Riverside Hot Springs Healing Retreat


"A Completely Unique Experience."

Join us at an exclusive Hot Springs sanctuary along the Rio Grande.

Revitalize your mind, body, and spirit at a blissful escape surrounded by wildlife and nature's beauty.

A synergestic combination of healing location, waters, movement, sound, expression and social connection.

A Synergistic Effect...

Healing Waters...

Healing Hot Springs

Opportunities for unlimited soaking in mineral-rich, odorless, crystal clear, healing waters. No heavy sulphur smell like many hot springs.  These geothermal waters  have a natural pH of 7 with some of the most heavily mineralized waters in the United States, containing 38 different minerals. These include: silica, sulfur, sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron, as well as essential trace minerals such as lithium, manganese, bromine, iodine, selenium and radium. The waters flow in abundance at temperatures ranging from 98 to 115 degrees.

I believe that the hot springs exist for a purpose, and that if you come without any consciousness at all and soak in the water, the water will take care of you physically.
~ Steve Kortemeier

Healing Settings...

Magical intertwined spaces...

Tranquil Riverside Setting with Hot Springs for Group Gatherings

Experience indoor and outdoors sanctuaries for healing, connection and authentic expression.

The private outdoor gathering space, set in glorious nature, includes its own large hot springs tub with enchanting views—perfect for conversation and connection in the healing waters.

As needed the group leaders offer their separate private hot springs tub and their connected outdoor setting and facilities.

Two short blocks away...
Restorative Therapy and Creative Arts Center
Our primary meeting venue for indoor actvities. This indoors setting also serves as a backup location for weather changes. An indoor sanctuary for the arts. It has an art studio, an acoustic room which also has a sprung dance floor for movement arts, and a room for private sessions.

Art Studio

Our Art Studio was created as a safe place to play in the realm of visual arts.

We offer the seasoned artist and the raw beginner a wide variety of visual art forms to explore.

People are encouraged to relax and enjoy experimenting with their creativity, honing in on a specific technique, or mixing methods and mediums spontaneously.

Acoustic Room

Designed to enhance music as an expressive art, the pristine sound dynamics support professional performers, or novices who want to explore singing, songwriting and musical aspirations. Plug into our sound system and express your voice, your song, your latest composition, or your first time amplified with a mic. Dive into your creativity and let loose the music inside you. Our array of user-friendly rhythm and sound healing instruments are ideal for bringing people together to share musical connection.

Healing Intention...

Our healing intention is #relaxedAF

It's exactly what you think it is. Our healing intention for this retreat is for you to be as relaxed as possible and for this to be a true retreat from the stress and chaos of the world. Your well-being takes center stage. Our primary healing intention is to create an oasis of tranquility, offering you a genuine retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Embrace the essence of relaxation with scheduled free time, allowing you the freedom to mold your retreat experience as you see fit. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in the planned activities or simply savor the serenity, this retreat is designed for you to unwind, recharge, and rediscover a sense of calm. Your schedule is yours to take or break—because your peace of mind is our top priority.

Healing Movement....

Morning Tai Chi Easy™ Sessions by the River with David

David guides you through a fun, easy, and beneficial practice known as Tai Chi Easy™. Tai Chi Easy™ is a  practice that only has five movements, making it easy to learn, remember, and practice. You do not have to devote years or decades to learning the traditional 108 movement form the calming emotional and health benefits of Tai Chi.  The Tai Chi Easy™ methods are designed to improve the quality of life for people of all ages – whether well or unwell. This includes those who may be dealing with disease, chronic pain and health conditions, limited mobility, deficient immune systems, anxiety or depression. Using simplified Tai Chi based on the four major recognized styles of Tai Chi, this program is straightforward and highly adaptable resulting in empowerment in self-care and self management skills. Harvard Medical School calls Tai Chi "Medication in Motion" and Tai Chi is recommended for fall prevention.

Healing Meditations...

Evening Breathwork and Qigong Sessions by the River with David

Join David each evening by the river, where he leads you in simple practices to combat stress and help the body heal. We'll begin with science-based breathwork techniques that can be practiced in the moment. We'll cover five minute practices that invoke the relaxation response and 15 minute moving meditation sessions designed to bring harmony to your mind, body, and spirit. Learn practices that foster inner peace, mindfulness, and a profound connection with the present moment. The goal is that you return with valuable tools to assist you in combatting stress and enhancing wellness, and enriching your daily life.

