Breathless, I spun through the spa entrance, headed straight for the front desk and declared, “I’m late.”
Then everything changed. The smiling attendant looked at me and said, “No. You’re perfect.” It was like someone hit the pause button in a video of my life. I took a deep breath, looked around, smiled and let myself settle into the rhythm of real time.
Founded by a team of veteran health and wellness professionals, Exhale is not your average spa. While relaxation and pampering are par for the course, the Exhale philosophy goes beyond the obvious with a holistic approach designed to optimize well-being and enhance the mind-body connection.
Consider the proverb: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for life.”
A relaxing massage would have soothed my frenetic energy, giving me temporary comfort, but the disquiet that seems always ready to bubble over when I take on too many things at once probably would have amped up all over again as soon as I hit traffic on the drive home.
Instead, I spent an hour with an acupuncture therapist who devoted significant time to getting to know me and my state of mind on that particular day before she even considered inserting the first needle. (No, the needles don’t hurt. Occasionally, they sting a bit or you’ll feel a jolt of energy, but it’s not painful.) By the end of our chat, she had completely changed her planned course of treatment to better address the ailments and energy blocks she determined were hindering my quest for tranquility and clarity.
Reclined on a table in a treatment room with a beautiful view of Boston Harbor, I relaxed and let the needles do their work. As with previous acupuncture sessions and other energy-related treatments I’ve sampled, I felt some rolling emotion: One moment I would feel myself on the verge of tears and the next I was almost giggling. I felt pops and gurgles my therapist explained were related to energy breaking through long-established blocks, and throughout it all, she continuously monitored my progress.
At the end of the treatment, I felt relaxed and more “in” my body than I had in a long time, but my spa day was just beginning. I changed into yoga shorts and a T-shirt before moving on to my next treatment: shiatsu. The Japanese-style massage is an acupressure therapy in which the therapist applies deep pressure to key points to release energy blocks and enhance the flow of Qi throughout the body. For me, it was the perfect follow-up to the acupuncture treatment, allowing me to work deeper into blocks I hoped to clear away once and for all.
My shiatsu therapist, also a Reiki master, made some spot-on observations about my well-being and state of mind almost before we got started. He picked up on emotional hot spots the acupuncturist had tapped and identified points of disharmony I thought were well-kept secrets. It was an enlightening and liberating experience.
It’s no coincidence that the treatments I selected were both energy-based therapies. Exhale builds its programs based on the understanding that breath — our life force — connects mind to body: “As the principal life force of the human body, the breath is the center of our thoughts, our emotions and our physical prowess. Breathing shapes and molds our existence and helps to bring about the positive changes we see in ourselves. We use the breath to mindfully live in the present moment and to journey through discomfort.”
In no hurry to leave the oasis of tranquility I had discovered at Exhale, I changed into a robe and slippers and headed for the hammam. Modeled after a traditional Turkish bath, the hammam at Exhale is a spacious retreat that enveloped me with warm ambient heat and a gentle mist of light steam. I grabbed a rolled towel to use as a pillow and stretched out on a heated hammam-stone lounge. Other guests came and went without disturbing the hushed ambience; I believe I may have dozed for a few minutes.
By the time I was ready to change back into my street clothes and head home, I had fully embraced the Exhale philosophy: “We believe that for the whole person to not only survive but also thrive, there needs to be a harmonious balance of the three treasures of mind, body and spirit.”
EXHALE BATTERY WHARF
Fairmont Battery Wharf
2 Battery Wharf
Boston, MA 02109
tel 617 603 3100
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Southwest Airlines is adding new flights to, from and within Hawai’i, beginning mid-January 2020. The airline will add a new daily service between Sacramento International Airport and Honolulu (HON), plus new non-stop flights between Oakland (OAK) and San Jose (SJC) and both Kauai (LIH) and the Island of Hawai’i (KOA).
The Luxury Collection welcomes its eighth property in China with the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. The property is situated in the capital of the Guangxi Province, in a high-rise landmark building in the business district.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 24 key metrics to determine the best destinations for an upcoming Oktoberfest celebration. The brand’s study found the estimated cost for an American to attend Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, is $5,000. Munich boasts a $1.43 billion annual economic impact on Munich. During Oktoberfest, nearly 2 million gallons of beer are consumed and more than 510,000 whole roast chickens eaten.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Qantas will start using a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on its Sydney–Santiago route starting in late June 2020.