Before Atlantic City saw its first roll of the dice, it was the location of many a wholesome family summer vacation. Most residents from the tri-state area hold fond childhood memories of dodging waves, building sand castles and scouring the surf for the perfect specimens to add to their ever-growing seashell collections. And now Vive Day Spa & Salon at The Showboat Casino Hotel has elevated the seashell to a coveted tool of the trade.
“We introduced our Signature Seashell Massage four years ago to offer clients a service that is unique to and representative of our oceanfront location,” said Gina Rosenberger, manager of Vive Day Spa & Salon. “Although similar to a hot stone massage, many describe it as a lighter and more uplifting experience.”
And who couldn’t use an uplifting, beach-inspired experience to chase away everyday stress and strain? The full body treatment begins with an “opening” in which a Vive esthetician matches you with an essential oil, such as lavender or eucalyptus, to prepare the body and mind for some serious relaxation.
Small, cool shells are used to gently relax the muscles of your face. Then warmed shells work your neck, shoulders, décolletage, arms, hands, stomach, legs and feet. You roll over and the process is repeated — from your top of your scalp to the soles of your feet.
“We use real shells, which are sanitized after every treatment. Each has its own texture and delivers distinctive benefits,” said Rosenberger. “Cowrie shells are used to roll muscles for deep work. Large scallop shells are the perfect fit for the hands and stomach. And conch shells are filled with warm oil, which is drizzled down the spine for a soothing sensation.”
Once these steps are completed, another essential oil—such as orange or lemongrass — is used to reawaken your senses and help you transition back to reality. (As reluctant as you may be to do so.)
Every Vive esthetician has been fully trained in seashell massage techniques by the creator of the treatment—licensed massage therapist and book author Carole Freeman. Carole was inspired to develop the seashell massage one day while walking on the beach with her daughter.
Vive’s Signature Seashell Massage is available as a 100-minute ritual for $250 or a 50-minute ritual for $125. Of course you’re encouraged to arrive 30 to 50 minutes prior to your treatment time to indulge in some complementary use of the day spa’s other pampering amenities including a steam room and a sauna with Himalayan salts.
So — whether it’s the dead of winter, the first days of spring or the crisp temperatures of fall — there’s no excuse to not start a summer fling.