STORY BY SHELBY DEERING ✷ PHOTOGRAPHED AT RANCHO VALENCIA IN RANCHO SANTA FE, CALIFORNIA ✷ PHOTOGRAPHS BY JONAS JUNGBLUT
On a cool California morning, we find ourselves in the midst of towering palm trees, clear pools of water, and dapples of glorious sunlight—otherwise known as Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, a slice of paradise found near San Diego. It also acts as an all-too-perfect place to set the tone for the most luxurious bath treatments you’ve ever tried.
Kristi Dickinson, Director of Spa & Wellness at Rancho Valencia, naturally agrees. “The dramatic beauty of the spa and stillness of the Rancho Valencia grounds is a source of great inspiration,” she says. “Our treatment rooms have stunning outdoor soaking tubs. We love these treatments not only for the physical benefits, but also for the time in the bath which gives guests the pause they need to clear their minds and connect with their intentions for their stay with us.”
If you aren’t able to travel to Southern California anytime soon, never fear. These spa professionals are here to share how you can recreate these rituals—the very treatments the spa offers—in your home.
There are certainly benefits to taking a bath in algae, milk, flowers, herbs, or even “bathing” in sound. As Kristi explains, “There are certain benefits like relaxation, soothing muscles, stimulating circulation, and promoting elimination which are true of all warm soaks.” She also recommends checking with your doctor first before starting regular hot baths.
Come with us and enjoy the awe-inspiring beauty of Rancho Valencia as you discover how to make these soothing baths for yourself.
Milk Bath with Blue Butterfly Pea
Benefits: Skin-soothing, exfoliating, calming
Instructions: Add 2 cups milk of your choice to a warm bath along with 2 to 3 tablespoons liquid or powdered Blue Butterfly Pea
Good to Know: Vibrantly-hued flowers from the Blue Butterfly Pea (a plant native to Southeast Asia) are known to aid in stress, anxiety, sleep issues, constipation, and collagen loss.
Benefits: Detoxifying, moisturizing, anti-aging
Instructions: Use 100% pure Laminaria Algae powder to create your bath. Soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Do a patch test beforehand to check if you have an iodine allergy.
Note: This treatment is not suitable for those with thyroid issues.
Good to Know: Seaweed is rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that protect cells against environmental aggressors such as ultraviolet radiation and pollution.
Benefits: Healing, grounding, relaxing
Instructions: There are many ways to select crystals. Some choose crystals based on their properties, from heart-opening to creativity-inspiring. (See our story, Crystal Clear, on page 120 for a complete rundown on the unique virtues of crystals.) Draw a bath, add desired crystals, and meditate on the intention.
Healing Through Sound
Before enjoying the yoga classes, massages, and other spa treatments at Rancho Valencia, you can begin your day in a tranquil way—through sound healing. It’s a non-water form of a bath in which one is “bathed” in sound as Tibetan singing bowls are played. Veronica Ceseña, Sound Healing Practitioner at Rancho Valencia, says that these instruments “produce unique, powerful vibrations that permeate a person’s physical and subtle body, which helps to alleviate physical, emotional, and mental stressors that are preventing a person from living in balance.” It’s a meditative practice that pacifies mental health disorders like anxiety and PTSD and provides mental clarity. The next best thing? Buy your own singing bowl or shop for a high-quality recording.