Luxury Spas: Tucked away in the hills of Santa Fe is the incredible experience of Ten Thousand Waves where Western ways collide with Eastern tradition. The spa offers a unique 'Japanese-adobe' aesthetic. In contrast to Western culture, the Japanese go to their traditional spas — onsen and sento — to have a good time, often in a beautiful place. For them it is mostly about winding down from the day, meeting friends, taking time off with the family, and relaxing. Any other health benefits are implicit.
Being that nature is such a powerful influence on my psyche, I was very much taken in by this Eastern tradition, enjoying a spa treatment that included a scrub and numerous techniques of massage, including Thai massage. My therapist, a native of Germany who had lived in Santa Fe for decades was very experienced, and shared with me the practice of deep exhalation as a method to detoxify the body.
The experience was made all the more memorable by the open window, the blowing wind outside, and the flowing stream also just outside the window. Prior to the massage, we experienced a soak in an outdoor hot tub, which also included a cold plunge tub. It sounds a little sadistic, but the cooling tub, as cold as it is, makes soaking in the hot tub all the more delightful. I went so far as to dip twice!
Ten Thousand Waves has proved to be one of the most artful approaches to spa relaxation and health I have yet to experienced. Hurrah for Eastern traditions that have found their way so far West!