Healing Through Water
After spending a relaxing week in Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean, we realized this tropical paradise contained a secret of life. And it may be found in the turquoise clear waters that surround this tranquil island.
Locals will tell you that the sea can cure any ailment. In fact, the Arawak Indians, the first inhabitants of the island, utilized the oceanic caves’ natural spring waters for their healing powers. If you are ridden with the flu, a sprained ankle or even suffering from sadness, they say, ‘jump into the ocean and all will be healed.’
In the definition of SPA–“sanitas per aguam” which is Latin for healing through waters–I find that there is merit in taking a plunge. The number one cause of illness is stress–whether from work, relationships, or finances. There must be something we can do to ease the stress and promote healing from within. So do as the Romans do! The Romans took baths and used hot thermal waters to detoxify and relieve many symptoms including arthritis and other joint issues. It was more than just your simple bath, salts and bubbles. The Romans created a bathing ritual that included bathing, sweating, steaming, massage and relaxation. Fortunately here in the Desert, we can enjoy a similar ritual at one of many local spas to achieve a peaceful mind and body.
Start off by feeling comfortable in your body, enveloped in a cozy robe. The spa is one place you can be yourself: no discrimination, no comparison to the person next to you. The spa accepts people of all shapes, sizes, gender and occupation. It invites you to come as you are and let go of stress in your life. Sit quietly on a chaise lounge and explore the outdoors, or take refuge in a dim relaxation room while allowing your thoughts to wander freely.
Begin with a Eucalyptus steam to sweat and draw out toxins, while applying a chilled washcloth to cool down your face and neck. Next, enter a dry sauna, to raise body temperature and create dry heat of relief. Add to the experience with a tightening facial mask while lying in the steam or sauna, chilled cucumbers on the eyes, and a Moroccan Oil mask on your hair.
Then step into the healing waters of a warm bath filled with aromatic sea salts that encourage your soul to leave the body. The hot waters surround, bringing relief to the back, neck, shoulders, legs and arms. It allows you moments to reflect on yourself and start the healing process. Escape to a stress-free world and become enveloped in water. The minerals found in Dead Sea salts include Bromide, Sodium, Magnesium, Calcium and Potassium. Over thousands of years, since the ancient Egyptians, people have utilized the sea for therapy to relieve joint disorders, skin conditions, allergies and to promote anti-aging. These special minerals assist in calming the nervous system, increasing blood circulation, relaxing stiff muscles and promoting lymphatic drainage. Typically we look to expensive medicines to cure ailments, when natural resources are often less than $2.00 per ounce.
Enhance your spa experience with more hydrotherapy by partaking in an outdoor rain shower. Close your eyes and imagine you are standing in a waterfall of cool water rushing down from head to toe. This will lower body temperature and cause blood vessels to contract, creating an awakening experience. Wash away your worries, along with facial masks and hair products, for a deep cleanse. By the end of this spa hydrotherapy ritual, you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
Enjoy the spa facilities once a month along with a therapeutic massage to relieve tension and stress. The spa is not only about pampering. It helps take care of one’s mind, body and soul. You may find that healing waters will help to relieve back and body pain and banish stress from your life.
Karina Chung is a desert native specializing in creating new spa experiences and working internationally with Hyatt Resorts. Karina has returned to the desert as Spa Director at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa. She is enthusiastic to introduce indigenous products with healing properties and to support local health for both individuals and businesses through this beautiful wellness facility. Contact Karina at 760.674.4100.