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Nestled between two magnificent mountain ranges in Desert Hot Springs lies The Nurturing Nest, a boutique natural hot springs retreat and spa. Designed with Zen comfort in mind, the retreat features seven minimal yet cozy rooms with pillow top mattresses, fluffy down comforters and private kitchens. The centerpiece of the property is a mineral-rich hot spring enclosed in a glass room, lit by daylight or candles and graced by a beautiful Chinese goddess statue.
This is a place to relax in the healing waters or get deeper into a path of wholeness and self-integration. Owned by Drs. Ramesh and Sandra Gune, this former abandoned hotel has been transformed into a personal wellness hideaway with spa treatments, fasting programs and spiritual therapy sessions.
A former journalist from India working on a U.S politics beat, Ramesh experienced a shift one day and realized, “What I was doing was reporting someone else. People read the newspaper one day and the next day they forget. I wasn’t making much of a difference. I thought it would be better to work with people one on one. So that day I quit journalism and started another course.”
Another course, indeed. He set off to get a master’s degree in psychology, went to Harvard Medical School to study the mind-body connection, became a licensed psychotherapist in California and began working with addicts at the Betty Ford Center. With a bit of divine inspiration, he and his wife Sandra, a holistic chiropractor and therapist, envisioned a place of their own and in 1998 came into ownership of the site that is now their dream come true.
A unique combination of Eastern spirituality and Western scientific medicine has allowed Ramesh and Sandra to develop their therapeutic practices into deeply healing tools. Ramesh specializes in a type of psychotherapy he calls Core Healing, which gets to the core of where one’s psychological problems stem from. “Our mind creates a consciousness of influence and when that influence is used to make emotional shifts in your being, what was once negative can be transformed into something positive. This was taught to me in India by my teacher, a spiritual master, but when I was at Harvard I began to understand the scientific reasons that this is true,” he explains. His wife, Sandra, specializes in a treatment called Bio Energetic Synchronization Treatment (BEST), which removes the emotional disturbance that causes physical pain symptoms in the body.
What is special about the Nurturing Nest is that one can come to this little haven to just enjoy the peaceful environment and healing waters or become immersed in the variety of transformational treatments. Each morning a light breakfast of fruit, yogurt, cereal, coffee and tea is served by the indoor pool. The nearby Joshua Tree National Park, as well a proximity to many other outdoor activities, restaurants and shopping, make this a great weekend getaway.
For a more intense experience, The Nurturing Nest offers a monthly fasting program called the Freedom Retreat. Six days of the Master Cleanse Diet, massage, yoga, hiking, meditation and therapy sessions all led by the Drs. Gune and their team of spiritual professionals is a great way to kick start a program of personal wholeness and integration.