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OUTDOOR FRAMEWORK: “It is very important to me that my clients feel comfortable and safe, and I was trying to think of ways to provide them with other opportunities during this time of virus. Creating an outdoor massage room seemed like a good idea. People enjoy alfresco dining; I knew they would enjoy the outdoor massages as well, especially in a beautiful park-like setting. Ellen Kogan, owner of Tranquility Den Massage in the Princeton Mall, is shown outside the spa. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

By Jean Stratton

Ellen Kogan saw a need and filled it with a creative solution. Owner of Tranquility Den Massage in the Princeton Mall, she wanted to provide clients with a healthy and safe environment where they could relax and rejuvenate.

After being closed since March due to state regulations regarding COVID-19, Tranquility Den Massage reopened in late June.

“In difficult times like these, business owners have to pivot and adapt to current conditions,” she explains. “When some clients indicated that they might not be comfortable indoors, it gave me the idea to add an outdoor setting.

Massage therapy is now more important than ever, she believes. It can calm the mind and soothe the soul as well as alleviate awkward physical conditions.

Outdoor location

“Today, massage has become a necessity, not a luxury. It is certainly an anti-stress. People are anxious and depressed during the virus. They fear paying the rent, can the children go to school safely, is it safe to be with other people? So many questions and so many uncertainties, so much unknown. Stress has a negative impact on the body and the immune system. People need to get back to personal care.

In such a difficult environment, Kogan decided to expand the massage services outdoors in addition to keeping the services indoors.

As she describes, “The new outdoor room is completely private; no one can see inside. Customers love to be outdoors because it is like being in nature. They can hear the birds, enjoy the beautiful summer breeze and we also include soft soothing background music.

The same services are offered outdoors and indoors, and customers choose both environments. Many types of massages are available. Traditional Swedish full body massage, deep tissue massage and therapeutic massage continue to be the most popular, but as Kogan points out, “Our customers also love prenatal massage for pregnant women, CBD massage to relieve pain. pain and Aromatouch Massage to strengthen the immune system.

Plus, one of the ways Tranquility Den sets itself apart is its emphasis on Den Massage. “It’s our house specialty,” Kogan explains. “This massage does not require you to undress; just wear loose, comfortable clothing. Your session begins with a soothing neck, shoulder and back massage as you enjoy a foot bath in a therapeutic blend of Chinese herbs.

“Then you stretch out in a large, plush recliner and enjoy a wonderful lower leg and foot massage. It is an hour of pure relaxation and comfort. And now we are offering that to the outside as well.

All the senses

The Tranquility Den massage experience is special in many ways, she adds, including an emphasis on the senses. “A massage here is a treat for all the senses. We awaken and engage the senses, and create a stimulating environment that makes people happy and safe. From the moment you arrive until your departure, we focus all of our attention on the peace of your mind, body and soul. A massage can also heal emotionally.

Kogan’s experience as an interior designer and his many travels have given his role as a spa owner an added dimension. “As a designer I pay close attention to detail and have a high standard for what a great experience should be and what a beautiful relaxing atmosphere entails. Our priority is to provide people with a memorable experience from start to finish. Our atmosphere is unique. For example, each piece of furniture is handpicked. and we have special antique pieces in the waiting room.

Customers are men and women and of all ages, she reports. The sessions are 50 minutes, 80 minutes, or two hours, and during the time of the virus, additional safety precautions have been established.

“We have specific protocols regarding safety, including required masks, spacing distances, hand washing, temperature measurement, etc. We only have two clients in an area at a time, and they are safely away. The only time we allow more is with our “Mini Spa Party”. Up to four people can come for a massage together, while sitting in separate massage chairs spaced more than six feet apart. It could be a fun birthday party or some other special event. If they want to include food, they can eat and drink outside in the yard at one of the many picnic tables, but not inside.

Before arriving, each customer fills out a COVID-19 questionnaire, she adds. This is a comprehensive assessment, covering their trips, any symptoms or association with people who test positive for the virus.

Safer environment

“We’ve always focused on cleanliness, and now that’s the priority,” says Kogan. “We disinfect all surfaces, including every doorknob after someone touches it, and in between.

“When customers arrive, we take their temperature and they immediately wash their hands. Masks are always mandatory. Our therapists all wear masks and wash their hands thoroughly. If clients request it, therapists will wear latex gloves. We have also installed HEPA air filters with UV light to ensure an even safer environment.

Kogan is extremely happy to be open and reports that many clients have returned after the forced separation. “We have built relationships with many clients since our initial opening in 2018, and many have become friends. I am so happy to be with them again. I love the interaction and I love hearing their stories, getting to know their families and their life.

“And now they often text me questions, and I’m happy to help. We also get calls every day from people wanting to know if we are open. We have really developed a great reputation. Please Google us at Tranquility Den Massage and see our great reviews! ”

Now that the doors are open again, Kogan is eager to expand its services. “We are launching new healing services, including a detox wrap and a hydrating wrap; also, lymphatic drainage, which can be very helpful after surgery, and newer cellulite reduction treatments.

“In addition to our various massages, we currently offer Reiki and sound healing treatments, both of which help relieve stress.”

Small enterprises

Service costs start at $ 88 for a 50-minute session, and membership programs are also available, offering savings.

Kogan is very encouraged by the return of such a large number of customers, but explains: “It is now very important that everyone supports small local businesses. We are counting on you !

In this time of heightened stress in our country and the world, and with added strain on overworked minds and bodies, the value of the healing power of a gentle touch has never been greater.

Ellen Kogan works hard to provide clients with such an experience. “We always try to go above and beyond for our customers. We are always trying to help them feel better physically and emotionally. One of the most important benefits of a massage is that it helps relieve stress.

“We live in a too stressful world. Now our customers can go to a place where there is no ringing phone, no texting, the lighting is low, there is a good scent, and we can help make their day a little better. . I want them to be comfortable, relaxed and safe. I want them to feel like I’m holding their hand, at least virtually! And I want them to know that I’m here for them.

Tranquility Den Massage is currently open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment only. Overtime may be taken care of. (609) 285-5147. Website:

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