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Rest, rejuvenation, and culture: The Chopra Wellness Center and The Spa at La Costa.

The Chopra Center for Well Being

Imagine an oasis of tranquility in which the rigors of daily living recede and the perfect balance of mindbodyspirit emerges to maximize full human potential. The Chopra Center for Well Being is such a place.

The brainchild of internationally renowned philosopher, health expert, and author Dr. Deepak Chopra, the Center combines the healing properties of Western medicine with Ayurveda, the 5,000 year-old Indian healing tradition, to enhance health and well-being while nourishing the human spirit. The author of more than 42 books, including The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Grow Younger, Live Longer, and his latest, Kama Sutra: including the Seven Spiritual Laws of Love, Dr. Chopra is also a celebrated speaker who has revolutionized the ancient wisdom that demonstrates the connective healing between the mind, body and spirit. Formerly the chief of staff at Boston Regional Medical Center, Dr. Chopra envisioned the concept of perfect health being more than simply the absence of disease. Instead, by incorporating techniques that would help eliminate stress and malaise, he understood that it was possible to embrace wellness and improve overall health and contentment.

Created in 1995 with co-founder Dr. David Simon, the Chopra Center for Well Being is an expansion of Dr. Chopra's practice of holistic and alternative medicines for enhancing the emotional and physical self. In May 2003, Drs. Chopra and Simon moved the Chopra Center from La Jolla, California, to the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California, making it part of the extraordinary setting and accommodations of La Costa. The Center has attracted visitors from all across the world, enticed by the opportunity to develop inner tools that will empower them to enhance their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

An annex to the Spa at La Costa, guests can enjoy the Odyssey Enlivening Therapy, a journey for the senses that uses any of the five Ayurvedic signature therapies: Garshana for exfoliation; Abhyanga for nourishment, Vishesh for relaxation, and Marina and Aromatherapy for enlightenment. The therapies are tailor-made to suit the needs of each guest. And if they are unable to choose, a knowledgeable therapist will help them select the treatment option that best achieves the guest's desired results. Grace Wilson, director of spa training at the Chopra Center and author of Massage in Minutes: Simple Techniques for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, says, "We want our guests to feel loved, nurtured, and paid attention to. When they leave the spa they should feel fulfilled."

Guest favorites include the Abhyanga (Sanskrit for massage), a choreographed, rhythmic massage performed by two therapists that loosens toxins, increases circulation, and enhances the immune system. Wilson explains, "Abhyanga is a traditional Indian massage that uses hypnotic, synchronized movements and a lot of oil. It's a full-body, warm oil massage that many people love." Another favorite is the signature Gangharva, which combines an ayurvedic body massage with energy and Marina therapy to restore balance. The Oshadhi is a specialized ayurvedic herbal wrap prepared with essential oils and herbs that eliminate toxins and balance the body and mind. The Sahaswara, also known as the thousand-petal lotus, is a 90-minute, full-body rhythmic oil massage that includes stretching and guided visualization recorded by Dr. Chopra. This treatment helps open the vital energy centers using aromatherapy and crystals. The Srota unblocks the circulatory and energy channels to relieve chronic muscle pain through a variety of techniques adjusted to each guest's needs. The Marina uses essential oils, and soothes and stimulates vital energy points for rebalance and rejuvenation. Marmas are junction points between physical and emotional parts of the body.

Undoubtedly the most luxurious and one of the premier treatment offerings at the Chopra Center is the 75-minute Pizichilli in which a continuous stream of warm, herbalized oil is massaged into the body--a deeply purifying and intensely relaxing treatment. After a massage, many guests elect to have Shirodhara: A therapist pours a stream of warm, herbalized oil over the forehead, particularly the area between the eyebrows, delivering herbs and oils into the area surrounding the brain, stimulating the inner eye. Says Wilson, "Shirodhara calms and clears the mind, and allows you to feel a profound sense of peace. It can send you to another level of existence."

The Chopra Center also provides private medical consultations, health workshops, Primordial Sound Meditation, and Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga instructions. Dr. Chopra believes that through meditation, a major component of his philosophy, it is possible to awaken creativity and clear the mind to allow inner guidance, thereby unlocking the door to fulfillment and happiness.

According to Dr. Chopra, we can expand our internal egos to ever-present awareness, which will allow us to explore our essential natures and restore wholeness in our lives: "The silence we experience in meditation is the 'gap' between thoughts. Glimpsing this field of quiet, expanded awareness allows us to recognize that our essential self is not the perpetual traffic of thoughts that fill our minds, but the silent witness to our thoughts, words, and actions."

