Sensei porcupine creek, courtesy city of rancho mirage

Greater Palm Springs Spas Offer Treatments With Real Health Benefits

At these modern facilities, luxury services, including mineral water and medically directed facials, take a “spa day” beyond relaxation.

June Allan Corrigan Health & Wellness

Sensei porcupine creek, courtesy city of rancho mirage

Sensei Porcupine Creek.

Before categorizing a spa day as a mere — but desirable — indulgence, it’s worth exploring how body and facial treatments may complement one’s quest for wellness. Yes, there will be pampering and most definitely relaxation, but often, along the way, real health gains can be achieved as well.

The ancient tradition of “taking the waters,” especially geothermally warmed waters bubbling up from the Earth’s core, has been proven to impart minerals that deliver health benefits. Historically, entire towns have sprouted up around naturally occurring springs — which, of course, is exactly what happened in Greater Palm Springs.

Recently, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians opened The Spa at Séc-he, their much-anticipated health and wellness complex that sits atop the tribe’s ancient hot spring located in downtown Palm Springs.

Visitors are encouraged to luxuriate in one of 22 private, mineral-rich hot water baths that are drawn fresh for each soak. Tribal members have known for centuries that the silky soft water — chock-full of healing minerals such as magnesium, sodium, and sulfate and emerging from a reservoir 8,000 feet below ground level — helps ease muscle tension and joint aches. The soothing waters also address skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

“Some hot springs are good for joints, others prove beneficial for skin, but the [mineral] blend found here helps both, and that’s what really makes it unique,” explains director of spa Daniel Spencer. “In addition to the health benefits and simple luxuriousness of the experience, there’s also the richness of taking part in a tradition that’s been handed down for generations.”

The menu at The Spa at Séc-he also offers a wide selection of healing and rejuvenating treatments. There’s all manner of massages, body scrubs, wraps, and facials incorporating techniques and details designed to achieve specific wellness goals. Perhaps a stint in their cryotherapy chamber is in order, or a spell in the eucalyptus steam room, or either of two halotherapy salt caves. Many thoughtful amenities create an immersive wellness experience.

Those keen on pairing their spa experience with active programming may consider a stay at Sensei Porcupine Creek in Rancho Mirage. Offering the first “six-star” wellness experience in the area, the luxury resort tailors its recommendations for spa treatments to pair with guests’ chosen activities while staying at the property.

Whether it’s golf, tennis, yoga, or other fitness pursuits, the trend-adverse and evidence-led experts at Sensei recommend their Move – Sports Recovery Experience following strenuous exercise or sports activity. “This full-body massage aims to reduce soreness, increase circulation, and improve range of motion more quickly by restoring blood flow and fascial pliability,” says Azure Jones, program and operations manager at Sensei’s spa.

Using a combination of myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy, stretching, percussive devices, and other related techniques, this therapeutic massage assists in soft-tissue recovery. “Guests will also learn methods for massage and fascia rolling they can do at home to continue the path for ongoing recovery,” Jones adds.

One of the most unique services offered at Sensei is the thermal mapping and massage treatment. It utilizes Sensei-developed thermographic technology to create a visual map of the body, revealing asymmetries, muscle tightness, and areas of pain. “Using these key data points, the practitioner can then provide a custom massage with targeted bodywork,” Jones explains. “It helps the guest gain greater flexibility and alignment while discovering a new appreciation for the body.”

Some dermatologists offer aesthetic services within a high-end spa setting to address skin concerns such as acne, uneven skin tone, and discoloration. With three locations around the valley, Contour Dermatology’s aesthetic services are an extension of their cosmetic and medical dermatology practice.

Beautifully appointed treatment rooms feature candles and calming music. “Yet all the while, our aestheticians might be administering a chemical peel to help lift off discoloration, or you can tailor [a service] to address acne as well,” says Countour Dermatology’s Dr. Timothy Jochen. A noteworthy example might be the DiamondGlow facial, a noninvasive, resurfacing treatment that also delivers brightening agents into the skin.

Sometimes a facial is used to prepare for or heal from more invasive procedures. At Contour Dermatology, skilled aestheticians customize their efforts to meet an individual’s needs. Could there possibly be a better place to deliver medicine than in a soothing spa setting?

Treat yourself to a moment of self-care that not only soothes mind and soul, but also renews your overall well-being and health.