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Great Destination Spas

Golden Door

Destination spas give you the tools for leading a healthier, happier life, and this is a great time of year to go to one in a warm climate. Find out how to choose the right one for you, and check out three of the very best in the country.

Spas Spotlight10

On Earth Day, The Green Spa Movement Blooms

Tuesday April 22, 2014

I was in New York City yesterday for a press event held by Organic Spa magazine, and it was exciting for someone who loves green spas and natural beauty. It's easier than ever to find top-quality green skin care and beauty products. Some of my favorites from the event:

  • Africology, a luxury line from South Africa that uses indigenous healing plants, including rooibos, aloe ferox, marula and African potato. Right now it's mostly purchased by women who travelled to Africa, discovered it in a spa there and are in on the secret.
  • Shamanuti, a botanical line out of Boston that uses North Atlantic kelp and blue green algae in its seaweed toner. It mostly uses American ingredients, but there are a few exceptions, like the essential oil of neroli form Malaga in Creme No. 1, a blend of beautiful plant oils and butters amped up with hydrolized silk.
  • Me & The Girls uses certified organic cupuacu butter that is sustainably harvested from the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. The line was created by a critical care nurse Sharon Hackney-Robinson (above, with a photo of the cupuacu seed), who worked with premature babies, and realized that what is good for their delicate skin is the perfect treatment for dry skin.
  • Zao, a certified organic makeup line from Europe, uses organic silica and Read More...
  • Spa Lifestyle: A 21-Day, $59 Cleanse

    Thursday April 17, 2014


    I'm a fan of virtual detox programs that help you make important lifestyle changes and link you to a cleansing community even when you live in a remote setting. I had a good experience with Conscious Cleanse a few months ago. And while I'm still drinking my green smoothies every day, I could use another round of learning and support.

    Next up: The 21-Day Detox Program from Hilary Thing, an accomplished acupuncturist and herbalist based in Accord, New York. The program includes a 21-day Detox Guide that leads you through the program, which culminates with a three-day juice fast from day 14-17.

    You receive emails every three days with recipes and advice; three group coaching calls on topics like cleansing the liver, cleansing and weight loss, and the benefits of fasting, and access to a private Facebook book where other cleansers are share their experiences. Right now the $99 program is on sale for a very affordable $59, and I'm in.

    Hilary says that fresh vegetable juicing is one of the foundational elements of her cleansing and treatment protocols. Why?

    1) Fresh vegetable and fruit juices provide a concentrated amount of enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients.

    2) Juicing amplifies the life force energy and healing power that comes from whole vegetables and fruits, making this the best way to utilize their medicinal value.

    3) Fresh juices are readily absorbed into the bloodstream with minimal digestive processing, creating a net gain in energy.

    Kim Kardashian, Spas & The Price of Celebrity

    Wednesday April 16, 2014

    The Daily Mail recently wrote that Kim Kardashian got six hours of spa treatments a day while staying with her family at the Iniala Beach House resort in Phuket, Thailand. Kim angrily denied it in social media.

    "Never once did I get a manicure or any other spa treatment," she fumed. "NOT ONE! So I really don't appreciate false info making me out to be a diva.... Buuuuut even if family members got spa treatments they should because we were on vacation!"

    I think I see the problem. The hotel source told Mail Online that each villa has its own spa, "with six hours of treatments every day." This sounds like six hours of spa treatments are part of the package, not necessarily what any one person got.

    In any event, I'm with Kim. Why not get spa treatments on vacation? But six hours would be too much. I did it once (for work) and ended the day weeping.

    Iniala is a ten-suite private residence situated on Natai Beach just 20 minutes north of Phuket Airport. Guests have their own personal spas inside their villas, which have incredible views of the beach and the Andaman Sea. It costs $80,000 + per week to stay there.

    Celebrities get a lot of perks that are out of reach for normal people, but they have to put up with much more scrutiny. Continuing the indignity, the article said that Kardashian tried butt, face and breast slapping to tone up for her wedding day. (This wasn't on property, since Iniala doesn't offer it.)

    Tata Massage in San Francisco offers the Thai treatment, which involves being "slapped" (this is an exagerration) by a masseuse. It is said to reduce wrinkles and firm the skin, mostly likely by moving energy or qi, relaxing muscles, and stimulating the lymphatic system -- just like a good facial can.

    Spa Resources and Stress Management

    Thursday April 10, 2014

    April is Stress Awareness Month, and I'm looking for spas that are offering resources to help you cope with stress. Nina Smiley, Ph.D., co-author of "The Three Minute Meditator" (and the director of marketing for Mohonk Mountain House) has created a one-minute guided mediation you can play right now. The benefits of mindfulness a just a few breaths away.

    The meditation stems from Nina's Mindfulness in Minutes programs at Mohonk Mountain House, a 145-year-old Victorian resort located 90 miles north of New York City. The next one is coming up April 25-27. Nina will be available for private sessions to teach you simple techniques that can be practiced anywhere, and help you develop a personal plan to implement them in your life.

    During Mindfulness in Minutes: Never Diet Again on July 11-13, Nina works with you in private sessions to replace a deprivation (diet) model with life-enhancing empowerment as you learn to make mindful choices, one moment at a time. For more information, visit www.mohonk.com or call 855-665-3658.

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