To say things get a little crazy in the months leading up to a wedding is an understatement. Many brides suffer at least one sort of crisis—whether minuscule or significant—during the process and stress takes a toll. For some the idea of going to a healer may sound a little hippie dippy, but brides and grooms willing to open their minds—and hearts—to the alternative modality can be greatly rewarded with an increased sense of peace and reassurance.
Around the world, healers come in many forms, and many are worth a trek—think of it as a gift to yourself that will have major positive outcomes for your future marriage.
On the Indonesian island of Bali, at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, blind healer Ibu Ketut Mursi was not blessed with sight but has a heightened intuitive awareness and touch. Over the course of an hour or more, with translator assistance, she provides advice related to health and wellbeing, making recommendations for herbs to treat various conditions that could be emotional or physical. One of her go-to treatments: her family’s secret herbal oil blend, passed down by her healer grandfather. She also works to realign and release any blocked energy patterns through body work and reflexology.
In California’s Pacific Palisades, Ayurvedic Panchakarma expert Martha Soffer (at her Surya Spa, where Gwyneth Paltrow and Kourtney Kardashian have been treated) works her magic through personalized treatments that could last hours or even days, blending herbal and massage techniques to detoxify and cleanse the body and mind. Her specialties include giving clients mental and emotional clarity, which are, of course, of utmost importance before you say your vows! Soffer also works with patients to create pre-wedding dietary plans to bring ultimate harmony to their dosha (one of the three Ayurvedic mind-body types that express unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics, called Vata, Pitta, and Kapha)—and fit perfectly into their white dress.
The roots of Ayurveda come from India; the travel company Naya Traveler offers immersive experiences into its many emotionally stimulating rituals. Dr. Isaac Mathai, who has treated royalty, can provide guidance regarding your body and mind’s needs, and prescribe a plan that could include opening the third eye via Shirodhara, or erasing headaches, insomnia and mental tension with Ksheera Dhara. For further spiritual healing, engage Guru Harsha Bhardhini for a spiritual Bharatnatyam lesson to learn the Hindu dance form originally performed in temples to honor the gods.
The resident shaman, Raúl Retana, at One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, leads Temazcal experiences ideal for couples before they walk the aisle. He draws from his indigenous Sonoran Mayo background to create curative ceremonies that have lasted centuries—proof they work if you just let them. The 120-minute cleansing ritual includes a steam bath heated volcanic rocks for a total mind, body and spirit detoxification, perfect for releasing any and all negative energy before the wedding.
Anyone who’s been to Peru knows the mystical presence that pervades, and ayahuasca ceremonies aside, there is quite a bit of healing possible there. Naya Traveler arranges retreats to the lesser-known corners of the country to detox and rekindle one’s relationship with Pachamama, aka Mother Nature, and the Andean spirits. In the Amazon, they’ll connect travelers with a shaman priestess to lead the way. In the Sacred Valley and along the Inca Trail, it’s possible to plan a couple’s healing ceremony with Victor Yana, son of the late, great shaman priest Nazario Turpo. He shares teachings about ancient Inca rituals using the native coca leaf and high-altitude breathing disciplines. The experience might conclude at the thermal baths of Colca Canyon, as condors fly majestically above. Talk about a spiritual experience.