Detox, Heat, Repeat: Open Mind was Key to Releasing Stress and Battling Illness

Illustration by Hannah Agosta


It’s a rare human being who doesn’t relish a relaxing, rejuvenating afternoon at the spa. Self-care is a hard-to-come-by commodity in our climate of “rush, hurry, this needed to be done by yesterday.”

Picture a few hours alone—not speaking, texting, calling, or planning but spending your time on activities that nurture body, mind, and spirit. Imagining these concepts is about as far as many of us get.

To qualify: I am female. I eat healthy. I exercise regularly and am reasonably fit. However, I live on the coast, hedged in by beach bodies, so it’s always apparent I have room for improvement. The term “young” no longer applies to me, but “old” is far from reality as well. Bearing all this in mind, I savor any opportunity for a steamy lifting facial or a vigorous deep-tissue massage. And I’m at a point in my life where I’m not only concerned with external beauty but internal health, too.

I drive past O2 Wellness Center in San Clemente on a regular basis. Finally, sheer curiosity propelled me in there to perform all my usual investigative techniques: touring the facility with the owner, pocketing reading materials, returning home, researching on my own, and ruminating on my newly acquired information.

All the traditional spa accouterments are available at 02 Wellness, but this time I’m in the market for something unusual. I enter the center toting a litany of complaints. A lethal sinus infection, a hacking cough, an unrelenting headache, and a runny yet chapped nose. Waging war with this illness has me feeling polluted, irritable, and desperate for a new solution since my ideas aren’t panning out. So, I toss aside daily life’s travails to indulge in a few hours devoted to me.

I get a guided tour of all the services. While I toss back Dixie cups of oxygen-infused alkaline water, the guide answers questions. She’s honest, knowledgeable, and informative without ever being pushy. I’m like a kid at a fair, dying to hit all the rides.

I kick off the affair with a 30-minute ionic foot-detox bath. This bath produces positive and negative ions that echo through the body, removing toxins and rebalancing cellular energy. The pores in our hands and feet are the largest ones in our body. They soak stuff up, hence my cold, but they also readily purge stuff back out. Since I’m on my feet for eight hours a day, sitting still with my feet submerged in warm, salty water is nirvana. Watching the water turn colors as the “ick” is leeched out of me is beyond fascinating.

I move on to the sauna. Traditional dry saunas heat the air to an astronomical 220 degrees. Not here. This infrared sauna goes from 110 to 150 degrees. It heats the body from the inside. Because of this, my core body temperature rises slowly, resulting in a deeper and more detoxifying sweat.

I love being toasty. I lie on my back, lights off. I take deep yoga breaths, in and out, slowing my heart rate. My sinuses and lungs feel less mucked up. Pinpricks of sweat arise on my body. The heat is caressing rather than stifling. During the last few minutes, I scrunch my body into a compact ball then stretch it back out, over and over. My tightly wound natural state is no longer present. Instead, I’m limber, supple, and pliable.

It is in my final treatment when I see how the order of services is significant. Entering the hydration booth after exiting the sauna is blissful. Now my body is treated to a warm, ultrafine mist infused with activated oxygen and platinum, gold, silver, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Harking back to the days of the ancient Romans and Egyptians, the healing properties and health benefits of precious metals are vast and numerous. Today, with our overprocessed food and environment, all of us are lacking—so bring it on!

For me, the booth mimics being underwater. The luminescent lights shift from aquamarine to violet to emerald. Cocooned in mist, I’m adrift at sea, every pore and cell greedily laps up the moisture. The light spray has a slightly metallic aroma, and I envision walking out with gleaming skin. All the sick is siphoned out of me, replaced with regenerated product.

As I curl up in an armchair in the lobby, I suck up a collagen shot through a golden straw. Remember my runny yet chapped nose? I do a five-minute nebulizing session with colloidal silver, breathing it in through both my nose and mouth, doubling down. Colloidal silver fights the good fight against bacteria, so the chapped area eventually disappears.

I’m a firm believer that positive attitude and outlook can affect an outcome. I pay attention when my body speaks. I trudged into the spa saddled with sickness but retained an open mind. I left there brimming with hope and faith in a new experience that I will definitely repeat.

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