Insider's Guide to Spas


Bodhi Massage and Visualization

Alia Akkam

The Treatment: Bodhi Massage and Visualization

Time & Cost: 105 minutes, $375

Down the lantern-strewn path my therapist, Mary Weber, leads me to our treatment room. En route she tells me in her appropriately soft, calming voice that the Bodhi Massage and Visualization I signed up for, intriguingly incorporating a generous meditation session, is one of the spa’s newest offerings.

Typically, my spa journeys are marked by heady, aroma-fueled deep tissue work that dissipates my chronic lower back pain, or moisturizer-slathering facials that (temporarily) transform my sensitive, wind-battered cheeks into silk. Although my ADD-addled mind often makes meditation of the stare-at-the-wall variety impossible, I’m looking forward to Weber’s guided approach in the hope it will force me to blot out whirring, anxious thoughts.

Weber, who has studied energy work for the past five years, dreamed up this thoughtful mind-body treatment and trained each of the spa’s 50 therapists in its techniques. It is, according to Ella Stimpson, executive director of spa operations for both the Encore and Wynn Las Vegas, intended to “introduce energetic balance and awareness” to the physical transcendence of a massage. “Initially, Mary was inspired by how many clients were experiencing massages on a regular basis and wanted to explore energy work but were intimidated by it,” Stimpson continues. “The Bodhi Massage and Visualization awakens the guest to the many other facets of complete wellness.”

Slicked in Naturopathica lavender massage oil and heightened by a wafting wave of Aromatherapy Associates lavender essential oil—“Lavender is so powerfully balancing both physically and energetically,” Stimpson points out—I receive a thorough massage just shy of 90 minutes that is at once intense and nurturing. Weber even lingers on oft-neglected parts that never before cried for attention, like the ankles and my usually ticklish abdomen.

Afterwards, instead of abruptly rising from the table in an herbaceous cloud, robe-free reality is postponed a tad longer with Weber’s lullaby of a voice weaving me through one color-coded chakra at a time. From the base of my spine up through the crown of my head she tells me to conjure red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, each corresponding to a different, needy chakra. Yellow, cheerful and uplifting, in particular resonates with me. Tied to the third chakra, just above the naval in the solar plexus, it influences power and identity. Then, she encourages me to see these colors in the form of a sweeping figure eight.

As the kaleidoscope of shifting hues churns through my body, I am truly able to exist in the moment. Leaving a spa with knot-free shoulders is always money well worth spent, but when mental clarity accompanies it, like with the Bodhi Massage and Visualization, it’s an empowering bonus.

Best For: Those in search of a balanced wellness experience that bolsters traditional massage with energy work.

Drawbacks: Guests solely craving a silent rubdown may not have the patience to lie through 20 minutes of color-inspired meditation afterwards.


Alia Akkam

Alia Akkam

A native New Yorker, Alia Akkam is a food, drink, travel, and design writer now living out her childhood dreams of Europe in Budapest. She misses Broadway and old-school steakhouses.