By Dr. Shamira Hudda
As we embrace a ‘wellness-lifestyle’ – one that focuses on healthy living and prevention, the concept of ‘balance’ or ‘re-connection’ between body, mind and spirit is central. Those who visit spas and wellness resorts know the serenity and ‘one-ness’ such experiences can offer. Similarly, many people who frequent day spas do so not only for esthetic pleasure, but also for relaxation and finding calm amidst the chaos – even if just for the afternoon!
It’s become clear that there are tremendous benefits to enjoying spa treatments and visiting wellness destinations, but did you know science is now telling us that spa and wellness travel can actually have health benefits?
‘Health’, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a ‘complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, not merely an absence of disease.’ Thus, health does not reside merely in the physical domain, but in the mind and in the spirit as well.
The field of mind-body medicine is gaining enormous attention due to the growing body of research supporting the mind-body-spirit connection to health and well-being.
Great minds like Deepak Chopra have discussed the quantum potential of the mind in terms of a ‘field of consciousness’. As a pioneer in mind-body medicine, Dr. Chopra has written and spoken about health, healing and how the mind and spirit influence the physical body.
Recent research by Dr. Bruce Lipton demonstrates that our thoughts can actually change our biochemistry and, as a result, change our physical body! He has shown that our biology is not determined so much by our DNA (as we have long believed), but by environmental influences. That ‘environment’ is governed by our thoughts and perceptions!
‘Dis-ease’, therefore, is not derived from defects within human genetics, but is created in response to one thing: STRESS. In fact, stress has been linked to over 80% of all known diseases. Thus, how we perceive and respond to stress ultimately creates our reality – in health and in life.
So how does this all fit into destination spas and wellness travel?
Reconnecting body-mind-spirit, one of the objectives of taking a spa and/or wellness vacation, can have a profound effect on one’s health. As perceived stress is reduced or removed, one can actually change the biochemistry of their body. Ultimately, a greater state of balance and a higher state of health can be achieved. Whether it be a day at the spa, a weekend getaway or an extended wellness vacation – all provide an opportunity to de-stress and re-connect.
Health is a lifelong journey and optimizing your physical, mental and spiritual well-being is the secret to living with vitality. The preservation of health is achieved not only through your daily habits, including a healthy diet, moderate exercise, quality sleep and preventative care (ie. chiropractic, acupuncture, massage) but also in giving your mind and body a chance to re-connect.
Wellness vacations and destination spas are proving to be an effective way to create balance by decreasing stress and increasing the mind-body-spirit connection. So next time you plan a day at the spa or a wellness vacation, remember that it doesn’t just feel good, it IS good for you!
Dr. Shamira Hudda is a Toronto-based chiropractor.