Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture, Day Trip Information, Massage Specifics
and Sauna Details.

If you don't see the answer to your question, let us know! Simply email us at


  • How does acupuncture work?

    TCM is based on the ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (life force which nourishes the body) through channels that cover the body in a similar fashion to blood vessels or nerve pathways. The insertion of needles into acu-points may strengthen Qi where it is weak, move it from areas where it is stuck, or drain it from channels where it is too abundant. Similarly, acupuncture can have the same effects on Blood — which nourishes and guides Qi — and Essence, a sort of prenatal Qi inherited from our parents. By adjusting the flow of Qi, Blood, Essence, and other vital substances in the body, acupuncture restores homeostasis in the body. There should be no pain or disease if Qi is flowing freely through the channels, and Yin and Yang energy is balanced.

  • Is acupuncture safe?

    All licensed acupuncturists must complete a Clean Needle Technique certification and comply with standards set forth by OSHA. In the U.S., only individually packaged, sterile, one-time-use disposable needles are permitted by law. The chance of infection or contagion is thereby extremely rare.

  • Do the needles hurt?

    Most needles are no wider than a piece of hair and virtually painless – sometimes you won’t even notice a needle has entered the skin. On some points there may be just a very slight prick felt as the needle penetrates the skin — nothing like a getting shot and lasting only a millisecond. Normal sensations that occasionally arise include tingling, warmth, heaviness, or feeling the Qi come to the surface or travel up and down the meridians. Most people find their treatments very relaxing – it is common to fall asleep or feel blissful afterwards, and most patients look forward to their next treatment.

Day Trip and Travel

  • I am coming to Bald Head Island for the day. How do I get to the Spa?

    When you purchase a ferry ticket at Deep Point Marina, you may also request Tram Service directly to/from one location on the island. Call (910) 457-5003 to arrange tram reservations to the spa for your appointment. We recommend riding the ferry that is at least one hour prior to your spa appointments to avoid missing any treatment time!

  • Are children allowed in the Spa?

    We kindly request that children do not attend your treatments with you unless they are also receiving treatments. We allow children ages 3-12 years old in the hair and nail salon only, and with parental supervision. Children ages 13-17 may receive massages or facials with parental consent, and children 13-15 must have a parent present in the treatment room during service.


  • Why am I having trouble booking multiple appointments in the App?

    Our App is designed for a single-user booking experience. When trying to book multiple appointments at the same time, we recommend contacting us via phone or e-mail.

    I purchased a Class Pass last summer but cannot seem to use it to register for classes now. Why is that?

    5-Class and 10-Class Shareable Passes are valid for 6 months from purchase. If you purchased one last summer, you will no longer be able to use unused classes after 6 months have passed.

Service Questions

  • What is the difference between your Signature and Deep Tissue Massage?

    A Deep Tissue Massage includes shorter, more firm strokes and acupressure, stretching, and muscle manipulation to achieve targeted relief in areas of more intense strain. Deep Tissue massage may cause some discomfort or light bruising, however it should never hurt, which is a common misconception. For athletes and those needing more thorough tension and adhesion release, Deep Tissue bodywork is often recommended for maximum effect.

  • What the difference between Infrared and a traditional Swedish or Finnish-style steam sauna?

    Infrared Saunas are dry and do not use water/steam, but rather work to raise the body's core temperature by up to 3% to generate a deep, rejuvenating sweat. Sunlighten uses patented Solocarbon technology, which is one of the safest and most effective methods.

    What are some of the benefits* of Infrared Sauna Therapy?

    Detoxification - Relaxation - Skin Purification - Lowering Blood Pressure - Weight Loss - Circulatory Issues - Pain Relief - Improved Sleep - Improved Mood - Wound Healing

    *These Benefits have not been evaluated by the FDA, and no claims are being made by Island Retreat Spa and Salon or its members, staff or employees. Below are independent studies supporting the benefits of infrared sauna as provided by the manufacturer, Sunlighten: A Study of the Health Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy "Do Far Infrared Saunas Have Cardiovascular Benefits..."

    Who should not use the sauna?

    Anyone with a serious medical condition should avoid using the sauna prior to receiving a release from their physician, including conditions such as: Pregnancy, Congestive Heart Failure, Parkinson's Disease, Lupus, Hemophilia, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Recent Heart Attack, or if you have a Pacemaker or other surgically-implanted device.

    May I use the sauna with another person?

    Our sauna has a three-person capacity, however we recommend no more than two people use the sauna for maximum comfort. Pricing for sauna visits is per person.

    Are children allowed in the sauna?

    No children under the age of 18 are allowed in the sauna at this time.

    Is my cell phone or smart watch safe to use/wear in the sauna?

    To avoid damage, it is recommended to remove your smart watch and leave your phone outside the sauna unit.

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