SPIRITUALITY AND SPA
A Conversation with Cyndi Tryon
by Jamison Stoike
Spirituality exists in many forms simultaneously, whether it’s in the form of a belief in a higher power or a profound connection with one’s deepest, truest self. Spa, through its unique ability to positively affect a spa-goer’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, is uniquely situated to support the spiritual needs of the world—to help people attain the highest of human needs: self-actualization.
There’s a lot to gain from more actively incorporating aspects of spirituality into your spa’s practices—just ask Cyndi Tryon. Tryon is an internationally-known medium who has spent the last seven years working frequently with world-renowned spas and hoteliers like Four Seasons and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.
I spoke with Tryon recently to learn more about what she does, and dive into how she—and spirituality in general—can provide unique benefits to spa-goers.
PULSE: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How did you enter into the world of spa?
Tryon: I come from Northern Ontario in Canada. I use my intuitive abilities to tune into one’s spiritual energy surrounding the past, present and future to provide life-changing insights. I communicate with loved ones, guides and spirits—it’s been a gift since I was a small child.
I had a master chef client who was hosting a “psychic BBQ.” My job was to provide private mini-readings for each [guest] over the course of the afternoon, including [former ISPA Vice-chairman] Todd Hewitt, who was working at the Four Seasons Toronto at the time. After his reading, he told me he wanted me to come and work at that spa for his guests. This was the first time they had ever entertained any such type of ‘service’ offering but we went for it. It just felt so natural and the rest is history.
P: What does your typical spa service consist of?
T: I always start with a card reading, and I try to help them in a few areas: family, relationships, career, finance…I touch on each one of those areas. Often, we’ll have someone who would like to come through to say hello. So, it could be grandmother, mother, father, a good friend—somebody usually gives them a message that they understand and that might give them some healing or closure. I try to focus on areas that I can help people navigate the world. I don’t focus on negativity, that’s not what I do.
P: What’s the benefit to spa-goers? What’s your goal with each reading?
T: Tapping into your true self, or your higher self. I can help people connect with the energy that they need to help with their wellbeing. We all know that we have layers of energy, and in each reading I step into people’s energy. Sometimes I can feel the pain of a loss; if someone has an injury, I can feel that; I can feel the stress of [parenthood]. By going through each level of those energy layers, we can connect and touch on something that allows them to go forward out of the spa and feel lighter, feel energized. I’m able to help people deal with different areas, and I never know what will happen from reading to reading. Just when I feel that I’ve got it figured out, it changes.
Sometimes [a guest] will come in and I’ll say, “I’m not sure that you need me today, but you need to get that massage, you’re so exhausted.” I’m not a counselor, I’m not a doctor, and I have to make sure they understand that, but I just give them direction and a compass.
P: Practically speaking, spas often have tight appointment times—30 minutes, 50 minutes, 60 minutes, etc. Can you adapt your readings to fit a spa’s schedule?
T: Readings can go from a half hour to an hour, depending on the spa. In a half hour, I’m sort of in a flow and I pump out a lot of information. Spas always have their set treatment times, but if someone needs a bit more, I’m able to give them that time if the spa allows it. I usually try to make sure that the guest has their needs met in the time they have.
P: I’m sure that there are spas that use you for more than just readings. Are there other ways a spa director can use a medium to help boost the presence of spirituality in their spa?
T: I was contacted by a consultant who needed help with the development of a healing room in a new spa project. She was working with a feng shui master but needed something that was more on the spiritual level. I helped with crystal selection: all treatment rooms will have specific crystals embedded into the design of the suites, and there is a beautiful crystal-lined sanctuary where specialized healing treatments will take place.
Another spa wanted to organize a special fundraising event for a regular guest who was going through some major health issues. We provided readings for everyone who made a minimum donation to the fund and we all had such a blast.
P: Speaking of crystals: do you have any guidance for spas—especially those who don’t have access to a medium—wishing to use crystals more?
T: Crystals are a great addition to a spa and treatment room. The best choices are as follows: when you walk into a spa, seeing an amethyst geode will immediately connect one with their higher self. It’s very calming and healing, and it helps remove all of one’s nervousness. It helps one to leave their baggage at the entrance of the spa so that the magic can begin!
For treatment rooms, a large crystal quartz on the counter is great for releasing negative energy and helping to realign the person. [At the start of a treatment], lightly massaging the feet with a piece of red jasper would be very grounding for the client and allow them to achieve the maximum benefits of the treatment. Red jasper carries a strong spiritual grounding vibration and resonates with the lower chakras. The guests don’t even need to know you are doing this, but they will feel the difference.
P: Once a spa has incorporated a few elements of spirituality into their practice, what are the next steps? How might they deepen the spiritual element of their services?
T: Therapists spend all day working on clients with all sorts of different energies, and it is very easy for them to absorb all of the energies—usually the bad ones—that the guest wants to release. It is important for therapists to ground themselves before each treatment. Himalayan salt is a great way of clearing energies from both yourself and the guest. A foot bath with Himalayan salts clears the negative energy from a guest, too. A therapist can quickly touch a Himalayan salt lamp or stones at the end of a treatment. Himalayan salt promotes spiritual, emotional and mental balance by energetically purifying your personal energy field.
P: While I’m sure most spa-goers enter into a reading open-minded, do you have any advice for making skeptics feel more comfortable or reassured?
T: I obviously have people that will come in that will have some skepticism, but word-of-mouth helps. I try to make sure I include everybody from the spa in the readings—if I’ve got 15 minutes free, I’ll provide a reading for a spa staff member so that they’re all well-aware of what I do. Then, word-of-mouth at the front desk with the staff who have experienced it—and with the clients coming out of their readings—creates a buzz. Once people experience it, they talk. Now, there are some people who will always be skeptical, and you can’t change them. But we’ve done a really good job about making sure that the people at the front desk are comfortable with [spirituality].
P: Lastly, let’s say that a spa is interested in bringing a medium into their spa. What should they look for in a medium?
T: If you’re going to bring someone in, you’ll want to make sure that they fit the program; that they come with the highest intentions; that they’re down to earth; that they connect with the staff. You want somebody to be very authentic. They have to be very caring and very committed to the health and wellbeing of people, instead of focusing on “Oh my gosh, this person is going to die next week!” You know what I mean? They need to be very caring, very open and honest.
P: The concept of wellness is ever-expanding, and spa along with it. How do you see the importance of spirituality in spa growing or changing in the 2020s?
T: Everyone’s lives are becoming more and more stressed on a daily basis. [There’s] the non-stop media of bad news. We’re living in a digital age where we are on our phones from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. All of this takes its toll. Spa has always been a place of healing and nothing can replace the healing touch of human hands. And introducing the energy that nature has provided to us through our six senses—including intuition as number six—will allow people to heal themselves. And what better place to do this than a spa?