Studies at Harvard University reveal that 60 to 90 percent of all doctor visits are spurred by stress-induced illnesses.
Stewart Mineral Springs Resort, a getaway that meanders over 37 acres in the shadow of Mount Shasta in Northern California, is the kind of place that can lower those stress levels and clean out some of the detritus of modern living.
"Our main focus is on our bath house and our mineral bath," explains Linda Boyce, office manager at the resort, who describes their recipe for detoxifying mind, body and spirit.
"First you would come in and take a mineral bath, then spend 10 or 15 minutes in the wood-burning sauna. Then you have a choice of a plunge in Parks Creek or a cool shower; you do that process three times. It really detoxes your body and rinses away impurities."
The first step, soaking in the mineral springs, begins the process of allowing mineral-rich water to cleanse and exfoliate the skin, bringing impurities to the surface. The natural chlorine and mineral components are so concentrated, a 30-minute limit is recommended. The result is cleansing, relaxing, healing and purifying.
Next, guests enter the wood sauna, where the dry heat fosters the body's release of locked-away toxins and impurities.
The final, breathtaking finish is a "cold plunge" in the chilly waters of Parks Creek — or for those less adventurous, a cool shower. The cold plunge has a long history across diverse cultures and offers many health benefits, such as stimulating circulation, cleaning pores, boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation of joints and muscles. It also gives the nervous system an invigorating jump-start, leaving the body feeling refreshed and renewed.
Stewart Springs offers other choices for recharging vitality, including a soothing massage. Or if you've ever wondered what it would be like to experience a sweat lodge, Walking Eagle, a Karuk spiritual leader, invites guests to take part in this age-old cleansing ceremony, using sweat, songs and prayers to "clear our bodies of toxins, our minds of negativity and reconnect with our inner spirit" in true American Indian tradition.
Stewart Mineral Springs provides a variety of overnight accommodations.
"We have motel units; they're beds and a bath, more like dorm-style living. We have six apartments with full kitchens and living rooms. We also have an A-frame house that sleeps 10. That's popular for conferences and retreats. We also have cabins with wood-burning stoves, places for camping, and we also rent tepees," says Boyce.
"In summer, we're very busy. From the end of April to the end of October, we're booked solid. People even make reservations a year ahead of time. We've already booked 12 retreats for this year through November. We have groups coming in from Spain and England; people come from all over the world."
There are no TVs, cell-phone service or Internet here. This place is about getting back to basics and recapturing what ancient practices have taught us about our reliance on nature when it comes to healing our minds, bodies and souls.
For more information, visit www.stewartmineralsprings.com or call 530-938-2222.