In continuing Dr. Chopra's mission to bridge the West with the wisdom and tradition of the East, the Chopra Center also offers seminars and courses under the guidance of Dr. Simon, the Chopra Center's medical director. These include the signature course, Perfect Health, which allows you to return to your world relaxed, renewed, and fully restored. The course seeks to reconnect you to your healthiest state, filled with vitality and peace. Great for beginners.

Heavily reliant on Ayurveda, the Journey Into Healing course explores the many factors that impact quality of life, including environment, emotions, and physiology. This course fuses modern medicine with the healing arts of the East.

The five-day Soul of Healing course is a transformative journey into healing, self-discovery, balance, and awakening. Run by Drs. Chopra and Simon, this workshop aims to help manage stress, detoxify your body, re center the self, and reintroduce peace and tranquility into your life.

Additional courses include the Renewal Weekend, and an intensive program known as the Seduction of the Spirit, which aids participants in lifestyle transitions. The goal of the Chopra Center is to ensure that guests take with them a sense of peace, balance, and transformation.

The success of the Chopra Center can be ascribed not only to its wealth of information and treatment options but to the dedication and knowledge of the exemplary staff. The Center brings together a number of talented professionals who are experts in both the fields of conventional and alternative medicines. The team, which includes therapists, consultants, and instructors, works together to create an environment conducive to healing, reflection, and transformation. They succeed in helping individuals promote longevity and awaken the full potential of the human experience. Wilson says, 'I try to teach my staff that we are really here to devote our time and attention and open our hearts to create a sacred space where guests can come to rest and heal."

The Spa at La Costa

Be Indulged: Lose yourself in a delectable sensory journey for two, with crystal chakra (energy) balancing, guided meditation, and sound therapy, and capped off with a self-exfoliating couple's shower. Be Inspired: A sure way to improve your golf swing is the Golf Champions Massage, which utilizes a therapeutic technique that targets areas of the body most impacted by your golf game. Be Invigorated: Mind and body is spirited away to a haven of serenity with a California Vegetable Clay Wrap or the signature La Costa Massage, which uses aromatherapy and several massage techniques to awaken the senses.

From soothing music and massage techniques to your therapist's choice of products, the experts at the Spa at La Costa aim to indulge, invigorate, and inspire you, relieve aching muscles, and alleviate stress. Tucked away in the breathtaking coastal foothills of Carlsbad, California, north of San Diego, the Spa creates a sublime experience tailor-made for spa connoisseurs. Each treatment is designed to eradicate the stress of daily living and stimulate the five senses, and perhaps, ultimately transcend them.

Feng shui-inspired design elements are found throughout the 42 exquisitely appointed treatment rooms to optimize light and promote balance. Here's just a taste of what you can do at the spa at La Costa: Wile away the morning on the stunning, private, outdoor garden patio resplendent with blooming, aromatic flowers and whirlpool tub. Before indulging yourself with the Carlsbad Strawberry Body Buff, enjoy La Costa's complimentary Agua de la Vida circuit, which consists of a cedar sauna, steam room, and an exfoliating body scrub--perhaps the Avocado Stone Polish--administered by the spa attendant of your choice. After an exhilarating day on one of the resort's PGA Championship 18-hole golf courses, be re-energized with a Roman waterfall, shoulder-pounding massage.

The Spa offers sumptuous VIP Spa Suite Journeys for couples, all of which consist of at least two hours of unsurpassed service and attention. Choices include the Romantic Journey for Two, complete with Carlsbad strawberries and chocolate truffles, and the Harmony Journey for Two, which offers unlimited day use of the spa, a Spa Cafe lunch, and an additional hour in the VIP Spa Suite--with a bottle of champagne, of course.

The full-range of services at the Spa includes facials, body treatments, and massage therapies. The technicians at the Spa pride themselves on the variety of facials available--one for every skincare need. Choose between the La Costa Custom Facial, a pampering treatment that uses an intensive mask specifically for your skin type, or the Classic Epicuren Facial, an enzyme-activated skincare procedure that enhances your skin's radiance.

There is a massage technique to suit every need and preference, as well. Guest favorites include the Thai Massage, which incorporates stretching and zen-like compression to open energy channels, and the Hydrotherapy Massage, which includes a blissful soak and steam in a private hydrotherapy tub. Not to be overlooked are the sophisticated facials for men that include a shoulder and neck massage.

And to prepare for a decadent dinner at one of the resort's superb restaurants, snag an appointment at the Yamaguchi salon, which integrates the philosophy of feng shui into the modern-day beauty salon experience.
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Author:Campbell, Denise
Publication:Black Enterprise
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:1680
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