Has it happened to you too? You are sitting over drinks with a friend who is a lawyer, or a gallerist, or owns her own PR firm—something that requires a sensible head and firm grasp on reality—and the conversation segues from where she’s thinking of buying an apartment to the life-changing experience she just had with her shaman, or the crystals she recently installed on her nightstand.
I grew up in Colorado, where the people who wielded crystals usually shared the same Venn diagram with those who forewent deodorant and spoke to trees. So how did New Age make its way from fringe to fashion?
“Everyone I know does some sort of spiritual meditative practice,” notes the L.A.-based actress Tessa Thompson. And while the mind-body movement has already gained solid footing in the worlds of health and fitness, these days it’s taking on new ground—coming to you in the form of soul-defining haircuts, karma cleansing massage, and energy-recalibrating facial treatments.
When Thompson’s skin started breaking out while filming a project in Toronto, for example, she went to an herbalist who recommended she drink a “changing of the seasons soup.” The antidote worked, and now she looks to Chinese face mapping whenever her complexion takes a dive.
Model Angela Lindvall embraces a similar beauty-from-the-inside-out philosophy. She swears by a regimen of acupuncture facials and regular Kundalini yoga as a nonsurgical way to reduce wrinkles and puffiness. “People are so caught up in ‘youth’ on the outside,” she says—but the sense of well-being and balance provided by a holistic lifestyle may offer something less tangible and more rare. “It’s this vibrance that people are seeking,” says Lindvall of a glow that goes “beyond youth.”
“I’ve always been a big believer in energy levels,” agrees the New York star facialist Georgia Louise, whose treatments have become equally renowned for their devotees (Emma Stone, Linda Evangelista), as their mystic touch. In her Art Deco–appointed spa (“I wanted to create something that wasn’t hippie-fied, but quite cool”), she performs Lift and Sculpt facials, which combine state-of-the-art micro-current and LED technology with relaxation and healing techniques including Reiki, acupressure, meditational breathing, manipulating the solar plexus (a web of nerves behind the abdomen considered a gateway to a chakra—an energy center of the body, per yogic and Hinduism traditions), as well as humming chakra bowls, brought to the “same vibration of the earth.”
To drain puffiness and smooth lines and wrinkles, Louise conducts a 20-minute facial massage with a rose quartz stone fashioned into a butterfly, clearing negative and stagnant energy in the face and facilitating enzyme release and drainage.
Rose quartz, she explains, opens the heart chakra, and since Egyptian times has been considered a formidable antiaging remedy. Which probably explains why Miranda Kerr reportedly had it around the lab of her Kora Organics line in Australia. The products, Kerr noted, were infused with good intentions.
If a more extensive—or unorthodox—form of daily introspection proves necessary, there are plenty of luxury escape destinations to help. The world-ranked Mii Amo spaat Enchantment Resort in Sedona, which sits squarely on a vortex (a spot where the earth’s energy is thought to be increased, leading to heightened awareness), offers a sumptuous list of treatments that rival any traditional outpost.
Between private Pilates sessions, hikes through the region’s spectacular Red Rock trails, or dips in the hydrotherapy plunge pool, guests can squeeze in a “Spirit of the New Moon” massage by sinking into a foot bath and writing an intention to be realized in coming months on a slip of paper—then lighting a candle, rolling the paper into a scroll, and sending it on its way to be buried in a canyon down the road. (
An update on this writer’s intention: Still no “Afternoon spent with Taylor Swift” in sight.) Some 250 miles away—at the recently reimagined Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson—Tibetan chakra bowls are regularly worked into treatments, and “Spirit Flight,” a therapeutic massage that incorporates CranioSacral therapy, acupuncture, and healing Shamanism and drumming practices, is just one of a host of holistic offerings that has been added to the menu.
Even the Beverly Hills–based meditation center Unplug, offers urban sanctuary in the form of sold-out 30-to-45-minute sessions that address everything from mindful eating to anxiety.
Of course, few things incite more hand wringing than a dramatic identity-shifting haircut. Ashley Javier, an NYC hair stylist who calls himself a “Shaman with Scissors” makes it a priority to assess what transitions are ahead of a client before any cutting begins.
“It starts with something as simple as: ‘What is your relationship status,’ or ‘Are you trying to change your career?’
As a longtime student of vortex healers, tarot readers, and astrologers over the years himself, Javier—who got his first taste of New Age while working with the designer (and self-described earth mother) Donna Karan—sees an importance in helping someone connect with changing their look. “It’s about creating confidence,” he says simply. Sound crystal clear?