Healing Sound...

Group Sound Healing with Christopher in a Purpose-Built Acoustic Oasis

Immerse yourself in a transformative experience with Group Sound Healing led by Christopher in the sonic sanctuary of the Acoustic Room. Bathe in the resonance of pure-tone crystal bowls, didgeridoo, gong, monochord, RAV, N’Goni, flute, drum, and more as they resonate with clarity, guiding you into a state of deep relaxation. Invite the harmonious tapestry of therapeutic sounds and healing vibrations to guide you towards inner coherency and unlock your body's innate healing potential. Together we reset towards peace, fluidity, integration, and health, fostering an environment for letting go of limitations and connecting with your body's natural healing capabilities. Christopher's Dolphin Influence, drawn from six years of connecting with dolphins using sound instruments, adds a unique dimension, creating a transformative and resonant experience.

Healing Expression...

Group Art Outdoors by the Rio Grande with Jessica

Take a whimsical journey of self-discovery with Jessica's Intuitive Art Sessions. Immerse yourself in the liberating world of spontaneous creativity, where every brushstroke and color choice flows from your intuition. Jessica's guidance nurtures an atmosphere of playful exploration, encouraging you to express your innermost thoughts and emotions on canvas. No prior art experience is necessary; these sessions are about tapping into your innate creativity and letting it unfold organically. Join us for a transformative experience as you connect with your intuitive self through the vibrant and expressive realm of intuitive art with Jessica. Play with collaborative artistic expression on a large canvas, letting go and allowing the synergy of group creativity to unfold.

Expressive Writing with David 

Embark on a transformative journey with David as he guides you through Expressive Writing sessions, a unique experience where your written words find release in the dance of flames. Delve into the art of expressive writing as a cathartic outlet for your thoughts, feelings, and creativity. In a serene setting by the fire, let David's gentle guidance inspire introspection and self-expression through the written word. Witness your emotions and ideas take shape on paper and then, in a symbolic act, watch them gracefully merge with the flickering flames. Join us for an immersive and cathartic exploration of expressive writing, where the power of the written word meets the transformative dance of fire.

Not All Inclusive...

Build your own adventure...

What's included?

  • Three Morning Tai Chi Easy™ Sessions by the River with David 
  • Three Evening Breathwork and Qigong Sessions by the River with David 
  • One Morning Group Sound Healing with Christopher in a Purpose-Built Acoustic Oasis 
  • One Morning Group Art Outdoors by the Rio Grande with Jessica 
  • Plenty of time to relax, soak, and enjoy the riverside setting.

What's not included?

  • Transportation 
  • Meals 
  • Lodging

What are optional add-ons?

  • Create your Art Journal: A Three-Hour Session with Jessica
  • Spontaneous Energy Flow Qigong Healing Session with David: A One-Hour Session
  •  Intuitive Painting with Jessica: A Three-Hour Session
  • Craniosacral Therapy with Sound Healing with Christopher 

What's Planned...

The themes are relaxation, going with the flow, letting go, and healing.

Group activities in the mornings and evenings with free time in the afternoons.

May 31, 2024 

Friday Evening Arrival  

Location: Riverside Group Gathering Place 

7:00 pm Gather Riverside for an informal meet and greet
7:30 pm Evening Breathwork and Meditation
8:00 pm Hot Springs Soak
9:00 pm Return to private rooms to rest

June 01, 2024

Saturday Morning Group Offerings

Location: Riverside Group Gathering Place 

8:00 am Morning Tai Chi
9:00 am Break

Location: Emergence Healing and Expressive Arts Center

10:00 am. Sound Healing in the Acoustic Room

Saturday Afternoon Free Time

Location: Town

12:00 -7:00 pm

  • Lunch on your own in town 
  • Tour the town 
  • Attend one of our pre-scheduled Private Offerings
  • Soak in the healing waters  
  • Relax Riverside 
  • Dinner on your own in town 
  • Return to private rooms to rest

Saturday Evening Group Offerings

Location: Riverside Group Gathering Place

7:00 pm Evening Qigong
7:45 pm Expressive Writing
8:00 pm Hot Springs Soak
9:00 pm Leave Riverside Gathering Place

June 02, 2024

Sunday Morning Group Offerings.

