Santa Fe’s Next-Level Healing Sanctuary

by Dani Katz
I like to think of Light Vessel Santa Fe as the in-flight spa the Starship Enterprise never had, where each room features a different futuristic machine that uses either light, sound, vibration or magic to support their international (or, interdimensional) clientele in healing, youthing, toning, tightening and optimizing their every fractal cell.

It’s not like Santa Fe wasn’t already enjoying its own thoroughly progressive health scene, which includes a bevy of yoga schools, alternative healers and underground medicine ceremonies, as well as a raw restaurant, a gluten-free bakery and a bone broth joint; but, with the addition of Light Vessel Santa Fe and its next-door neighbor, the Love Yourself Café, Northern New Mexico just reached rock star status when it comes to next-level healing offerings.
 
I’d road-tripped from California to New Mexico on a whim, thus arriving with a hyper-caffeinated, thirteen-hour car-cramped body in desperate need of some healing mojo. And so it was that I beelined for the Love Yourself Café for a paleo cookie and an adrenal-nourishing elixir, only to spend the afternoon flitting between the café and the healing center, to eventually (read: reluctantly) leave a radiant, rejuvenated version of myself.    
 
A man named Victor greeted me upon arrival, his skin verily blinding me with über optimized wellbeing garnished with a dash of immortality. Victor recommended I start off with a ZAAZ stint. Road-weary and altitude-dazed, I availed myself to his guidance, hoping it would render my own skin as dewy and smooth as his.
 
The ZAAZ machine is a whole body vibration contraption that looks like a sawed-off treadmill. It has all of nothing to do with the complexion, but everything to do with shake, shake, shaking. I spent the ensuing twelve minutes balancing on the oscillating platform in a semi-squat position, holding my stomach tight, and challenging myself by speeding it up and slowing it down according to whim and exhaustion. The purpose is to jostle the lymph, and pretty much anything that jiggles, thus facilitating whole body detox. Plus, if my experience is any indication, the machine doubles as a metabolism-boosting, muscle tone tightening portal to a swiftly racing heartbeat and very sore abs. Yay, ZAAZ.   
 
Next was the Vitamin D light therapy treatment, which involved staring at several rows of bright lights while wearing protective goggles. Allegedly, the lights were bathing my system in Vitamin D, but it was kind of hard to tell because my heart was still pounding from the ZAAZ thing, and I don’t know that Vitamin D has any palpable somatic reference points in the body, anyway. But, given that Vitamin D deficiency is wreaking unchecked havoc on moods and thyroids the world over, I figure it couldn’t hurt, right?
 
And this brings us to the crown jewel of my Light Vessel experience - the Lumiere light treatment. The Lumiere is like a helmet that levitates an inch away from your skin, and blasts you with something called “pure, uniform, narrowband red light,” which is at least as bright as the sun, and stimulates the release of collagen, serotonin and dopamine, making it both a beautifying treatment, as well as a mood elevating one.
 
“We call it ‘the happy lamp’,” Victor told me as he positioned the supersonic light helmet over my head, and I remembered my friend Amy - a Lumiere devotee - telling me about her experience of the treatment.
 
“It almost feels like something’s gone terribly wrong,” she said. “Like, you’re really not supposed to be staring into a light that bright, or like you’re gonna die.”
 
Amy’s terror firmly planted in my consciousness, I braced myself for searing eyeballs and thudding brain pain, only to experience a thoroughly dazzling and totally not scary psychedelic light show that I kinda wanted to never, ever end. I emerged a glowing, smooth-surfaced iteration of myself with a distinctly tingly feeling dripping down the sides of my brain. Apparently, you can pair the treatment with a smear of super deluxe collagen, and really dial back the clock on those crow’s feet, but I went au natural, and was still pretty much blown away by the results.
 
“Hiya, gorgeous,” I purred, catching my reflection in the mirror while sipping a Brain Boosting tonic next door.
 
The Love Yourself Café is a testament to a new paradigm of healing, self-care and nourishment, and if that sounds bombastic and hyperbolic and amped up on way too much raw cacao and cordyceps – well, then we’re right on track. And yeah, they offer a sweet and tasty selection of organic, gluten-free dishes made with love and care and a highly refined attunement towards wellness and nourishment (as well as a Southwestern bent, and add-ons like chia seeds and goji berries), but what I dug most about the café was their beverage selection.

Clearly crafted, cultivated and sustained by next-level Ninja health warriors who get it, the café offers a comprehensive selection of wellness tonics, shots and elixirs comprised of superfoods, tonic herbs and wonderfulness. Plus, they serve juices and coffees and adaptogenic teas, and serve them with a smile and the ubiquitous envy-inducing complexions that mark those rocking the new paradigm health path.
 
And so it is that Santa Fe has itself a wellness compound worthy of the Starship Enterprise, but not nearly as hard to visit; which begs the obvious question: When are you getting your butt to northern New Mexico?
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