What does wellness mean to you?
For me, wellness means having the energy and the mental and physical ability to pursue my dreams. 50 years ago, we defined health as the absence of disease, but this wasn’t really correct, as you could technically be disease-free, without feeling mentally or emotionally well. Wellness to me is a holistic approach to my health, taking care of my body, mind and emotions so that I can sustain the energy, passion and joy I need to pursue what I really love.
What is your approach to wellness?
This is very different from Western Medicine which seeks to eradicate symptoms. Just look at the ads on daytime TV: got a headache- take Tylenol. Acid stomach- try Tums. At Naturopathica, we recommend changing up what you eat so that your gut stays happy and healthy, to try an exercise like yoga when you’re feeling the effects of stress on the body, or to meditate when you’re feeling anxious. Laughter is also very important to my personal wellness.
What are the most effective wellness rituals you do every day?
I also love a cup of tea. I get pleasure from the simplicity of putting the kettle on the stove, listening to the water start to gurgle, then adding in the herbs and watching them unfurl, smelling the aromatic essences and holding the warm cup of tea. The whole experience is so grounding, and it connects me back to my mother. We always had a cup of tea when I got home from school. Of course, her way was Lipton and a big dose of milk and sugar, but it was still good.
I have to get in the bathtub every day with a blend of aromatic oils. I love submerging myself in the water—it’s incredibly relaxing and warms me up before bed. It’s how I wash away the mental and physical stress of the day.
I also believe in exercising every day, but that can mean anything from taking a walk or going for a swim, riding my horse, or chasing squirrels with my dogs. As I get older, I’m less inclined to go to a gym. For me, if an exercise is boring I won’t do it.
What are your tools for when things feel out of balance?
I think feeling out of balance is pretty normal, but when anxiety or fear creeps in, it is a sign that it is time to reconnect with myself. This is when I will turn to meditation to help me process what I’m feeling. Usually after sitting quietly and focusing on my breath, I feel more relaxed and clearer on my next steps. When I start to feel completely de-energized, I go for long hikes as I find the fresh air, the light and the smells restorative. But sometimes, what I really need are moments of raucous laughter that help me stop taking everything so seriously. We do a lot of laughing at work and it keeps things real.
What is one wellness myth you’d like debunked?
What do you think is the next frontier for wellness?
How do spa treatments promote wellness?
Each Naturopathica spa treatment begins with an aromatherapy inhalation to start the relaxation response. When you smell those aromatic molecules, it triggers the limbic system of the brain, which is like this giant railway station of memory and emotion. That’s why when you smell vanilla you might flashback to baking cookies with your mother or if you smell sandalwood it might remind you of a church. Aromatherapy gives you both that emotional connection to smell and invokes a natural relaxation response.
What is your favorite part/element of a Naturopathica spa treatment?
BECAUSE LIVING WELL IS ALSO ABOUT ENJOYING LIFE...
A Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That: