The effects of technology are quite polarizing. On one hand, it’s allowed us to accomplish things that we could have only dreamed of before. On the other hand, my hand aches while typing this. But seriously, I’ve been battling effects of technology both mentally and physically (especially lately) and I can sense intuitively that others are feeling the same. My chronic shoulder & collarbone alignment that I’ve talked a lot about is completely tied to the amount of time I spend hunched over a computer/camera/phone. Throwing myself into Ashtanga Primary Series helped bring this out with the continuous repetitive downward movements. My body and mind are craving relief and space and openness. I’ve been focusing on finding different ways of relief and I’m so excited to tell you all about this experience I had recently at Mandarin Oriental, New York!
Mandarin Oriental, New York recently released an initiative to help specifically combat the physical and overall wellbeing effects of excess technology use. With the help of the Mayo Clinic they came up with treatments to help people disconnect and give some relief to the way we process our lives through technology. I took a trip up to Mandarin Oriental, New York to see for myself what this treatment actually felt like to experience and I can tell you without a doubt that it’s brilliant.
After surrendering your cellphone you’re whisked away into their quiet sanctuary spa. It’s a respite from the manic hustle and bustle of the city, which 100% gets to me almost immediately when I step off the plane. The whole experience begins with water and aromatherapy. Here’s a little bit about how this goes down:
Detoxing with Shungite stone- To be honest this was the first I’ve heard about Shungite (see above, it's the black rocks inside the water)! It’s found and quarried in one lake area in Russia where the water surrounding it is completely drinkable. Turns out Shungite has a unique chemical composition to help purify water and eliminate bacteria, free radials, metals and toxins. To start the treatment I was served a hefty bottle full of shungite infused water. The therapist explained that Shungite can help eliminate all of the negative elements that we receive from using our cell phones. This is the exact info I received from the spa director if you're interested. Pretty amazing!
Shungite stone is a known natural material that contains powerful antioxidants. The stone shields you from the electro-magnetic radiation given off by technology, including computers, mobile phones, microwaves and television. It has been found to absorb negative energy production, which aids the body in healing and restoring emotional balance and energy.” - Southida Phonphith, Spa Operations Manager
Tips for having purified water:
Lay shungite stones in water so they can enrich the water with fullerenes. Shungite-infused water has powerful antioxidant properties, many times superior to the presently known antioxidants (vitamins C, E, carotenoids, etc.). Shungite stones or fullerenes are able to identify the excess of free radicals and neutralize it, thereby purifying the water.
Aromatherapy Bath- The first 20 minutes is a beautiful soak with aromatherapy oils of your choice. I chose a relaxing and calming sweet aromatherapy oil and honestly it was about 20 degrees outside and nothing sounded better than soaking in a gorgeous tub. *Scents like lavender, sweet orange, and jasmine are are wonderful choices.
Massage focusing on tech muscles. I can’t believe we’ve come to a place where that’s’ actually a thing but nevertheless clearly I’m prime example of having muscular pain from technology. The therapist focused only on my neck, shoulders, hands and wrists with a concentration on releasing tension from those areas that get fatigued by repetitive habits. Rounded shoulders is a key giveaway but also I’ve been told that my pectoral muscles have overdeveloped and the muscles in my mid to upper back are weaker. This causes my shoulders to rotate forward creating painful imbalances. *I recommend seeing Jim for this treatment. He was able to get my shoulders to relax onto the table after applying the perfect strategic pressure. He’s very intuitive!
Shirodhara- Ok so this doesn’t come with the treatment per se but it is available as an add-on and you bet I went for it. I fell asleep on the table! If I still haven’t convinced you to try Shirodhara hopefully this will be the turning point! MO New York has the gorgeous gold Shirodhara stands and it was slowly dripped on my forehead while swinging gently right to left. The nervous system loves this treatment.
Combine all of that with an amethyst steam room, a whirlpool, a relaxation room with a homemade granola bar and hibiscus tea and the stress of winter NYC melts completely away. One of my favorite spaces was the couples treatment room with a fireplace, canopy bed and steam room in the room!
Finding Balance on the Edge of Central Park
The hotel itself is legendary. Our room overlooked Central Park with sweeping windows. There’s a beautiful restaurant, Asiate, which offers artfully designed food with a special offering of wellness nourishment, especially at breakfast. We had a gorgeous East meets West breakfast with a traditional Japanese style offering plus more Western green juice and fresh protein smoothies.
If you visit the city and are looking for a wow-factor cocktail spot, their Aviary NYC bar has the coolest approach to choosing and experiencing a drink. It’s all about balance so you bet I ended each day with a drink overlooking Columbus Circle. The menu has these cool graphics of birds flying and the farther the bird flies on the paper, the more extravagant the presentation is for the drink. Highly recommend also popping into The Office NYC to hang while the bartender makes you a drink to your taste or desire.
Mandarin Oriental, New York is something to put on your radar whether you’re visiting the city or just looking to pop in for a spa day. I’m always looking for sanctuaries in the heart of the city and this is the ultimate!