Insider's Guide to Spas
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain


Cranial Release Technique

Rima Suqi

Time & Cost: Initial visit, 30 minutes, $105; repeat visit, 15 minutes, $80

Cranial Release Technique aims to release the body’s ability to heal and regenerate itself, by balancing cranial bones through stretching. The philosophy is that release of the bones in the skull “initiates a release of all of the tissues and structures associated with the cranium,” including the spine, pelvis, shoulders, hips, knees, and fascia.

There are less than 500 qualified CRT practitioners in the world, and Sanctuary has three of them. I worked with Damian.

Damian began our session by asking me about any injuries. He then did an overall inspection of my body, posture, and stance, noting that my left eye and ear were lower than my right, my right leg was lower than my left and my right hip was much weaker than my left.  He then went about doing something that felt like an intense neck stretch while simultaneously doing pressure point work on various parts of my skull. The actual hands-on part of the treatment took 10 minutes.

There are less than 500 qualified CRT practitioners in the world, and Sanctuary has three of them. I worked with Damian.

Afterward, my hips were of equal strength, my legs were of equal length, and my eyes were even.

Damian said that, overall, I was “pretty okay alignment-wise” and that I “must be doing something good,” as I was in better shape than most people he sees. I had just had an Emotional Balancing Treatment at the Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Boulders the day before (read more here:, as well as Watsu and a massage, so perhaps all of that body and spirit work actually worked!

For more information on CRT, go to

Best For: People with chronic aches/pains who want to try another form of treating them, or adventurous spa-goers who want to try something new, or people who don’t have a lot of time and want maximum healing bang for what little time they do have.

Drawbacks: It doesn’t take much time, which didn’t bother me, but some people need to feel that for their money they are getting a lot more attention than what one gets in this treatment. That said, even though it was short, it did work.



Rima Suqi

Rima Suqi

An avid world traveler raised in an international home, Rima has explored and covered emerging destinations in the Middle East and Africa, far-flung luxury resorts in French Polynesia, as well as those closer to home, and the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. Rima has traveled to over 30 countries, writing about the trends and tastemakers for leading travel and lifestyle publications, and subjected herself to innumerable spa treatments — sometimes under very odd circumstances — all in the name of journalism. A weekly contributor to The New York Times Home section, Rima held the envious position of Best Bets Editor at New York Magazine for six years, and is regularly published in national magazines including T Magazine/The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and American Way. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.