Location: Riverside Group Gathering Place

8:00 am. Morning Tai Chi
10:00 am Group Art Outdoors by the Rio Grande — theme of letting go

Sunday Afternoon Free Time

Location: Town

  • Lunch on your own in town 
  • Tour the town 
  • Attend one of our Pre-scheduled Private Offerings 
  • Soak in the healing waters  
  • Relax Riverside 
  • Dinner on your own in town 
  • Return to private rooms to rest

Sunday Evening Group Offerings

Location: Riverside Group Gathering Place

7:00 pm Evening Qigong
7:45 pm Expressive Writing
8:00 pm Hot Springs Soak
9:00 pm Leave Riverside Gathering Place

June 03, 2024

Monday Morning Group Offerings

8:00 am Morning Tai Chi and Qigong
9:00 am Closing Ceremony
9:30 am Depart back to your rooms to continue your adventures on your own

Optional Add Ons

Additional Afternoon Sessions For An Additional Fee

Create your Art Journal: A Three-Hour Session with Jessica

We have room for up to four people at 1 pm on Saturday: 1 person $145; 2 people $85 pp; 3 people $65 pp; 4 people $50 pp + 8.5% NM tax

Making an art journal is about the creative process of binding together paper, color, words, images and anything that forms an expression of what’s meaningful for you. It is a free-form process guided only by your intuition in the moment. In the end, you will have created a book with decorated  and blank pages, that you can continue to fill with your thoughts, feelings, memories and insights. All materials included.
Spontaneous Energy Flow Qigong Healing Session with David: A One-Hour Session
Four Private sessions are available at  1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  $125 + 8.5% NM tax.

This unique experience blends the ancient art of Qigong with David's intuitive approach, guiding you through spontaneous movements to let go off energy blockages and harmonize your body's energy.
Intuitive Painting with Jessica: A Three-Hour Session
We have space for up to four people at 1 pm on Sunday. 1 person $145; 2 people $85 pp; 3 people $65 pp; 4 people $50 pp + 8.5% NM tax
Intuitive Painting is the free-form  unstructured use of acrylic paints on paper. Here, you create what emerges from within you, in the moment. This  is a meditative and creative process where you can explore and uncover aspects of your inner self. We approach art as a form of healing — a safe place where  we can relax, let go and play with color, shape and texture. All materials included.
Craniosacral Therapy with Sound Healing
Four Private sessions are available at  1 pm and 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
1 hour  $125 + 8.5% NM tax. 90 min  $170 + 8.5% NM tax  

Experience the synergy of Craniosacral Therapy and Sound Healing in a private treatment session that blends relaxing therapeutic touch with nurturing sounds and harmonics.  Invite the transportive effects of crystal singing bowls, didgeridoo, tuning forks, monochord, the Wave and more to shift your consciousness and carry you within, into a deeply meditative state.  From here, through the gentle yet powerful touch of Craniosacral Therapy, dive further within, into your innate body wisdom as you explore your personal healing journey.  Craniosacral Therapy treats the body from the brain and spinal cord through the entire connective tissue system, promoting holistic healing.  Fully clothed and tailored to your needs, this session offers deep relaxation and enhanced well-being to body, mind, heart and spirit.  

Only Good Vibes...

Synergistic Holistic Healing Activities

Body, Mind, and Spirit

This retreat intentionally creates settings and activities to maximize relaxation and letting go of the tension and stress of daily living. Our bodies naturally seek balance and equilibrium, supporting inherent self-correcting mechanisms. The body works synergistically towards healing. Through a spectrum of activities, our intention is to support your vision of an authentic healing process. Each session is unique, unfolding naturally around your needs and what you present as significant. We invite your body, mind, heart, emotion and spirit into the healing process.

Why Choose Our Retreat?

Discover the uniqueness...

Escape to Riverside Bliss...

