January/February 2005  




ccording to the old saying, everything old is new again. This is certainly true when it comes to spa treatments. For centuries, people have ascribed various powers to gem stones, and now in spas across the country, new treatments try to tap into their beneficial powers.

At Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico (www.lasventanas.com) several treatments use gems and crystals to combine physical healing with emotional and spiritual uplifting. Their Holistic Crystal Light Healing Massage starts with a prayer and purification ritual, followed by guided imagery meditation that balances energy with the help of quartz crystals, and concludes with a full-body massage using crystal wands. La Stone Therapy uses heated and chilled stones to balance emotional, mental, and physical energies and achieve a sense of relaxation and well-being. New for January 2005, Spa Director Carole Sullivan has combined these two treatments to create La Crystal Stone Therapy, a holistic experience that is listed in their spa menu under “Memorable Moments.” This healing experience is just one more reason that celebs are fleeing chilly London for this Baja California paradise.

The Spa at Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona (www.camelbackspa.com) offers the Camelback Signature Massage Treatment combines aromatherapy, hot and cold stone massage, scalp massage, and reflexology with a facial massage using cold aquamarine stones for lymphatic drainage. Precious stones are placed on the chakras for a peaceful and restorative effect, bringing mind, body and spirit into balance.

At Spa 500, a boutique day spa in Little Silver, NJ (www.SPA500.com), Milena Melone draws inspiration from her Reiki background for Plaisir des Sens, a treatment which combines hot stone massage and aromatherapy with a first-class facial to leave you refreshed and relaxed. The treatment incorporates products and an assortment of colored gem stones from Yon-Ka of Paris that are placed on the chakras to rebalance life energy and tap into our natural healing abilities: tiger’s eye for energy at the root chakra, red jasper for creativity and sexual expression at the base chakra, yellow citrine for personal fulfillment on the solar plexus, rose quartz for compassion on the heart, lapis lazuli for communication on the throat, fluorite for intuition on the third eye/brow, and amethyst for spirituality and contentment on the crown. The treatment sums up SPA 500’s motto: Outer Beauty, Inner Peace.

One company that has been promoting the therapeutic application of gemstones and teaching spa professionals how to incorporate gem therapy into their treatments for over 15 years is Gemisphere of Portland, OR (www.Gemisphere.com). Their premier trainer is naturopathic physician Dr. Ada González, who also works with athletes, trainers, and coaches using green tourmaline to enhance athletic performance.

Many athletes who use green tourmaline note significant increases in strength, endurance, and speed. “There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence about green tourmaline that demonstrates an increase in the athlete’s endurance, strength, and recoverability,” said Dr. González. “Some of the findings are startling and show dramatic improvement in athletic performance.”

In fact, before the 2004 Olympics, there were even rumors that the IOC might ban athletes from gaining a competitive advantage by using green tourmaline, but of course, blood and urine tests are unaffected by the gem. Although therapeutic-quality green tourmaline is generally recommended for men, women athletes may wear the gem as well. Green tourmaline and gem therapy are even authorized therapeutic treatments under the British healthcare system.

Green tourmaline is just one of the beautiful, therapeutic-quality gems that Gemisphere sells on its website and through the Gemisphere Source book, a catalog/primer on gem therapy. For her daily use, Dr. González favors pink tourmaline for enhancing feminine power, amethyst for spiritual wisdom, and onyx for focusing the mind and getting things done.

In addition to necklaces, the company offers single, polished gems and gemstone spheres woven together to form gemstone “mats,” which are suitable for various therapeutic applications. Gemisphere necklaces recently made a splash at the SAG awards and People’s Choice awards, when celebrities like Clint Eastwood and CSI stars Emily Proctor and Adam Rodriguez donned them and felt their positive energy. Said Rodriguez, “I swear I felt energized when I put on the Poppy Jasper.”

To skeptics, the healing power of crystals is just another airy-fairy, New Age phenomenon, but in fact gem therapy has its roots in Ayurveda, the 7,000 year-old Indian system of holistic medicine and rejuvenation. Related to Vedic astrology as well as color therapy, Ayurvedic gem therapy prescribes different stones or color groups of stones to ameliorate “imbalances” which result in various ailments. For example, Lapis Lazuli was thought to strengthen the eyes as well as the mind, body, and consciousness. Bloodstone, actually quartz with red flecks, helped with anemia as well as liver and spleen disorders. Rubies were thought to improve mental concentration, while amethyst could tame the emotions. But the best precious stone for physical rejuvenation as well as spiritual uplift and prosperity was—surprise--a diamond of top quality.

Of course, you don’t exactly have to be a guru to know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend! One world-famous jewel collector whose name has practically become synonymous with diamonds is Elizabeth Taylor. In her eye-popping coffee table book Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, the diva describes the sensation of wearing the famous 33.19-carat ring known as the Krupp diamond:

“When I look into it, the deep Asscher cuts—which are so complete and so ravishing—are like steps that lead into eternity and beyond. My ring gives me the strangest feeling for beauty. With its sparks of red and white and blue and purple, and on and on, really, it sort of hums with its own beatific life. To me, the Krupp says, ‘I want to share my chemistry—my magic—with you.’”


Las Ventanas al Paraiso: (888) ROSEWOOD: www.lasventanas.com.
Spa: www.lasventanas.com/spa.cfm.

Spa 500: (732) 530-5030; www.SPA500.com.

The Spa at Camelback Inn: (480) 596-7040; www.camelbackspa.com.
For hotel info: (800) 24-CAMEL or www.camelbackinn.com

Gemisphere: (800) 727-8877; www.gemisphere.com.

Gemisphere training for spa professionals: www.GemsforSpas.com.

Yon-Ka of Paris: (800) 533-6276; www.yonka.com.

Elizabeth Taylor: My Love Affair with Jewelry, 2002, Simon & Schuster, www.SimonSays.com.

For more on Ayurveda see: Ancient Medicine of India: Ayurveda by Jonathan Klemens on www.naturalhealthweb.com or his book Mountains and Rivers: Complementing Your Healthcare with Alternative Medicine, available at www.1stBooks.com.




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