Martha Mckay

Roseland, New Jersey Travel Agent

Canyon Ranch, Lenox, MA

You don’t always have to hop on a plane for a wonderful vacation. In my case, sometimes, a spa is just what is called for. It can restore your body, mind and spirit and gets you back on a wellness routine.

Recently, I lost a close family member. I was really stressed and depressed, so I decided to go to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA for a week. I got there feel really low in energy and in spirit, but from the moment I walked in and was welcomed, I began to feel hopeful again. I’d been there before and knew what they could do. 

Soon after checking in, I met with a coordinator/therapist and we reviewed my expectations and goals. Sometimes they recommend specific testing and a head-to-toe physical. There’s also a nutritionist, an exercise programmer who evaluates your body and posture, and there are grief counselors and other therapists on tap. 

I followed the advice I give my clients, which is to totally disconnect. And it was good to eat healthy; the cuisine at Canyon Ranch reinforces the fact that eating healthy can be delicious. They have demo kitchens and provide recipes for any meal, on request.

It was also good to get back into exercising well. There are over 40 classes a day, inside and out. I could start my day with a hike or bicycling (in winter, theres  snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on premises). There’s also indoor swimming and you can learn new techniques. For example, I tried Kinesis and did some personalized pilates. I felt my body was closed in and the enhanced assisted stretches opens up your body. 

There’s no alcohol or non-prescription drugs, so it’s a great detox from everyday life, and by the fourth day, I started feeling better. For me, the best part of going to a spa is that the benefits stay with you. It reframes your mindset so next time you go to grocery store, you don’t head for the cookie aisle. And the controlled breathing and alignment exercises take just a few minutes. so it’s something you can make part of your life. 

I recommend it for everyone—and not just women. Thirty years ago, spas seemed to be almost 90% women; now at least 30% are men alone or in couples. About five years ago, a law firm asked me to plan an alcohol free retreat. I set up spa getaway for the attorneys, and they returned to work with clear heads and a healthy reset.