The Spa at Home Lifestyle

Angela Braden has researched and reported on wellness and lifestyle for a decade. She has been published hundreds of times in national and international magazines. Angela serves as a speaker for Alive! Expo (health convention) and as the Editor and Founder of web magazine, where you’ll find more indulgent health tips and articles updated monthly.

The Spa at Home Lifestyle

Relaxing, rejuvenating, and now so far reaching – the spa life is expanding into a wild array of holistic health arenas, including “integrative medicine”. Here’s the latest buzz from one of the world’s top wellness retreats and how you can bring it all home:

The Four Season’s Westlake Village and the cutting-edge medical facilities of California Health and Longevity Institute take the legendary Canyon Ranch business model of all things wellness and luxury under one roof to the next level. Need a massage after that coronary stress test? A detoxifying wrap after being instructed to lose weight? Here, medical doctors who lean toward the natural world for comprehensive, preventative care actually include recommendations for specific spa treatments at The Spa At Four Seasons just across the hall, as part of their prescriptions. Patients, or clients as the case may be, come in to get their yearly physicals, VIP-style, and enjoy all the benefits of a “wellness vacation”: Cooking classes in the “wellness kitchen” by a registered dietitian; a 360-degree view of current state of health through comprehensive medical assessments; complete mind/body integration via life-skills coaching, and of course, luxury spa treatments.

Guests can partake in hypnotherapy sessions to stop smoking, grab botox injections from the dermatologist, cleanse those health-threatening germs from their teeth in the dental suite, and step inside the Bod Pod to measure body fat ratios, then improve them in the state-of-the-art fitness facility or an on-site yoga class (down the hall). From cosmetic lasers, Fung Shui haircuts and Acupuncture, to sleep therapy (via the new “Sleep Well Program”), The Westlake Village seems to leave no wellness enhancement off the agenda.

Combining services once limited to the doctor’s office with services once limited to the day spa, with still others once limited to the ancient Eastern world, is a sign of our times. Alternative and complementary therapies are exploding in popularity—over 70% of Americans have used them. These therapies and the mindset that goes with them is not just for the rich and famous anymore.

Until you can treat yourself to a “deluxe physical” complete with a 50-minute spa treatment at West Lake Village, let’s take some lessons from this world-class institute and bring the spa lifestyle into your everyday life.

  • Integrate integrative wellness centers into your life. Integrative medicine (also referred to as complementary and Alternative medicine or CAM) is basically modern day medicine and technology synergistically blended with the best of ancient and alternative therapies. The key difference is integrative wellness centers approach health problems by looking at all the body systems and how they influence each other, getting to the source of the problem, instead of only treating the symptoms. Seek out a wellness center near you and invest in a preventative physical, lifestyle consultation, or a detox program. An ounce of prevention truly is worth a ton of cure, though when you do need medical attention, integrative medical centers will offer more thorough treatment options, as well- so you’ll know what to do when the need arises.

  • Spa at home. Keep the cucumber water flowing and the green tea steeping (at the office, too). With tranquil music and a cool glass of the spa staples, you can escape anytime of day. Slice 2 cucumbers thinly and place in a one-gallon, glass pitcher. Sip often to finish by the end of the each day. Save green tea for morning, since it does have some naturally-occurring caffeine. The lesson from Westlake Village: Make your spa at home endeavors convenient, whether it’s an herb bath or a mud wrap, keep everything you need on hand and carve out time to indulge in them, like the destination spas do.

  • Learn biofeedback and meditative breathing exercises. Ask Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra , or almost any authority on holistic health what the single most important and simplest thing one can do to improve their health and the answer will be deep breathing exercises or breath work . Learning to listen to the body and breath through stress to release it is a cornerstone of the revered Ayurvedic medical modality, among others. This is a proven, 5,000 year-old Indian approach. Biofeedback is a modern, sophisticated application of this multifaceted therapy, using a machine to show how the breath work is affecting stress levels in real time (many wellness centers have these machines). But you can learn to “read” your body and breath your way to a healthier state, as well. Breath work is free and may be done absolutely anytime and anywhere. Some of the best products I’ve seen are by Dr. Melissa Grill Petersen who just launched a CD with meditations and breath work specifically for weightloss.

  • Engage in couples massage and self massage. Go to the spa when you can, but daily self massage or trading massage with a friend or family member can greatly benefit health, quite directly. Tension is released, blood flow is improved, and feel good hormones nourish every cell in the body. You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy this incredible and indulgent therapy and the bonding benefit is just icing on the cake of a sweet spa life.

  • Approximately 80% of our state of health—how long and how well we will live is attributable to lifestyle habits and actions. Indulging in preventative and feel-good therapies will make a definite difference! So take the time to treat yourself and bring the health spa lifestyle home. For more ideas on daily healthy indulgence, visit my e-zine and sign up under “join AI” for the monthly newsletter.

    Stay well and savor every day,


    *Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer

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