Experience traditional Mexican folk healing with these 11 treatments.
Wellness vacations are a dime a dozen these days, but Cabo San Lucas’s Resort at Pedregal has gone a step beyond the usual suite of treatments. The resort’s spa offers an experience that not only gets guests back in touch with themselves, but also allows them to connect more deeply with the roots of the local culture with ancient Mexican traditions. The resort’s Luna y Mar spa has—as the name suggests—treatments that focus on the moon and ocean, two undeniable forces that dictate life in Los Cabos. In particular, the spa embraces the principles of curanderismo, a type of Mexican folk healing akin to Eastern medicinal practices such as ayurveda or traditional Chinese medicine.
Under the guidance of local curandera Patricia Carreon, the spa program incorporates aspects of curanderismo—including energy work, moon cycles, rituals, and the natural environment—into celestially and environmentally inspired treatments. No matter which treatment you choose, the experience begins with a ritual foot cleansing that uses sage, rue, rosemary, and holy basil to connect the spa therapist and guest, clear negative thoughts and bad energy, and promote a relaxed and uplifted mood. Here are the healing spa treatments you need to get truly connected to Baja California.
In Mexico, it’s a long-held belief that the four phases of the moon impact the body in different and specific ways. Luna y Mar’s four moon treatments address each of these phases. The Awakening Moon treatment channels the new moon and starts with a mentally and physically refreshing seaweed and eucalyptus salt scrub, followed by a local herb and chili oil full body massage. The Nourishing Moon treatment, which taps into the waxing moon’s revitalizing powers, uses jasmine in its scrubs, wraps, and oil massages to invigorate the creative spirit. The Calming Moon treatment is all about a well-known calming agent, rose, and was designed with the waning moon in mind. Both rosebuds and rose petal essence are used in the exfoliating lymphatic massage and facial. Finally, the Restoring Moon treatment cleanses and fortifies, as only the full moon can. Silk gloves, detoxifying essential oils, and a native herb called damiana that is used to fight depression are incorporated into a fucus algae mud wrap, lymphatic massage, and facial.
With its equally powerful impact on Baja life and culture, the sea is another key element in curanderismo. The Luna y Mar spa pays homage to the ocean in its Sea Ritual, which offers guests a calcium-rich white algae body mask, a red sea algae mud mask, and a warm seashell massage (the marine version of a hot-stone massage). The resort specializes in aquatic massages, where guests are cradled in a warm pool as they relax joint by joint, muscle by muscle. The idea is that, whether overtly or subliminally, guests feel transported back to their mother’s womb and get lost in the motion of the water lapping against their skin. Of course, seaweed body scrubs are on offer as well, and even guests who opt for other treatments are never far from the water’s reach: The spa is designed around a waterfall pool and offers ocean views. Each individual treatment room has large, open doors that allow the sound of the cascading water and crashing waves to infiltrate every treatment.
The final series of curanderismo-specific treatments draws directly from local culture and practice, beginning with the foot cleansing ritual and continuing with a variety of massages and detoxes. The Ancient Massage uses lemons and herbs and hones in on specific pressure points that are important in ancient practices. The Indigenous Herbal Detox employs a potent mix of Baja-native plants to dissolve body fat and release toxins, starting with an energy cleanse, which is then followed by an herbal mud wrap, intended to detox at a deep cellular level. The treatment ends with an even more detoxifying grapefruit and rosemary oil massage. The Aloe Sun Healer program is necessary for the Cabo climate and uses mineral-rich organic algae, freshly cut aloe vera harvested on site, and green tea extract to reduce sun irritation and damage. Finally, the “delicious” Baja Flavor treatment spoils guests with a coconut scrub, mango-aloe vera-honey wrap, scalp treatment, facial mask, and full-body massage with pure coconut oil.