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September 15, 2013
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Whole body pampering

EAGLE COUNTY — Some national spa trends, such as an uptick in visits by men and a nod toward products made using indigenous herbs and other ingredients, hold true here in Eagle County, where the industry thrives on pampering resort visitors and local residents and has long been ahead of the curve on national trends.

The information came out of a new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and was released at the International Spa Associations trade show on Aug. 16 in New York.

But there are also some new trends taking place in spa treatment rooms in Eagle County that go beyond the usual rubbing and scrubbing to be a bit more spiritual and whole-body oriented.

“There’s always going to be a place for traditional Swedish massage and deep tissue (massage), but I think there’s a strong movement toward people who want something that goes deeper, beyond just working on their physical ailments,” said Taylre Derby, the lead massage therapist at Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon.

‘Bring balance back to the body’

Take, for instance, a series of new treatments at Spa Anjali unveiled in May. Three “Chakra Blessings” treatments, based on ancient rituals, are designed to “align energy centers and create balance,” according to the press release about the new treatments.

“Chakras refer to the centers of power or energy in the body. The body’s seven main chakras sit at the intersection of the energy channels that run along the spinal column and offer connection to areas within the body that may need extra attention or balance. The focus of Spa Anjali’s Chakra Blessings is to remove energy blocks, which may be the cause of real pain, and to align the energy centers to promote a feeling of wholeness.”

ILA, a United Kingdom-based company that makes spa products dubbed “beyond organic” using wild-harvested plants and minerals, designed the treatments and sent a representative to Spa Anjali to train the therapists on how to do each treatment, Derby said.

The spa says it’s one of the first in North America to offer the chakra-centered treatments. So far, the Muladhara (100 minutes, $235) has been the most popular, Derby said.

“That one focuses on the root chakra,” Derby said. “In all of our treatments, we’re trying to align the energy of the chakras and bring balance back to the body. Everything in the treatment has a focus and a purpose.”

The treatment itself incorporates massage using warm poultices full of Himalayan salts, which are full of negative ions, Derby said.

“We’re surrounded by positive ions and our bodies need negative ions to feel in balance,” she explained.

A Tibetan singing bowl is placed on the person’s sacrum at one point during the massage.

“The idea is that the singing bowl is vibrational and creates healing sounds that will resonate with the root chakra,” Derby said. “We finish with a light touch massage on the face. We’re working with the energy channels to produce a state of relaxation and balance.

“One trend we’re really working on with these ILA treatments and with so many people going toward the Eastern thought process, is we’re trying to bridge the gap between massage and holistic healing, and our yoga program, it’s focused on body, mind and spirit,” Derby said.

Clinical additions

The Spa at the Vitality Center at the Vail Mountain Lodge is preparing to offer a series of new, clinical treatments this coming winter season, said spa director Lisa DeKoster.

“We’re adding cranial sacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release,” DeKoster said. “We’ll have rolfing and acupuncture. We are still going to have our sport recovery massage and deep tissue and all of our exfoliation treatments and elaborate signature treatments, but we will also have these more clinical body treatments.”

The new treatments stem from the whole body health direction the Vitality Center is moving toward, with medical doctors and health professionals ranging from internal medicine docs and nutritionists, to yoga instructors and chiropractors on staff.

A new treatment, dubbed the “Reconnect Treatment,” will use high-quality essential oils and a brush made from very fine hairs of copper with which to brush the body, DeKoster said.

“It sounds a bit esoteric ... but we brush the skin with the copper brush and it creates this ionic charge that re-energizes the system and balances the system because we’re so over-stimulated with electromagnetic frequencies,” she said.

Comprehensive experience

Over at the The Bachelor Gulch Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, spa manager Lindsay Lemon says that day package bookings are up.

“Guests are looking for a comprehensive spa experience versus a single treatment,” she said.

In that vein is the spa’s Mountain Spa Mornings (allow four hours; $250), which is dubbed a “wellness experience.” In the summer, that experience includes a 90-minute guided hike followed by a private yoga session and a 60-minute outdoor massage. In the winter, available from December through March, it’s a 90-minute snowshoe, followed by a private yoga session and a 60-minute massage. A 20-minute oxygen session, either before or after, is included.

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at cschnell@vaildaily.com and 970-748-2984.

“There’s always going to be a place for traditional Swedish massage and deep tissue (massage), but I think there’s a strong movement toward people who want something that goes deeper, beyond just working on their physical ailments,” said Taylre Derby, the lead massage therapist at Spa Anjali at The Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon.


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The VailDaily Updated Sep 16, 2013 11:00AM Published Sep 17, 2013 04:23PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.