Soulful Sound Healing: Immerse yourself in bespoke sound healing sessions with Christopher in our purpose-built acoustic oasis by the river. Let the harmonics of crystal bowls, didgeridoo, and drum guide you to profound relaxation.  

Riverside Retreat: Nestled by the river, our haven offers a tranquil setting, enhancing your healing journey with the soothing sounds of nature and the rejuvenating energy of flowing water.  

Healing Hot Springs: Surrender to the embrace of healing hot springs, an integral part of your wellness experience. Allow the warmth to melt away tension and enhance the overall therapeutic effects.  

Mind-Body Practices: Elevate your well-being with Tai Chi, Qigong, Dao Yin, and guided meditations led by David. Cultivate balance and harmony through ancient practices, connecting with the flow of nature.  

Intuitive Art Exploration: Join Jessica for intuitive art sessions, a creative expression intertwining with your inner self. Transform emotions into art and experience the therapeutic power of the creative process.  

Personalized Retreat: Tailor your schedule with free time to relish the tranquil riverside ambiance or indulge in personalized moments of reflection.

This retreat is your sanctuary, with each element curated for your holistic rejuvenation.  Embark on a journey where the riverside, healing hot springs, Tai Chi, Qigong, healing sound, healing touch, and intuitive art converge, creating a symphony of wellness for your mind, body, and spirit.

Synergistic Holistic Healing Activities...

Body, Mind, and Spirit...

The Relaxation Response, Homeostasis, and the Healing Cycle

The relaxation response is a physiological and psychological state of restful alertness. It was first introduced by Dr. Herbert Benson, a Harvard physician, in the 1970s as a counterpart to the stress response.

The stress response, also known as the "fight or flight" response, is the body's natural reaction to perceived threats or stressors.  In contrast, the relaxation response is a state of deep rest that can be elicited through various relaxation techniques.  

These techniques aim to activate the body's parasympathetic nervous system, promoting a sense of calm and reducing the physiological effects of stress. Some common methods for inducing the relaxation response include:  

Deep Breathing: Slow, deep breaths can help activate the relaxation response by slowing the heart rate and promoting a sense of calm.
Progressive Relaxation: This involves tensing and then gradually releasing different muscle groups, promoting physical relaxation.  

Meditation: Mindfulness meditation, guided imagery, or other meditation practices can help quiet the mind and induce a state of relaxation.

Daoist Yoga and Dao Yin: Combining physical postures, breath control, and meditation, yoga can be an effective way to elicit the relaxation response.  

Biofeedback: This technique involves using electronic monitoring to gain awareness and control over physiological processes, such as heart rate and muscle tension.  

Tai Chi and Qigong: These mind-body practices involve slow, deliberate movements, deep breathing, and a focus on the present moment.

Visualization: Creating mental images of peaceful and calming scenes can help reduce stress and elicit the relaxation response.

Sound Healing: Sound healing harnesses therapeutic vibrations to induce the relaxation response, promoting calmness and well-being.

Art Making: Engaging in art making activates the relaxation response, fostering a sense of tranquility and emotional well-being.

Nature bathing: immersing oneself in natural surroundings, invokes the relaxation response, fostering a deep sense of calm and connection.

Hot Springs: Soaking in hot springs elicits the relaxation response, providing a serene experience that promotes physical and mental well-being.

Integrating practices like sound healing, art making, nature bathing, mindfulness, moving meditation, and hot springs can create a synergistic holistic healing experience, harmonizing the mind, body, and spirit for comprehensive well-being.

A Fusion of Traditional Practices and Science

Vagus Nerve: The Wandering Nerve

The vagus nerve (cranial nerve X) plays a crucial role in the body's relaxation response and overall well-being. It is the longest cranial nerve, extending from the brainstem down to the abdomen, and it is a key component of the parasympathetic nervous system. The vagus nerve is involved in regulating various bodily functions, including heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, and inflammation.

Vagal Tone:

  1. Definition: Vagal tone refers to the activity level of the vagus nerve. A higher vagal tone is generally associated with a more robust and adaptive parasympathetic nervous system, leading to better stress resilience and overall health.  
  2. Relaxation Response: Activation of the vagus nerve stimulates the relaxation response, promoting a state of calm and restfulness. This is in contrast to the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the "fight or flight" response.  
  3. Heart Rate Variability (HRV): Vagal tone influences heart rate variability, which is the variation in time between successive heartbeats. Higher HRV is often associated with better health outcomes, as it reflects the flexibility and adaptability of the cardiovascular system.

