Reviewed by Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe in 2022
An innovative new style of wellness retreat launched recently at Cartesiano Urban Wellness Center, situated in the historical city of Puebla, Mexico. The ‘pathways to real change’ wellness program pairs health and wellness coaching from Mayo Clinic certified coaches with a 360-degree wellness program encompassing mental wellness focused nutrition, mindful movement, sound healing, breathwork, spa treatments and advanced wellness experiences with Gharieni technology.
An intimate group of ten participants joined the program and commenced with an intention setting ritual and an integrative health consultation with the on-site doctor. The week was filled with magical moments of connection, creation, unity, harmony and personal growth.
Health and wellness coaching
All retreat participants were introduced to their assigned health and wellness coach prior to arrival and received a personal introduction from their coach. Outlining the goals and objectives of the coaching process, the retreat guests were invited to draw upon their insights, strengths, values, and creativity to make physical, emotional, spiritual, professional, and social transformations to improve their overall level of wellness. At an introductory meeting, guests are invited to enter into the coaching agreement before three in-person coaching sessions take place during the week. Coaching sessions are client-led and can focus on any area of the guest’s home, work or social life, encouraging the guest to set realistic and manageable goals in areas of their life they wish to improve. A group coaching session allowed the participants to access their artistic creativity and delve into the core values and beliefs they hold. After the conclusion of the retreat, all guests have another three coaching sessions to schedule at their convenience, helping them to integrate the life skills learned during the retreat and continuing the coaching process. The coaches are also available for ongoing coaching sessions should the guest wish to continue the relationship.
A conscious nutrition program specifically designed to nurture mental health was implemented over the course of the week-long retreat. Constructed by the talented chef, somatic therapist, and sommelier, Esmeralda Brinn, the program aims to reduce inflammation, clean the digestive system and support the nervous system via fermented foods containing probiotics, vital for neurotransmitter and endocrine and neuronal balance, therefore impacting emotional wellbeing.
The menu was low in glucose and high in powerful antioxidants and prebiotics. Dishes were made with local, seasonal, fresh ingredients, from regenerative agriculture and combined to deliver a sense of enjoyment, important to generate serotonin and endorphins. With dinner, guests were offered a small glass of organic, naturally fermented, biodynamic red wine in order to benefit from its powerful antioxidants.
We began each morning with our anti-inflammatory shot of citrus, turmeric and a tincture of lion’s mane, a mushroom found to stimulate neuron growth and protect against neuron damage and degenerative brain disease. Throughout the day, kefir, kombucha, smoothies, infusions and even natural ginger beer kept us all hydrated. The menu boasted a rainbow of colors with fresh and cooked fruit and vegetables, organic fish and meat, kimchi and sauerkraut and even seemingly indulgent desserts like carrot cake and chocolate oat pudding.
At the farm aptly named ‘Delicias de mi Tierra’ which provides Cartesiano with much of its fresh produce, we got the chance to see the biodynamic farming process and were invited to walk barefoot on the soil, connecting our electromagnetic energy with that of the earth. A delicious lunch was served and the retreat guests were all gifted a brightly colored ear of corn from their harvest of purple, red, yellow, blue and black maize typical of Mexico.
The spa at Cartesiano offers a range of face and body treatments to be enjoyed alongside their steam room, Jacuzzi and hydrotherapy pool. A new addition to the treatment menu is a traditional Thai massage performed over loose clothing to stretch and release tight muscles and invigorate internal organs.
The Gharieni floor provides guests with exceptional wellness experiences to help with stress and tension, sleep disturbances and overall wellbeing. Relax on the heated MLX Quartz lounger as your therapist expertly relieves muscle tension and harmonizes your energy and vibrations with the gentle sound of Tibetan Bowls. Immerse yourself in a meditative state with the Welnamis treatment bed, as binaural beats help you reach theta and delta states while vibrations align the energy chakras of the body through the heated water panel.
Morning yoga classes and breathwork sessions built on each guest’s current practice, while the music experiences and a silent disco allowed creative and expressive energy to flow. This culminated in a harmonious closing ceremony event incorporating dance, song, light, and positive affirmations, as we embraced and shared moments of gratitude around the labyrinth at dusk.
By Sara Jones, Editor
Reviewed by Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe in 2021
Cartesiano Urban Wellness Center aims to touch the soul of every guest that invests their time in the personalized retreat programs of 4, 7, 14 and 21 nights. Making waves in the wellness industry with the new direction it has taken since reopening, Cartesiano, a unique luxury all-inclusive wellness center, the first of its kind in Mexico, welcomes guests in beautifully appointed suites refurbished from the 16th and 17th-century colonial mansion and tile factory from which it was renovated, tying together harmoniously Spanish Baroque style with ancient Aztec influences in the heart of the charming city of Puebla. Boasting a chic spa with hydrotherapy area, a complete wellness floor featuring all the latest technology from Gharieni, yoga spaces, sound healing, breathwork, a stunning rooftop pool, and a restaurant dedicated to healthy nutrition to fuel the body and stimulate the mind, all the elements are in place for transformational change to take place. The magic of Cartesiano however, lies with its staff and their dedication to their chosen passion, coordination and communication, ensuring every guest’s stay flows seamlessly and smoothly, with exceptional attention to detail.
