The reason I love Canyon Ranch is the same reason I love Manhattan. There's more to do than you can ever HOPE to fit in. And you find out about interesting, life-transforming things that you never even knew existed.
For instance, at Canyon Ranch Tucson I tried EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). This is a therapy that successfully treats people with post-traumatic stress disorder and helps build healthy self-regard.
I went in to talk behaviorial health therapist Peggy Holt about something entirely different -- Sexual Health -- but after one session, Peggy thought a second session using EMDR would help me "reprocess" some recent upsetting events.
I wore a headset that alternated beeps in each ear while holding buzzers that synchronized with the beeps. With my eyes closed, I recalled the events as though I was looking at them from the outside. Then I imagined a different way of dealing with it that would have been more "empowering".
Every so often Peggy stopped the beeping and asked me what I was experiencing. This both helped me remember what was going on, and helped her gently guide the process. I found the treatment enormously powerful -- and it's just one of the many therapies available at Canyon Ranch Tucson.
You can also hike the gorgeous Santa Catalina mountains, sweat it out in high-powered cardio classes, or groan while you drape your feet over purple "foot wakers" in a Yamuna class.
From Healthy Sleep to Spiritual Decision-Making
I gravitated towards the many lectures -- on sleep health, communication, managing anger, even spiritual decision-making -- with the Canyon Ranch experts that you would have to pay hundreds of dollars to sit with for an hour, one-to-one.
They can also give you an idea what kind of services you might like to get but hadn't even thought of before you got there. I was fascinated by Jyotsna Sahni, M.D.'s lecture on "genomics" -- finding out what your genetic vulnerabilities are so you can manage your health based on your OWN risks -- not someone else's.
And I was deeply affected by my "Shamanic Journey" with Jonathan Ellerby, Ph.D., the spiritual programs director. It took place in a round, almost cave-like room. We talked about what was going on in my life, then he invited me to lay down on a "magic carpet" -- a comfy mattress wired up to a sound system so I literally felt the vibrations of music. I lay under a blanket, feeling the music, while Jonathan asked me questions in a "guided visualization, played a drum, and sensitively led me on a trip to my deepest inner being.
Later I tried a form of energy work called Healing Touch that left me deeply peaceful. While I tried unusual services, there are plenty of pampering spa treatments by highly skilled therapists.
Men Feel At Ease At Canyon Ranch Tucson
Canyon Ranch Tucson is beautifully landscaped, with desert plants, sculptures, and a stream though the heart of the property. Rooms are spread out in a bungalow style that hearkens back to its days as a dude ranch. It's not the most luxurious facility, but the rooms are nicely decorated in a masculine, executive style. And the staff is outstanding, beginning with the first phone call to help you decide what you want to accomplish. The other guests are friendly and there is a real sense of camaraderie.
The only real shortcoming is the food. Canyon Ranch Tucson can accommodate as many as 240 guests, so the food is not as sophisticated as it is in some of the smaller destination spas, like Mii Amo at Enchantment. I usually ate in the more casual restaurant by the pool, where the food is good and served quickly.
Canyon Ranch Tucson is not the most relaxing spa, because I always want to do two things scheduled at the same time.
But that's also the reason I love it so much.
Canyon Ranch Tucson At A Glance:
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations and treatments for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.