Should You See A Shaman At A Spa?

shaman treatment
••• A woman receives Tibetan Singing Bowl sound healing therapy by former monk and shaman Winnie Rode at Kamalaya resort. Playing the singing bowls produce sound waves similar to our brain waves, inducing a relaxed state. Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand. Getty Images: Matthew Waken

People often go to spas to regroup, heal or help make a transition.  A marriage may have ended.  Someone has died.  A big decision lies ahead.  While a massage is relaxing, it can't help you get in touch with your intuitive side.

To help with that process, spas offer metaphysical spa services, such as time with a shaman, energy healings, tarot card readings, soul retrievals, psychic massages, aura-soma readings and so on.

 This is particularly true in the Southwest, where some of the country's best spas offer services that essentially give spiritual guidance.

There are plenty of different examples of this movement.  In 2014, Canyon Ranch Tucson opened a Spiritual Wellness Center where providers help guests explore and connect more deeply with what brings meaning, value and purpose to your life. Guests can explore a variety of issues -- grief, loss, life changes, creating a spiritual legacy -- no matter what their own spiritual background.

The Spa at The Boulders in Carefree, north of Scottsdale, Arizona, has an outdoor tipi where you can find prayer and intention cards. You are invited to sit in silence, fill your card with personal intention, and place it amongst the others that have been before you. Upon request, the therapist will meet you there to perform a simple sage clearing.  You can also walk the labyrinth, a traditional tool for spiritual contemplation.



Faena Hotel in Miami Beach invited a Mexican shaman to develop treatments that use sound and vibration from singing bowls, warm oil from the sacred South America Palo Santo tree and Brazilian Rose stones.  

Mii Amo in Sedona has many gifted therapists and energy healers. Bhakta Ruttiger, an Aura Soma practitioner who uses the language of color to tell you more about your life, as well as many other gifted therapists and energy healers.


Miraval in Tucson offers a number of specialty bodywork treatments, including intuitive massage and Spirit Flight (combining therapeutic massage, shamanism, drumming, acupuncture, CranioSacral Therapy, and spinal alignment) and uses chumpi stones to balance energy with a healing technique for restoring and elevating feelings of physical vitality, emotional confidence, and mental clarity.

Pachamama, or Earth Mother, is the life-giving, benevolent deity revered by indigenous people of the Andes. Inspired by Incan shamanic traditions, this ceremony celebrates and utilizes Pachamama’s bountiful energy to strengthen the mind-heart-body connection. The practitioner uses chumpi stones to balance energy with a healing technique for restoring and elevating feelings of physical vitality, emotional confidence, and mental clarity.  

A vision quest for the soul, this transformational Shamanic healing ceremony combines modalities from around the world to balance and empower one’s physical, psycho/emotional, and spiritual being. With drumming, reiki, and reflexology massage of extremities, Dr artfully blends sacred Tibetan acupuncture points of enlightenment with Native American shamanic healing practices of his lineage.


You can have a Soul Reading at at Spring Creek Ranch in Jackson Hole.  Amansala Eco-Chic Resort and Retreat in Tulum offers the services of several intuitive shamans.  And at Connecticut’s Norwich Inn, Paula Upton, described as a clairvoyant (sees visions), clairaudient (hears words, phrases, and sounds), and empathic (perceives emotions, feelings, and sensations), also does Tarot readings.

Sound creates, sound changes, and sound heals. Singing bowls produce sound waves that harmonise the brain and stimulate the body to rediscover its own frequency. The different frequencies produced by the bowls, such as alpha, beta, gamma and theta (and more) are carried throughout the body by the water in our cells. These help to release repressed emotions and stimulate feelings of joy and happiness.​  During a session different bowls are used around and on your body while you are reclined on your back.

This allows the therapist to tune into your harmonic frequency and clear your chakras and aura.

My Shamanic Journey

I have had more than my share of these kinds of metaphysical experiences and a lot depends on the talent, training and skillfulness of the person.  I would put a lot of trust in the programs at Canyon Ranch Tucson has a Spiritual Wellness Center I had a wonderful Shamanic Journey at Canyon Ranch Tucson with Jonathan Ellerby, former spiritual programs director.  (The service is now somewhat different and called a Soul Journey.)

At first we were trying to decide whether we should have a consultation (talk) or an experience (a journey).  Ellerby said whenever he couldn't make up his mind, he visualized the choices and imagined what each would feel like.  That helped him tune into what he really wanted, and he followed his intuition.  

Using this method, we decided to talk a little bit and then shift to the "journey".  The experiential part took place in a round, almost cave-like room. We talked about what was going on in my life, then he invited me to lay down on a "magic carpet" -- a comfy mattress wired up to a sound system so I literally felt the vibrations of music. I lay under a blanket, feeling the music, while Jonathan asked me questions in a guided visualization, played a drum, and sensitively led me on a trip to my inner being.  What you see in the guided visualization is highly personal, because you're the person who is creating it.  

When To Walk Away

I can gave you an example of someone who wouldn't be allowed to work at a spa.  I saw a sign for a "past life reading" at a local crystal shop and decided to go for it.  The past life reader asked if I was afraid of fire.  "No."  Nonetheless, she saw me burning to death in a previous life -- and that was about as good as my past lives got.  I had to had to spend a month in therapy to get over it, and remembering it now, perhaps I never really did.

That kind of experience would never happen at a well-known spa because that therapists, shamans or intuitives understand they aren't there to tell people about the bad stuff they might perceive.  They are there to support the people who come to them.