Prior to arrival, guests are invited to complete a survey to identify their goals, in addition to a consultation call with the in-house doctor to ensure the team understands any health concerns, challenges, dietary restrictions or preferences, and can plan accordingly. On arrival, a welcome ritual including a meditative walk and vibrational sound healing sets the scene, enabling guests to find their center, ground their energy and create an intention for their stay. Guests are offered a selection of four custom aromatherapy scents for use in their suite each evening and taught the Cartesiano360 breathing technique to oxygenate the body and calm the mind. After an in-person consultation with the doctor, guests are introduced to the seven pillars of wellness: rhythm and chronobiology, nutrition and consciousness, biophilia and nature, vibration and sound, movement and dance, culture and arts, regeneration and vitality. It is explained that circadian rhythms, natural energy fluctuations, exercise and food habits which all affect our overall health and wellness. Every bespoke wellness program can be adapted as needed to include additional services as the guest wishes.
Treatments include a wide range of spa services such as massages including Body Rhythm Rejuvenating Massage to connect and balance the chakras (energy centers) of the body, Baroque Massage to awaken and harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain, lymphatic drainage, reflexology, deep tissue and more. Body treatments such as Bio-Tuning work on the vibrational energy of the body utilizing tuning forks, Cupping treatment promotes healthy circulation of blood and lymph essential to healing, and body wraps and exfoliations activate and energize the skin. Unique experiences also incorporate the hydrotherapy pool such as the aquatic massage with Janzu style water movements guided by a therapist and accompanied by Tibetan bowls. Facials are expertly customized to each guest’s needs and may include lifting massage techniques, the latest photorejuvenation technology, and a combination of exfoliating and regenerating skin care products.
Advanced Technology from Gharieni
As the only property in Latin America to host all four of the Gharieni treatment technologies, Cartesiano has dedicated an entire floor to this wellness zone.
The world-famous MLX Quartz offers guests intense relaxation and warmth as massages take place atop a bed of heated quartz crystals, table adjustments and sound vibrations from Tibetan bowls in addition to chromotherapy all help to create a completely unique journey.
The Welnamis (formerly SpaWave) utilizes binaural beats delivered via noise-canceling headphones to bring about a state of deep relaxation encouraging the brain to enter theta and delta states where regeneration, healing and meditation occur. The bed includes a heated water panel with chromotherapy and vibrations that flow in waves underneath the body acting specifically on the chakras of the body.
The MLX iDome, a personal far infrared sauna treatment infuses the body with deep penetrating heat to aid the recovery of muscle tissue and increase blood flow to joints and tendons while stimulating the metabolism, relieving inflammation, and invigorating the skin.
The brand new Celliss is a ‘space-age’ looking treatment chair that can deliver invigorating anti-cellulite and slimming massages, sports massage, lymphatic drainage and firming treatments. The mechanical aspiration and percussion stimulates the skin and subcutaneous tissues activating the body’s natural detoxification process.
Sound, Vibration and Breath
Cartesiano brings together an eclectic mix of expert practitioners to deliver unique experiences. Breathing patterns designed to relax and calm the mind while oxygenating the body are taught to each guest and then encouraged throughout the stay with reminders placed in the room at bedtime and check-ins scheduled with the breathwork practitioner.
Sound healing is incorporated into various services with Tibetan bowls, gongs, and chimes accompanying treatments, movement sessions, and meditations.
Meditation, Movement and Art
Mindfulness and moments of calm are built into the agenda throughout the stay and all around the property. The Labyrinth meditation was a memorable moment of calm and reflection as the short meditative walk in and out of the labyrinth is accompanied by soft notes played on the handpan and guided by the voice of one of Cartesiano’s skilled wellness practitioners. Yoga and somatic movement are included every day with a variety of styles including aerial yoga and yoga with ropes; suspend yourself upside down to elongate the spine, release tension and increase cerebral blood flow. Movement sessions are often accompanied by musical instruments and vibrational sound healing.
Art plays an important role at Cartesiano with myriad sculptures and installations around the hotel grounds and wall murals made of the original tiles of the ‘Talavera’ workshop building it originally housed. Visual arts are incorporated into the evening agenda with showings of Louie Schwartzberg’s Moving Art series in the cinema room. Watch mesmerizing footage of flowers blooming, plants sprouting, waterfalls rushing and evolving landscapes from the comfort of reclining loungers under soft blankets, the perfect way to relax before bedtime.
By Sara Jones, editor