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Mindful of the nation’s growing stress epidemic, spas — in particular, destination and resort spas — are coming to the rescue, expanding their wellness menus to include services that focus on the soul (though, in turn, they may also benefit the body).
As spa-goers ourselves, we’re searching for mental serenity in increasingly unconventional ways. No longer content to just “lie there,” we want exciting, one-of-a-kind experiences that linger in our memories long after we return home.
Following are five inspiring offerings from spas around the country.
Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass. With its Guided Labyrinth Experience, one of numerous spiritual offerings, Canyon Ranch vows to put guests on a path to wellness — literally. Not to be confused with mazes, labyrinths have been used for centuries as a tool for attaining mental clarity.
During the service, guests design their own intention for a guided walk and learn how to incorporate labyrinths into their daily lives. But it’s not simply about placing one foot in front of the other: Clients also use journaling and reflective conversation during the experience, which aims to teach them how to live in the moment.
Duration and Cost: 100 minutes, $345
Joya Spa, Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale, Ariz.“The eyes have it,”— so the saying goes. But during the Lip Print Reading at the Hammam-inspired Joya Spa, it’s all about the lips. Guests get to slather on lipstick and smooch a “kiss card,” which is then analyzed by Pam Fox, one of only a handful of certified lipsologists in the world.
Fox can learn a lot from the imprints, such as the guest’s mood, personality and energy level, and uses her intuition to guide the guest toward reaching his or her utmost potential. Not surprisingly, the service is popular with bridal/bachelorette parties and other fun-seeking group celebrations.
Duration and Cost: 60 minutes, starting at $155
Mii amo in Sedona, Ariz.Ever wanted to find out if you really were Anne Boleyn in a past life? Now’s your chance. Past Life Regression is one of the standout offerings at Mii amo, another pioneering Arizona destination spa.
During the service, a certified therapist uses hypnosis to induce a deep, restful state in guests, before guiding them on an exploration of past-life memories in a bid to resolve issues that may be disrupting their lives. One of the resort’s therapists described it as a “unique and spiritual experience that connects participants to ancient gifts and help release old pain.”
Duration and Cost: 90 minutes, $290
Miraval Resort in Tucson, Ariz.One of the best-known destination spas in the U.S., Miraval Resort boasts such expansive wellness offerings that it has an entire menu dedicated to equine therapy. One of the most creative classes is An Unforgettable Canvas, where participants get to unleash their inner Picasso on the side of a horse.
The service is inspired by the Native American custom of daubing the beasts with war-like symbols, pre-battle, and the modern-day takeaway is that by communing with a living creature, we’re encouraged to stay in the present. Colors are washed off at session’s end, leaving the pony pristine for the next painter.
Duration and Cost: 120 minutes, $75
Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah Who better than a living, breathing shaman spirit guide to lead the Life Path & Sound Healing service at this resort spa, which also offers chakra balancing, earthing workshops?
Employing shamanic practices such as healing sound, rattles and crystal bowls, Betina Lindsey, who trained in Maya, Andean and Native American spiritual arts, uses her impressive skills to help rebalance the guest’s body and soul, all the while tailoring the session to his or her individual needs. Guests are even allowed to bring their phone or camera to record the event and revisit it if the need arises afterward.
Duration and Cost: 75 minutes, $150