March 2011 Issue
These destinations will leave you feeling refreshed in 24 hours or less.
Once again, you’ve underestimated your tolerance for the Ohio winter. And after four months of being cooped up, you’re ready to push the mental “reset” button. Now.
“We’re going to be stressed,” says Jane Pernotto Ehrman, a mind/body coach at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine. “But the important thing is to have tools to deal with it.” While it is common to be unaware of our own stress levels, Pernotto Ehrman says that high levels of tension and anxiety can damage your overall well-being, which is reason enough to pay attention to your body’s signals.
“We’re too often on autopilot,” she says. “So it’s your job to notice: Are you snapping at others? Irritable? Can’t fall or stay asleep? Always in a rush? Hand in the candy jar?” If so, says Pernotto Ehrman, maybe you should step away from the “to do” list for a little rest and relaxation.
“Stress inhibits your ability to enjoy your life,” she says. “Taking responsibility for your own self care is the only way to be at your highest level of wellness.”
We asked Pernotto Ehrman to identify four principles of wellness — she names stress management, exercise, life balance and learning something new — and found overnight trips that, in addition to a comfortable bed, offer classes, natural settings, spa services and other amenities that will arm you with the tools to balance your mind, body and spirit, even after you check out. For more strategies for incorporating wellness into your daily life, check out my.clevelandclinic.org/wellness
or the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness website, 360-5.com
The Inn & Spa at Honey Run, Millersburg
Set on 70 wooded acres in rural Holmes County, the Inn & Spa at Honey Run is easily cast in the role of a quiet country getaway. But among the facility’s many impressive amenities (award-winning chef, enviable bird watching, proximity to Amish attractions) are wellness classes taught by the inn’s director of spa services, Dave Pratt. Pratt is one of Ohio’s only certified Breema bodywork instructors and practitioners. Breema, which despite its eastern essence originated in the San Francisco area, uses a very gentle combination of touch, stretching and yoga-like movement to enhance physical, mental, and emotional balance. Guests can enjoy an individual session with Pratt, or book an 80-minute session that combines Breema bodywork with a stress-relieving massage. Other packages include a tandem Reiki and massage session, where two practitioners simultaneously attack your sore muscles and stress-relief needs.
This month, the inn is also hosting its popular Sunday night Education Symposium Series. Free for registered guests, the hour-long informal talks are the perfect way to wind down after dinner. Topics include reflexology, the art of Celtic carving and must-see theater in 2011 from Michael Grossberg, theater critic for The Columbus Dispatch.
6920 Co. Rd. 203, Millersburg 44654, 800/708-9394. innathoneyrun.com
Creative Explorations, Yellow Springs
With its strip of artsy shop fronts and fringe of natural standouts — like Glen Helen, John Bryan State Park and Clifton Gorge — there’s a current of creative consciousness in the village of Yellow Springs.
Jenny Horner, owner of Creative Explorations, a women-only retreat space in the downtown strip, helps guests plug into that energy to revitalize their own. And in an age when we can customize everything from our cars to our coffee, her choose-your-own-adventure model is a smart alternative to a one-size-fits all escape.
Overnight guests stay in the second-story retreat space, which Horner, a licensed independent social worker and artist, hand painted with murals of seaside blues and calming greens. The space can sleep three, is equipped with a full kitchen and in every nook you’ll find sand trays, drums, hand-held labyrinths and other experiential healing tools. Horner says some women prefer to do a self-directed retreat, using the space for simple meditation, journaling or other activities. Others choose a facilitated retreat, a build-your-own experience that can include a two-hour creative facilitation with Horner (she uses techniques such as symbolism and imagery to delve deeper into what she likes to call your “inner landscape”), guided nature hikes and healing spa treatments from Eden World, Horner’s other business. Located on the first floor of the retreat space, the spa invites guests to choose from an extensive menu of wellness-promoting services including Reiki, infrared sauna and astrological readings. And while Eden World does, in fact, live up to its name, it’s not just for women, meaning your girls-only getaway might have to go co-ed, if only for an hour or two.
253 Xenia Ave., Yellow Springs 45387, 937/750-4117. creativeexplorations.net
The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, Logan
Sandals resorts can try, but for some of us “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” will always be associated with Patrick Swayze. If this sounds like you, schedule an adult play date with the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls on March 4 for “Friday Night at the Movies.” Held at the Gathering Place, the inn’s environmentally friendly public space, guests can sip hot chocolate or cocktails, make chocolate chip s’mores by the fire and sing and dance along to this month’s movie, “Dirty Dancing” (lyric sheets are provided — as if you need them).
Like the inn itself, the adjacent spa is anything but ordinary, offering a stress-relieving menu of massage and energy work services in one of the prettiest natural settings you’ll find. Learning something new can take the form of energy work with a 50-minute EFT (emotional freedom techniques) session. Grounded in the ideology that unresolved negative emotions can lead to physical ailments and disease, EFT teaches you to ditch your emotional baggage by using your fingertips to tap on your body’s energy points. Other services include reflexology, polarity therapy, cupping massage and soothing facials. A short distance from the inn you can experience nature’s healing energy and the rush of falling water at the 50-foot waterfall at Cedar Falls, part of Hocking Hills State Park.
21190 St. Rte. 374, Logan 43138, 800/653-2557. innatcedarfalls.com
For those who can’t swing an overnight trip, there are, of course, ways to get away without going all that far. Here, some quick trips that will transport you.
The Kerr House in Grand Rapids has been a remarkable destination for mind and body wellness for more than two decades. While most retreats are overnight, the facility offers a day program that includes a mineral bath, 60-minute massage, herbal wrap, facial, yoga and more. thekerrhouse.com
It’s always an island-like 86 degrees inside Kalahari's indoor waterpark in Sandusky, and Cleveland Clinic mind/body coach Jane Pernotto Ehrman says the balmy air is the perfect way to encourage you to breath deeply and relax, while the waterside locale will inspire you to lounge. kalahariresorts.com
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s RainForest offers green canopy, warm temperatures and a 25-foot waterfall. clemetzoo.com
In Cincinnati, Krohn Conservatory's 20-foot waterfall in the Palm House and exotic chocolate, vanilla and guava plants in the Tropical House will make you feel good all over. cincinnatiparks.com
The Orchid Forest at Franklin Park Conservatory delivers hundreds of vibrantly colored tropical orchids set within the conservatory’s rainforest and the gentle sound of its water features. fpconservatory.org/orchids.htm
Experience Wellness Weekend in Yellow Springs (March 18–20) includes an inspiring collection of a la carte yoga, bodywork sessions and wellness workshops, as well as celebrated Jungian workshop leader and keynote speaker, Dr. Sherry Wheaton. yellow-springs-experience.org