If health tops your list of New Year's resolutions, welcome to the party. A survey by the Journal of Clinical Psychology shows three of the top five resolutions for 2013 are wellness-related. Combine this with travel, and you have a $106 billion industry worldwide.
I pondered this briefly as I climbed to the top of a crag of red spires above Enchantment Resort in the scenic Boynton Canyon of Sedona, Ariz. There was an hour before sunset, and I wanted to catch nature's light show from a perch I'd picked out on the edge of an energy vortex.
I was also hoping to spot a javelina, but chances were slim because these long-snouted ranch rats, as they're called, migrate mainly at night. I'd been warned about staying in the vortex after dark. "Too dangerous," said my friend, who knew the mountainous terrain was too rugged for silly adventures such as flashlight javelina hunting. Better to come down and have a candlelight dinner and evening meditation before a restful night's sleep.
Today's wellness spa treats not just the body but the mind, soul and spirit. Unlike vacations that slap a Band-Aid on stress, resorts such as Enchantment offer long-term solutions for feeling better mentally and physically. It works. Sitting cross-legged on a boulder the color of red velvet cake, I scanned the vastness of the landscape around me. I felt small but safe -- as if cradled by nature. The silence enveloped me in a swirl of rich pastel colors emerging in the mare-tailed sky. No doubt, something was stirring inside me. Perhaps it was the souls of the ancients -- the Native Americans who journeyed here to connect with their spirits.
But it's not just the forces of nature that earn Enchantment Resort the distinction of being a world-class destination in what USA Today calls the most beautiful place in America. It's the way the resort compliments its natural surroundings and folds in the wisdom and traditions of its native inhabitants.
Guests at Enchantment's Mii amo Spa can choose everything from a kinetic flow massage (they're the first in America to use WaveMotionTable technology) to sleep consultations and hypnotherapy. The root of your stress may be mental or spiritual, and Enchantment has experts in the ancient practices of soul recovery, spiritual awakening and tantric and shamanic journeys for the spiritual body.
Did I find all the answers in my short time at Enchantment? I'd like to say "yes," but it wouldn't be honest.
What I did take away was a deep understanding of what pure peace looks like. I saw it in the sky, and I felt it in the swirling center of spiritual energy. And when I draw on that mental image, I feel happy and blessed.
Find Enchantment Resort information at http://enchantmentresort.com.