FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Healing in the Hinterlands: Relax and Renew Amid the Curative Nature of Southall Farm & Inn

by Becca Hensley

Feb 21, 2024

© Southall Farm & Inn

February 2024

This isn’t an ordinary Southern back porch kitted out with rocking chairs. Instead, at Southall Farm & Inn, I step out to stand beneath an overhang with vintage barn vibes but stylishly brandishing contemporary pizzaz. A row of glamorous sofa-esque loungers edge an inviting pool that stretches the length of the sitting porch, which might more aptly be dubbed a “soaking” porch. That’s because it holds a wondrous mineral bath, a house-built “natural spring pool” that brims with 60 essential minerals curated by experts with salts from South Africa and born from a momentous amount of research to mirror some of the world’s most curative geothermal springs. While soaking, I gaze upon the bounty of this working-farm-meets-5-star-wellness-resort, a 325-acre haven of healing repose.

In the pastoral hinterlands that wreathe Franklin, Tennessee, a historic town hear Nashville, Southall Farm & Inn comprises a blend of old and new. It pays homage to the bucolic land itself and the traditions of the past with its fusion manifested by new-built, eco-contemporary buildings that dot the farm, harmonizing with the landscape. Within its borders lie an apple orchard with some 1,400 trees; seven apiaries; abundant, lovingly tended heritage crops; greenhouses; hydroponic gardens; 16 villas; a main house with 62 airy guestrooms; a manmade lake; and two acclaimed seed-to-plate restaurants. But its essence lies in its transformative spa occupying a large section of the lodge structure.

spa

© Southall Farm & Inn

In truth, Southall Farm & Inn would be a wellness destination even
if it did not offer up its peaceful sanctuary-like spa. That is, simply upon entering the farm one begins to relax and renew. Verdant nature effuses its medicine organically via the view, the plant life, the variety of twisting trails, the floral- and pine-scented air, the chirping birds, the robust architecture and the wholesome ambience. The restaurants, for their part, take full advantage of the produce grown on property as well as products that hail from neighboring farms. The bee hives provide honey. Apples from the orchard tempt from bowls in your room and the gym. At every meal salubrious options stand out, whether smoothies or towering salads. Outdoor activities seal the deal from forest bathing and falconry to fly-fishing, canoeing and a challenging aerial adventure course.

But the spa is the retreat’s pièce de résistance. Envisioned by its owners as the soul of the property, The Spa at Southall was created to be a portal on your journey du jour, whether that entails relaxation, physical detox or spiritual replenishment. It’s a place where you can while away the entire day, puttering around the medicinal herb garden, submerging in the porch’s mineral pool, using the yoga studio or state-of-the-art gym, taking a meditation or sound bowl class, sitting in the Himalayan salt sauna and sipping tea made from foraged herbs in the relaxation room. Produce from the farm plays a key role in some treatments, but for the most part body and spa rituals are supported by clean, green spa companies such as Seed to Skin and Naturopathica.

Philosophically inspired by the earth, The Spa at Southall borrows its raison d’être from the farm. That is, like the gardener or farmer who plants and nurtures a seed to help it grow in Southall’s fields, the spa supports transformation, offering guests the curative tools to take healing into their own hands, to become the gardener on their own wellness journey. With a spa menu and professionals well-trained in both ancient therapies and modern techniques, the spa encompasses eight individual treatment rooms and two suites. Be sure not to miss the following wellness moments.

sound healing

© Southall Farm & Inn

The 120-minute, four-season Medicine Wheel ritual draws inspiration from the Native Americans and their sacred medicine wheel, the herbal healing heritage of Appalachian settlers and the collected legacies of centuries of shamans. Meant to help harmonize the intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives, it awakens all five senses through a variety of spa techniques,
aromas, textures, stories and stimulus. Expect aromatherapy, crystal healing and massage, among other modalities. You’ll leave with better metaphorical vision, feeling you’ve pivoted to a new — perhaps higher — place.

The Pilgrimage, a 90-minute guided energy ceremony, allows participants to safely wander through and collect knowledge from their personal landscape, to go more deeply with spa therapist support than they might alone. The goal is clarity and rumination. The results can be used as a jump start for change, a reset or a cleansing.

The Himalayan Salt Sauna offers an experience like no other. Boosting health, Himalayan salt promotes healing. When heated, though odorless it releases negative ions which impart a sense of well-being. Studies show it can aid the respiratory system, lessen stress and provide tranquility.

As mentioned, the house-crafted Mineral Pool is a highlight. Infused with prodigious, hand-harvested South African salts, it provides a unique (and euphoria-making) bath of 60 essential minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Mineral pools boost circulation, aid in better sleep, relieve muscle pain and promote relaxation.

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