Holistic, beautiful, affordable retreat in nature for the Breast Cancer threatened
February 29, 2012 11:09 AM   Subscribe

After scary "you may have breast cancer" tests over the last year and a winter of too much flu and allergy-induced misery, I need a long-weekend getaway to a beautiful, allergen-free or almost free retreat in our majestic country. For a very affordable price. I feel like I need physical and emotional healing and restoration on this trip. I like restorative (or Iyengar) yoga, organic food, massage, hikes/walks outside, swimming in warm water, etc. I want to be around DOWN TO EARTH, interesting (not spooky spiritual) healing people. In a lovely place. I can do a house swap or retreat swap and a barter thing - I have good massage therapy skills and license....and a charming place in a hip village in a cool-to-visit city with a lovely guest room to rent. Ideas?

In the last year, every three months I have been through a battery of mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies of two suspicious "things" in my breast. Each time I am screened, filmed, scanned and cored, I then have to endure the dreaded waiting period until they call with the results.

I do NOT have health insurance. I tried to get a crap policy for catastrophes, but within two months, I had to drop it - it was a choice between heating my house or having insurance.

I'm a single woman with a new, successful, massage therapy business and a bit of school loan debt and very little disposable income. The threat of cancer treatment is just TOO much for me to bear on my own, and it scares me to the core and sends me through the anxiety roof every time.

My body is healthier in a lot of ways than it has been in years. I do yoga, teach water aerobics, grow and eat organic veggies and food, have a support program that has increased my overall well-being tremendously, have friends and love my life. But I have ridiculous allergies to about every pollen and animal under the sun, dust, some foods (gluten, probably lactose, etc) and have this "I am NOT really well and need to get myself deeply healed" nagging feeling inside.

The question is, WHERE can I go to have a long weekend retreat in a Natural setting (on a farm, in a wooded retreat, a protected land preserve of some kind) that includes some affordable healing aspect -- not a commercial "spa" -- not interested AT ALL in the commercial thing -- but maybe a massage therapist, some kind of overnight organic healing thing with healthy food and healing people? When I say affordable, I mean, after airfare, I'm talking $500 or less for the weekend.

I could even do a house swap and trade, as I am a licensed massage therapist with a guest space on AirBnB in a very desirable-to-visit city....have been described as a "gifted massage therapist." I can give you details off-page.

I just need a healing, nurturing, inflammation-reducing escape. Anywhere in the country.


My next trip needs to be lots of good fun and laughs and recreation with great people. I'll be back for ideas for that one!
posted by sleeping beauty to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Where do you live? That will determine what's close and what's affordable, particularly where airfare is concerned.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:22 AM on February 29, 2012

First, I'm sorry that you're a working person who the wealthiest country in human history can not give basic health care to....that changes in 2014 (Thanks Mr. President!), but it's not too much to help you now. Have you looked into Medicaid -- you might qualify if your income and expenditures are low enough.

That being said, a place like Bar Harbor Maine might be exactly what you're looking for....but it's not going to be warm there for a couple months.

If not there, Sedona, Arizona (or a warmer place in south/center Arizona) might be up your alley -- not sure how the desert is for your allergies, but I imagine without to much leafy vegetation of flowers it can't be too bad for it.

You might think it too sandy, but it's really not like that. The clean, crisp, not humid air and the atmosphere might be exactly what you need.

Good luck and feel well.
posted by skepticallypleased at 11:25 AM on February 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

There are a lot of house swaps here in Kauai. The island is known for its healing properties. In fact, I walked with a cane until I moved here!

It is the Garden Island, so there are a lot of pollens around. If you are from the mainland, though, they will be unfamiliar to your system, so I don't think they should be a problem.

If you are doing a house swap, then you can shop at the numerous farmer's markets and eat very well, local, organic, very cheaply.
posted by kamikazegopher at 1:23 PM on February 29, 2012

Best answer: Not knowing where you live makes this hard, but I have great things to say about Hot Springs Arkansas. I am confused though — if you suffer from allergies why do you want to be outdoors?

Anyway, Hot Springs is an inexpensive and charming small town, the country's oldest federal reserve, surrounded by the Ouachita Forrest and Mountains. Bathhouse Row is beautiful, and many of the bathhouses offer wonderful (inexpensive) spa treatments. There is a great little art community there. There are tons of hiking trails from right within the city — one leaves from the pool area of the Arlington Hotel.

It's also AMAZING in the winter.
posted by Brittanie at 3:18 PM on February 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I live in a major city in the Southeast.
posted by sleeping beauty at 3:58 PM on February 29, 2012

Response by poster: But I can fly lots of places (trade with friend who has miles to share)
posted by sleeping beauty at 4:00 PM on February 29, 2012

Best answer: It sounds like Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon would fit really well for you. Their property abuts a gorgeous, old-growth forest, their food is amazing, they have several different hot tub setups -- I *love* their silent pool, which overlooks the valley -- and it's a very calming place. In terms of other activities, from the website:
Move! Stretch! Celebrate! Connect! Several well-being programs are offered daily that may include yoga, meditation, EDGU, guided hikes, systems tours, concerts, dances, singing, Breitenbush history and more! These are offered to you at no additional cost.
posted by funkiwan at 3:57 PM on March 1, 2012

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