By Sarah Koehler | Photography courtesy of The Abbey Resort
A recent study by the University of Texas found that nearly 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression which affects people from mid- to late- fall through the early days of spring and is thought to be tied to lack of daylight. Luckily, the Lake Geneva area has plenty of options to keep you feeling healthy, peaceful and stress-free until summer arrives again.
At Lake Geneva’s Element Massage Studio, therapists offer various massage options, including Swedish massage, CBD pain relief, couples massage, hot stone massages and cupping, but one of the most popular options for visitors is the 30-minute Reiki treatment. Originating in Japan in the early 20th century, Reiki is a form of healing based on the idea that all people possess unseen energy forces within themselves. By guiding that energy throughout the body in positive ways, a practitioner can “realign” the energy, thus promoting healing from within.
Dale Martin, owner of Element and a licensed massage therapist since 2000, says that it’s not uncommon for Westerners to show initial skepticism about Reiki, but it’s usually because they are unfamiliar with the techniques. “It’s not hands-on like a massage,” he explains. “It’s using the universal energy around us.”
Element massage therapist Angel Purgatorio specializes in Reiki healing. “It can help reduce stress and tension,” she explains. “It can help with pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety … it promotes relaxation, balances your chakras and lets good energy flow.”
Element is not alone in merging Eastern and Western health practices. At The Space in downtown Lake Geneva, practitioners and fitness leaders routinely focus on this blend. In Eastern medicine, healing is often done from within, with patients focusing on their own body, mind and spirit.
Methods such as yoga, Pilates and meditation have become more popular in the United States over the past few decades, but additional Eastern approaches are growing as well, and inspiring new approaches to wellness. The Space offers black-light spin classes approximately once a week, in which the room is illuminated only by black lights. This allows the class participants to focus less on those around them and focus instead on their own performance, thus removing the element of comparison or competition in the room.
Another service offered at The Space is chromotherapy. Similar to Reiki, chromotherapy is a non-contact form of healing which uses colored light to heal the physical, mental and spiritual imbalances that can occur within the human body. The Space features a chromotherapy sauna, in which clients can spend time allowing the full spectrum of light to heal the body, which can then be followed by a dip in the cold therapy tub.
Inside The Space is also the Ivy Hydration Bar, where Dr. Joe Danna and his daughter, physician’s assistant Kate Ketterhagen, channel their traditional medical expertise into intravenous (IV) nutrition therapy, supplements and aesthetic Botox treatments. Both Danna and Ketterhagen come from backgrounds in emergency medicine, and now oversee a staff of licensed registered nurses who help clients customize their health and wellness goals, including options to help with energy, weight loss or other individual concerns — even hangovers! The Ivy Bar also offers injectable shots of vitamins such as B12, C and D, or minerals like Biotin and Zinc, which can be added to the IV treatments.
For those looking for a non-invasive wellness afternoon, Fontana’s Avani Spa at the Abbey Resort also offers unique ways to improve health: two salt rooms, each kept at a temperate 75 degrees and incorporating Infrared Light Therapy. “Inhaling the salty air is equivalent to spending several days by the ocean, packed into a 20-minute experience,” Spa Manager Ashley Van Asten explains. “The benefits can include clearer skin, reduction of congestion in both the sinuses and chest and supporting the immune system during the season from allergies, colds, flus and asthma. Salt therapy may also offer a quick and effective way to reduce inflammation.”
Just as the Vitamin D from the summer sunshine gives your skin a natural glow and boosts your mood, Infrared Light Therapy often has the same effect. Similar to the chromotherapy treatments available at The Space, the Infrared Light Therapy at Avani Spa may reduce inflammation for people with arthritis and orthopedic conditions, while helping to improve circulation and eliminate toxins from the body.
Delavan’s Calladora Spa at Lake Lawn Resort offers guests a similar effect with its eucalyptus steam room, where the moist air is infused with eucalyptus oil. The room is kept at a temperature more than 100 degrees and a humidity level near 100 percent. Even before adding the eucalyptus oil, steam rooms are known to have multiple health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and improving circulation, reducing stress, clearing congestion, promoting skin health and loosening stiff joints.
Spa Manager Christine Showalter explains that once the eucalyptus oils are added to the steam, the benefits multiply. “Eucalyptus oil is known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, antiseptic and stimulating properties,” she says. “It reduces exhaustion and mental sluggishness, rejuvenates the body, helps eliminate lactic acid buildup and eases muscle tension and pain. It can also improve the immune system, and aid in the decrease of asthmatic conditions, removing mucus and toxins from the lungs. Plus, it smells good!”
Whatever your winter wellness goals this year, these experts make it clear that the Geneva Lake area offers a full menu of alternative wellness treatments, perfect for mixing and matching. By finding the right combination for your specific wellness path, you can banish the winter blahs and start fully embracing the coziest season of the year.