The center even sponsors a champion professional boxer who comes in to float as an integral part of his training regimen!! (Check out Floating for Athletes: The Warrior's Secret Weapon for some insight on why that is the perfect partnership.). They're also a really wonderful place to work. So if you love where you live, perhaps its time to love where you work!

When You're Ready to Visit

All services can be booked through the easy-to-use scheduling platform on the website: Salty Turtle

If you'd like to work with someone or have any questions, call the friendly staff at (717) 537-6955

The Salty Turtle Float Center

903 Nissley Road, Unit H

Lancaster, PA 17601

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Thank you to Kris & John for having me, and for your care and patience. You are wonderful people doing a beautiful thing in this world. I'm cheering you on and can't wait to see your skills manifest into multiple locations and great success.

And thank you to you who have taken the time to read this --

Wishing you a cup-runeth-over type of day as well! ;)

-A ♥️

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The Salty Turtle sounds so warm and inviting, as does your writing. It warms my heart on a cold day in Maine!


Love this!! Hope the coffee mishap is the only tough hurdle of the day!! Have fun! ❣️☕️❣️

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