Miraval, a Spiritual Respite in Arizona
Miraval Resort & Spa is an award-winning destination spa near Tucson, Arizona, located on 400 acres with 118 casita-style spa accommodations and suites, and views of the Santa Catalina Mountains. I had wanted to visit Miraval for nearly a decade. Finally, last fall the opportunity came and I was to visit for four days. I was drawn to the resort for the introspective spiritual treatments by Shamans and energy healers, as well as floating meditation sessions, yoga, and healthy cuisine. The main philosophy of Miraval is to balance the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual components, so that life is in balance.
I had been intrigued by the “Spirit Flight” treatment by Dr. Tim Frank, a Naturopathic Doctor, who has spent 35 years studying under his Native American Shaman family members. The Spirit Flight treatment offers a combination of Dr. Frank’s intuitive healing techniques, plus acupuncture, massage, spinal alignment, holographic memory resolution, and Shamanic drumming and chanting. I sat down with Dr. Frank, who gave me a consultation answering numerous questions. He knew exactly what was going on with me, and where I was headed on my spiritual and professional path. The rest of the treatment included all of the above plus a fire and water element. It was remarkable and I came out of the session feeling much more confident about my career and life path ahead, as well as utterly relaxed.
That evening, I explored the gourmet vegan selections and enjoyed a three-course dinner. I was very impressed with the vegetable curry, grilled tofu, and black bean enchiladas, and absolutely delighted by the vegan brownies, which were made by the executive chef. I didn’t feel deprived at all, in fact quite the opposite. You can even opt to include wine at dinner, but I went with the delicious ginger tea. The main restaurant offers an extensive breakfast and lunch buffet, along with an adjacent snack bar filled with healthy smoothies, house-made energy bars, and fruit to enjoy in between meals. All of the food is included in the price of the stay with only the wine at an additional charge.
Miraval offers more than 30 activities per day, so the hardest part was choosing what to do. Trying the floating meditation in the 98 degree, saltwater pool was at the top of my list though. Dr. Tim Frank and his wife Pam Lancaster, who is also a known healer, led the event with participants lying in the pool flat using small rafts, with ears submerged in the water. They proceeded to use authentic Tibetan sound bowls under the water and around our bodies. This created such powerful healing vibrations. I walked away from that treatment calmer than I’ve ever been in my entire life. There is a different floating meditation event, which includes being suspended from the ceiling of a yoga studio in nurturing silk hammocks while the mind is guided into a relaxed state, enjoying the soothing vibrations of white crystal sound bowls.
The 30,000 square-foot Spa at Miraval features 23 indoor rooms and six outdoor treatment rooms, plus saunas, steam rooms, indoor hot tubs, solarium, quiet relaxation room, and more, with a wide range of treatments. The crystal energy healing treatment uses Reiki healing modalities with the use of colorful crystals to balance the chakras and charge, clear, and cleanse the energy centers of the body. This also includes guided visualization and breathing techniques to enhance the flow of energy throughout the body. My therapist’s name was actually Crystal, and she was highly intuitive, and was able to bring up the conflict I was dealing with in my personal life at that time. I couldn’t believe how intuitive she was during my treatment – and I felt more confident that I was on the right path and grateful for having cleared some energy that was needing to move through me.
The Shamana-Karma signature spa treatment is an immunity and spirit-boosting service that starts with a blend of coconut, ginger, and rosemary oils massaged using traditional Ayurveda techniques. Steaming, hand-wrapped poultices with lemongrass, mint, nutmeg, and clove warm and energize the body, while releasing tension and toxins. Following the massage, is an aromatic wrap, followed by a cleansing hibiscus powder dusting designed to restore the vitality of the skin and spirit.
The Pachamama (Earth Mother) Peruvian treatment, was a true highlight of my visit to Miraval! Spa Director Cecilia Hercik helped culminate this treatment from her native Peru. La Pachamama is the life-giving, benevolent deity revered by indigenous people of the Andes. Inspired by Incan shamanic traditions, this ceremony celebrates and utilizes Pachamama’s bountiful energy to strengthen the mind-heart-body connection, as well as restore elevated feelings of physical vitality, emotional confidence, and mental clarity.
Before I arrived for my treatment, the practitioner saw an eagle and hawk together, which is very rare, and apparently signified to her that I was going through a personal transformation. Being in the great hands of such a seasoned spa therapist, who is Native American by ethnicity but and has studied for many years under a top Peruvian shaman, drew me into connections I didn’t know I had. My vision has been much clearer ever since the treatment and I see details of trees and other elements in nature much better than I had before. The therapist said that can happen after clearing energy.
Another great pleasure of Miraval was the Indian Drum Circle class, led by a fascinating Caucasian man who has been immersed in the Native American culture for more than 30 years. Mark Zuckerberg’s mom and sister were pounding on drums with us as guests during the event. It was a fun way to connect with everyone, release any aggression or energy, and hear about the history and benefits of Drum Circles in Native American tribes.
I spent the last morning of my trip walking the labyrinth; a walking meditation. I spent the time expressing immense gratitude for the life-changing experience at Miraval, and gratitude for all of the positive aspects to my life, especially incredible family and friends, supportive coworkers, my plant-based lifestyle, and epic travel experiences.
This is where angels must come to rejuvenate!
For a smaller taste of this oasis of life, Miraval recently opened a Spa at the Monarch Beach Resort in Laguna Beach, California, offering 70 of the signature treatments throughout 24 treatment rooms, plus a Drybar, and Deborah Lippmann Nail Salon. After the incredible experiences of Miraval in AZ, I just couldn’t stay away, and had to check it out.
I was fortunate enough to visit when Deborah Lippmann was in town. She performed fabulous jazz songs in the hotel’s lobby! Then I snuck in for an Ayurvedic massage. The Spa Director at the new Spa at Monarch Beach plans to add spiritual treatments, once they hire local expert healers. The Monarch Beach location also offers newer treatments that incorporate coastal-inspired ingredients including, sea salt, crystal salt stones, algae, and marine muds to compliment the beach location and energy.
I hope to visit Miraval again, as it was such a rejuvenating experience.
To find out more, or set up your own retreat, please visit www.miravalresorts.com.
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