The Life of a Spa Health Writer
Becoming a Spa Health Writer
This is my big dream and this particular path totally fits all my passions and interests. I have been interested in holistic health since my 20's which has taken me through many journeys of searching for non-invasive and simpler methods of staying healthy. Exploring nature has also played a huge part in my life as I have always loved to travel, be outside and look for occasions that took me off the beaten path. I am into living a green lifestyle and therefore being kinder and more considerate toward our earth. Furthermore, 25 years of following the art of a Jin Shin Jyutsu, has opened up my mind to the many wonderful possibilities of healing myself and helping others.
Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I want to write about these past experiences on all the above topics. Most wellness centers, mountain retreats, spas and resorts focus on relaxing and slowing down and that is when healing truly takes place. I will be sharing with you about the resorts, spas, hot springs, etc. I have visited and the ones that I would like to visit in the future that offer many wonderful and delicious opportunities for growth and pleasure. Stay tuned!
Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa
"Toddy for the Body"
Joyful Journey is a remote hot springs spa located at the northern gateway of the San Luis Valley in southern Colorado. Native Americans claim that these hot springs pools are "Where Healing Waters Flow". There are three pools that range in temperature from 100, 104 and 108 degrees and face a magnificent view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains.
Massages and other body treatments are also offered in the spa. Each treatment room has their own view of the mountains as well. They aren't anything fancy, but clean and well lit. There are two treatment rooms at the east end of the motel and two more in the main building. The motel treatment rooms have their own bathrooms, while the rooms inside the main building do not. However, the bathroom is just across the hall with plenty of lockers and changing space. The bathroom is actually larger than the lounge area. And this could be a drawback as the only lounging area is near the front desk. Semi comfortable chairs are provided, however, this isn't exactly conducive to curling up with a book after your soak and massage. Also located near the front desk, is bottled water, snacks and an assortment of organic creams, lotions, soy candles, soaps and essential oils that are for sale from San Luis Valley locals. Further down the hall, is a sauna and then you are out into the hot springs pool area.
And was I ever ready for those hot springs! Upon check-in, I was given bottled water, towel and a robe. I walked out into the crisp December early morning and choose the hottest tub first. Sinking slowly down into the warm water felt divine and peaceful. Thirty minutes later, the front desk clerk comes over to me and says, "It's magic time."
I was met by the massage therapist who guided me to a room at the end of the motel. I chose a hot stone massage which is known for penetrating tense muscles that are extremely tight or stiff. The warmed basalt stones were placed on parts of my back to maximize the therapeutic benefit and aid in the extra relaxation needed in releasing tension and easing sore muscles. Stones used are typically river rocks or other very smooth-surfaced stones. The high iron content in basalt helps the stones retain heat during the massage. Eighty minutes later, I left the room feeling a lot less anxious than when I arrived. From there, I went back into the hot springs pools for another hour. Ahhh, the pause that refreshes.
If you decide to stay the night, there are 12 motel rooms, 6 yurts, 3 teepees, RV hookups and camping sites available. Lodging guests get 10% off any massage or spa treatment and served a continental breakfast. However, this is the only warm food offered as there isn't a restaurant on the grounds. If you come for the day, be prepared to bring your own food. I did bring a snack but it wasn't enough and that was the only reason I decided to leave. I was hungry!
The owner, Elaine Bloumenhein's motto is "Come for a relaxing healing time and you will be better than when you came in" and that is exactly how I felt! For more information, visit www.joyfuljourneyhotsprings.com or call (719) 256-4328.
Great Books On Travel Writing and Spas
Northern Arizona's Gem
Verde Canyon Hot Springs
Finally, I was able to relax and enjoy the last days of Indian Summer. Sliding into a rectangular basin full of warm water, my arms and legs tingled with delight. As I laid my head back against the lip of the concrete tub. a view of the golden oak tree leaves and the Verde river meandering slowly through the canyon revived my senses. The fresh, cool autumn air, clean warm mineral water and a lovely view. What else could a person want?
This was my first time visiting Verde Canyon and I had no idea what to expect. However, one thing I love about nature are the many hidden gems and Verde Hot Springs is one of them. If you love off the beaten path excursions, then this adventure is a winner. This semi-private hot springs is nestled in a remote area of Verde Canyon, 2 hours south of Flagstaff, AZ. However, getting to it is a challenge and you may need a four-wheel drive vehicle. The dirt road dips and swells while passing through the now defunct town of Childs where there used to be a working power plant. The rocky road stops at a wide, clean sandy beach with remnants of old campfire rings and a swiftly flowing Verde River lined with high bushes and tall oak trees.
We parked the camper underneath an oak tree and climbed out of the truck. Just then, a dark-haired man in his early 20's approached us and announced, "Weather report says a major snowstorm is due in 24 hours."
"Seems hard to believe considering how nice it is, but this is November. We'll just have to enjoy it while we can. Let's go!" I laughed, eager to visit the springs.
Mark and I followed small wooden arrows staked along a narrow dirt trail that led into the Verde river. Mark was ahead and walked into ankle high water, then waited on top of rocks for me about a quarter of the way across. As soon as I walked into the water, I was shocked at how cold it was!
Upon reaching the first set of high rocks, I just stood there till warmth traveled back into my feet. Mark effortlessly trekked through the icy water while I hesitated. Rushing out again, my feet froze too quickly and my legs felt like lead weights as I sloshed over to the next protruding set of rocks. Mumbling to myself to keep going because all this torture had to be worth it.
