Our Day at the International Health and Wellness Center at Garden of the Gods Collection

Valery and I share our day discovering the International Health and Wellness Center at Garden of the Gods Collection…

At the foot of the mighty Rocky Mountains, adjacent to the impressive Garden of the Gods, you will find an amazing facility dedicated to integrative medicine, enrichment, wellbeing and relaxation… the International Health and Wellness Center at Garden of the Gods Collection.

The IHWC has assembled experts in medicine, exercise physiology, nutrition, leadership skills, spirituality and other wellness specialties.

Valery and I were invited to visit the IHWC in Colorado Springs to experience for ourselves what the facility has to offer. As we set out to divide and conquer, Valery got to experience the Wellness Spa and I visited the International Health and Wellness center to discover the BOD POD.

Valery shares her non-BOD-POD experience…

As someone who is claustrophobic, the BOD POD was not an option for me… so I was relegated (okay, treated) to the spa for a signature experience, the “Garden of the Gods Glow + Massage.”

When I first entered the lobby, I was greeted promptly at the front desk and whisked away for a tour. The facility is very well appointed, what you would expect from a luxury spa, but topping my list of all-time favorite spa experiences was the salt inhalation room, known as halotherapy (derived from halos, the Greek word for salt). Imagine a room made of pink Himalayan salt blocks with infrared deep heat therapy for stress management and detoxification – pretty D.I.V.I.N.E. if you ask me!

After salting myself thoroughly and a relaxing tea in the waiting area (nestled in my uber-plush robe), my therapist for the day escorted me to a tranquil room where I was going to experience an 80-minute ‘glow’ body treatment (a quick but highly effective exfoliation), along with a full body massage and application of crèmes from Biologique Recherche of Paris.

The exfoliation was seamless to the whole experience, as it was incorporated directly into the massage using a very gentle product. Unlike many old-school, harsh exfoliation techniques that require water to remove, this product was lightly smoothed on then removed gently with a glove, followed directly by a heavenly massage. (Side note… the Spa at Garden of the Gods Collection recently won The Best Body Treatment of 2017 from the esteemed Biologique Recherche in its first ever U.S. award ceremony… after my experience, I can understand why.)

80 minutes later, I was one bliss-filled, exfoliated, pampered camper and ready for lunch, which was a delicious experience in a stunning setting overlooking the Garden of the Gods.

Now back to Raul and the BOD POD…

The BOD POD is a high tech instrument that can precisely measure your body composition (fat vs. lean) using full air displacement.

From my time in the NAVY, I recall we used a system of body measurements to try to estimate body fat, which included a neck circumference measurement, a caliper pinch on the available skin on the back of your arm and a moment on the old scale. These results gave the information needed to look on a table to estimate your body fat percentage. The problem was that this approach could give erroneous results. In cases where there could be a body fat concern, the next level of measurement involved water displacement; you had to get into a tank of water for this process.

Moving forward in time to advanced diagnostics, a BOD POD measurement is easier and much more precise.

First you stand on a scale to calculate your weight and then get into the POD, which resembles Mork’s giant egg (I may be dating myself, but Mork and Mindy was a big sit-com in the late 70’s/early 80’s).

While in the BOD POD, you wear minimal clothing (a speedo or lycra shorts) and in just a few minutes you have your measurement. There is no real notable sensation while you are in the POD and the only issue could be if you have problems with enclosed spaces, hence why Valery got to go to the spa. The computer generates a report and the medical team at the facility can come up with a comprehensive plan to help you optimize your health.

And speaking of health…

As a country, we are in a  major health crisis that the CDC has been monitoring for the last twenty-five years. If you look at the maps of our country, you will see that obesity has been rising at an alarming rate.

One might wonder why the CDC has been simply watching this happen, like a train wreck, without taking action. More so when there are definitive links to major health problems associated with this condition including diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, skeletal problems, psychiatric problems and many more issues are tied into the epidemic. I would speculate that our elected officials have been reluctant to engage an issue that is in great part a huge money generating source; pharmaceutical companies and fast food empires are a couple of beneficiaries of this epidemic.

With this information in mind, If you have realized that you are affected by this disease and are ready to make the major lifestyle changes needed, a baseline BOD POD reading can be a starting point on the road to better health. It essentially quantifies the situation so you know where you stand and the medical staff is there to help you through the process.

The IHWC takes a very holistic, integrated approach to your health management with the following areas covered by doctors, registered nurses and highly trained professionals:

  • Cardiology
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Chiropractic Medicine
  • Certified Fitness training
  • Structural Physiology Movement Integration
  • Reiki and Karuna
  • Nutrition/Dietitian

Lastly I must mention that  the entire facility itself is beautiful. The onsite coffee bar and restaurant offer delicious food and an amazing view to enjoy it in. We did see a wing of rooms where you might stay while receiving treatment and immaculate grounds where you might want to hold events.


The Club at Garden of the Gods
3320 Mesa Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80904


For general information on Garden of the Gods, visit www.gardenofthegodsclub.com

For more information on the International Health and Wellness Center visit www.gardenofthegodsclub.com/resort-information/wellness/