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Setting The Standard

Like a lot of busy people, sometimes I feel like there’s not enough time to get everything done. My mind won’t shut off, as thoughts run through my head. Sleep isn’t an option.

Since returning from my life-changing trip to Bali last year, I’ve made a conscious effort to maintain balance in my life and to act when things feel off-kilter.  So, early last year, when I was beyond busy building two businesses and juggling the demands of clients and my personal life, I could feel things getting off track and I knew I needed to act.

A friend recommended that I take a weekend to decompress and get away at The Standard Hotel in Miami. For me, South Beach was always a destination for events or fun, never for rejuvenation and relaxation. So, I was surprised when I arrived and was introduced to Mina Gough, the spa director, who greeted me with a sense of ease and had an instant calming effect on me. She helped plan my weekend and figure out all of the activities I hoped to experience.

On the same evening of my arrival, I went to see healing expert Andrew R. Heimann at the recommendation of my spiritually savvy friend, Miguelina Gambaccini. I had no idea what to expect, but she said he would change my world and I trusted her. Until I got there, I didn’t actually even know what he did, but I quickly realized that he is a leading Nutripuncture practitioner. Dating back to 1985, Nutripuncture involves a new generation of dietary supplements based on core mineral complexes that speak directly to the body’s natural ability to self-regulate and revitalize—just what I needed!

Heimann seemed genuinely interested in helping me exorcise the “New York” from my body, noting that it often takes a session for tightly wound city folk to begin relaxing. First, he checked my energy meridians and how I responded to certain trace minerals through Muscle Testing. If you aren’t familiar, this is a kinesiology procedure that works with the nervous system to determine strengths or weaknesses in the body. It is based on the theory that the body contains an "innate spiritual intelligence" which is capable of communicating outwardly through the nervous system to the muscles.

Next, he had me eat a series of trace minerals in a sequence that was supposed to unblock and balance out my energy blockages. Finally, I laid back, as he inserted acupuncture needles at energy points in my ears, wrists, legs and feet. I tried to relax for the 25 minutes they remained in my body and slowly, I felt my body give in and release. I left feeling grounded, deeply rooted and calm in preparation for the rest of the weekend.

Relaxed, but alert and starving, I headed over to The Standard’s Lido Restaurant and Bayside Grill, where the menu is inspired by a traditional Mediterranean diet with a focus on wholesome, natural ingredients and preparation. After dinner I went to bed early, experienced the deepest sleep and woke replenished and ready to start the day. I planned to sample a bunch of the hotel’s signature treatments, particularly the ones that focus on soothing the mind and leaving you recharged and refocused.

My first treatment was the Soul Temple, a four step, two and a half hour Hammam ritual. I waited for the therapist, while lying on the warm marble heated floors. She arrived and took me to the scrub room, where she proceeded to rub down my body with a purifying salt wash, followed by a lemon-coffee-blossom olive stone scrub. It felt like six months of dead skin was rubbed off my body. Once my skin was primed, I was treated to a soothing 60-minute cardamom amber oil massage followed by a detoxifying clay polish and completed with a neroli cypress soak in a ceramic tub. Not only did I feel pampered and cared for, I was also mentally invigorated. I already felt rejuvenated and renewed.

I wanted to do some sort of physical activity and felt The Standard’s Jivamukti class would be the perfect compliment to my spa treatments. There were about ten of us practicing together, and although I practice yoga constantly in New York City, this class seemed to offer a particular sense of community; it was as though I was in another time and place, transported back to Bali. I no longer attached stress to my thoughts and nothing seemed impossible to accomplish or overcome, at least for the hour and half I was there.

After yoga, I ventured back to the spa to try their Fetish Pedicure. Running to appointments all day had taken its toll on my feet (ha, ha!), so I certainly appreciated the 75-minute service. I followed the pedicure with the It’s All In Your Mind treatment, designed to stimulate energy and blood flow to the brain. The therapist worked to release tension and restriction in my neck, scalp and jaw, while I listened to Holosync, a revolutionary audio disk that induces brain wave patterns of deep meditation. I was really doing everything I could to detach myself from the stress of life in a crazy city.

On my final day at The Standard, I scheduled the 60-Minute Repairer Facial, also known as the Standard Custom. This incredible regimen is carefully personalized to the patient’s skin type using Biologique Recherche products, which contain white and green tea extracts, Vitamins A and E and bio-active, organic, raw ingredients that are meant to reinforce and rebuild on the cellular level. I was obsessed with the products and had to buy the exfoliator, which has become one of my favorite go-to products, paired with their special gloves.

Last but not least, I needed to try this unusual treatment with their Hypno-Coach on staff. It was quite intriguing to me, as I have never really gone to therapy, and I had a lot on my plate, including some unanswered questions. So, why not?

I was told that the Hypno-Coach, with a combination of support, honest feedback, intuitive insight and useful tools, would work with me to uncover the root of any concerns. Obviously, I have multiple worries like most people. As soon as I sat down, the coach said, “You want to talk about relationships.” How did she read my mind? I had been thinking a lot about the direction of my relationship, and her frank and insightful statement removed any skepticism I may have unconsciously held. As she counted backwards from 100, I slipped into a hypnotic state and became receptive to the message to trust my intuition and accept my personal truth.

Ironically, in some ways this restoratively packed weekend was similar to my New York life, as I squeezed everything I could possibly experience into three days. However, at least it was all in honor of relaxation! Before departing, I got to meet Chef Mark at the restaurant and experienced an amazing juice tasting, which I think was designed to entice me to return and try their very own detox program. Smart thinking! This three-day getaway was everything I needed and I definitely want to go back soon; this easy, close and results-driven program is all any New Yorker needs.

photo credits: daria riabchenko, adrian gaut