With one last effort, I pushed ahead ten more yards and hit the sandy shore. Mark, already on the other side only grinned. We walked together the last 1/4 mile to the hot springs on a narrow dirt path that followed the base of the canyon wall, back downstream. Four concrete steps came into view that led up to the thermal pools. Rumor has it that in the early 1900s, the mafia built a hotel and brothel around these pools. Palm trees also used to line the entrance next to the concrete steps. With only a hint of yesteryear left, today, we can still enjoy the spring fed pools.
The first pool we found was hidden in a small cave, the water looked pretty murky. It didn't look inviting so we moved quickly over to another pool enclosed by 4- ten feet high concrete walls without a ceiling. One entire wall was a painting of a naked lady flying through stars, who's long blonde hair flowed behind her like a horse's mane. We didn't hesitate here. The water was deliciously warm, probably about 100 degrees. However, after awhile the walls felt confining and we gradually meandered over to the third tub.
And this last tub is the one I mentioned in the beginning, as it is the best. We found a little bit of heaven here but the thought of going through the river again was always in the back of my mind and I wasn't ready to leave anytime too soon.
As the sun dipped lower in the sky and shadows slowly crept up the 1,000 foot canyon walls, we knew it was time to leave. Reluctantly, we left our little bit of heaven. At the river, I held my breath and visualized a quick crossing. Again, it just didn't matter how quickly I moved, because my feet froze halfway over to the closest high ground and my dance was same. However, the next morning, we awoke to gently falling snow.
If you enjoy adventure and being outside, this is a special hot springs deal you won't want to miss. The best seasons to visit are May through October if you want to cross the river without freezing your toesies.
Ahhhh, the Pause That Refreshes!
Indian Hot Springs Spa and Lodge
This special resort resides in the small mountain town of Idaho Springs, Colorado in a 100 year old attraction called Indian Hot Springs. This hot springs is the perfect stop after a long day of cross country or downhill skiing as Idaho Springs is right off of I-70.
However, anytime of the year is a great time to visit this mineral springs as there are several options of soaking. Furthermore, accommodations are available in the lodge, cabins and campground. And you won't want to miss the mud baths or massage services that are also available. I guarantee you will be relaxed by the time you are ready to leave.
Geo-Thermal Cave Baths - This is a tunnel that goes right into the mountain. Women are on one side, Men on the other. At the back is an opening that at one time allowed for everyone to go back and forth. I think it got out of hand and now there is a fence. There are 3 pools in each tunnel with different temperatures. Also, fresh mineral water flows through a pipe for everyone to drink. Doesn't taste too bad either. Marble slabs are installed above the pools so that you can lay right next to the water. The tunnel gets so steamy at times, you feel like you are in a sauna as well. The tunnel baths were my favorite after a hard week or month at Corporate America. Sometimes the women would sing and as the steam filled the tunnel, it felt almost surreal. These baths are open 7:30 am to 10:30 pm. Bathing suits are optional.
Private Baths (Indoor and Outdoor) - These usually need to be reserved. They are perfect if you want some alone time with your significant other or spouse.
Swimming Pool - This is a favorite for families. The swimming pool is continually fed with hot mineral water at 115 degrees. With an overall temperature of 90+ degrees. Open 9 am to 10 pm.
If you are headed up to the high country, this is a resort worth visiting. Check out their website, Indian Hot Spring Spa and Lodge to see if they are offering any specials or packages.
Faywood Hot Springs - Wellness Center in the high desert
This is between Las Cruces and Silver City, New Mexico
Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and RV Park
Here is a natural hot artesian oasis where the whole family can have fun, relax and rejuvenate within the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There is a large thermal swimming pool that is maintained at 98 degrees year round and a 25 person therapy pool maintained at 107 degrees year round. There is also a 25 foot kid’s water slide and soaking area along with a grilling and picnic area. Lodging is now available for RV’s and tents, as well as 3-one room cabins and a family style travel trailer. All lodging includes swimming admission and access to all pool facilities during open hours.
Furthermore, even though you are in the middle of a high desert, with no towns visibly close by, you will never go hungry. Mile High Grille was voted best by Channel 7 news as the best concessionaire stand in the state of Colorado. They offer a healthy fare such as Cranberry Chicken Salad, Caprese Panini, Coconut Shrimp Basket, Frito Pie as well as the common burger, hot dog and an assortment of tasty appetizers.
Therefore, if you are planning to visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park, then this is must stop destination to unwind and enjoy the magic of the San Luis Valley further.
Sand Dunes Swimming Pool and RV Park is located on 1991 County Road 63 in Hooper, Co.
Directions: Turn east at County Road B off of Highway 17.
Be Brave enough to live life creatively.
The creative is the place where no
one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city of your
comfort and go into the wilderness
of your intuition.
You can't get there by bus, only
by hard work and risk and by
not quite knowing what you're doing.
What you'll discover will be wonderful.
What you'll discover will be yourself.
Resort Spas On My Bucket List
- Miraval Resort in Tucson, AZ
This is luxury at its finest with many spa packages to choose from to inspirational workshops to mindful cuisine and of course outdoor adventures galore!
- Rancho La Puerta
This is truly a destination resort and there are three different places to visit - Tecate, Baja California or Mexico. All of these resorts seem dream like even in the pictures. Why wouldn't you want to go soon?
- The Golden Door
This popular resort also offers several locations - Carefree, AZ, Park City, UT, Fajardo, Puerto Rico and Naples, FL. I'm sure they are all wonderful. I can't decide!