Vagus Nerve Involvement in Healing Practices:

  1. Breathing Techniques: Practices like deep diaphragmatic breathing, commonly used in relaxation techniques, stimulate the vagus nerve and enhance vagal tone. Slow, rhythmic breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system.  
  2. Meditation and Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, including meditation, have been shown to increase vagal tone. Focusing on the present moment and cultivating a sense of calm can positively impact the function of the vagus nerve.  
  3. Sound Healing: Certain frequencies and vibrations used in sound healing have been suggested to stimulate the vagus nerve. This can contribute to the relaxation response and overall well-being.  
  4. Nature Exposure: Spending time in nature, as in nature bathing, has been associated with increased vagal tone. The calming effects of natural environments may contribute to the activation of the vagus nerve.  
  5. Hot Springs and Hydrotherapy: Warm water experiences, such as those in hot springs, have been linked to improved vagal tone. Hydrotherapy can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system, potentially influencing the vagus nerve.  
  6. Art and Creativity: Engaging in creative activities, like art making, has been associated with positive effects on the autonomic nervous system, including potential impacts on vagal tone.  

Practices that activate the vagus nerve and enhance vagal tone are often integral to holistic healing approaches. Combining activities such as deep breathing, meditation, exposure to nature, sound healing, hydrotherapy, and creative expression may create a synergistic effect, contributing to an overall sense of well-being and relaxation.

Meet your Guides

David and Erinn are your hosts for this retreat. Formerly an Information Technology Professional, David began practicing Qigong after two health crises. David is a certified Integral Tai Chi and Qigong Instructor and founder of Energy Center.  David offers classes and workshops in person, online, at universities, and for corporate wellness programs. During the pandemic, David provided free Tai Chi, Qigong, and Mindfulness resources to over 500 veterans. Erinn is your coordinator and concierge. She is the keeper of details and owner of the master spreadsheet.

Christopher and Jessica own both the Riverside Hot Springs Retreat Space and the Healing and Expressive Arts Center. Christopher is an Upledger Institute, Diplomate-Certified Craniosacral Therapist with 33 years experience in the practice of somatic therapies. He specializes in Craniosacral Therapy and Sound Healing.  He continues on his inner quest at Emergence in Truth or Consequences. Jessica pours her creative passion into the center, where she is dedicated to providing a safe, nurturing space for people to explore their own journey, and let loose as she did, creating expressive art that heals the soul.

What Others are Saying...

"An excellent gathering spot, whether that be for a writing workshop, dance class (the studio floor has the most amazing bounce!) movie night, or sound healing seminar. A space flexible enough to meet a myriad of needs combined with friendly, accommodating hosts. What more could you ask for?"

 - Alice Hutchins

“David is a wonderful, knowledgeable teacher.
Great class!
I believe in the benefits of qigong & tai chi.”

 - Yolanda V., Counselor

“David is an awesome Qigong Instructor.

He not only has background in the techniques and benefits, but also the history and lore from its origins.

Practicing with David has been peaceful and therapeutic.”

Scott K., Business Owner

“Take advantage of this great opportunity with a great teacher!"

Roger Jahnke, O.M.D., Author of The Healer Within

Unlock a World of Benefits

The Benefits of Nature Bathing

Nature bathing, also known as forest bathing or shinrin-yoku (in Japanese), is a practice that involves immersing oneself in nature, typically a forest or natural environment, to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The concept originated in Japan and has gained recognition worldwide as a therapeutic and wellness practice.

Key elements of nature bathing include:

Immersive Experience: Nature bathing is not just about physical activity but about fully engaging the senses in a natural environment. This involves observing, listening, smelling, and touching the natural elements around you.

Mindful Presence: Practitioners of nature bathing emphasize being present in the moment and cultivating a mindful awareness of the surroundings. It's about letting go of distractions, such as electronic devices and busy thoughts, to fully connect with nature.

Slow Pacing: Nature bathing encourages a slow and leisurely pace. Rather than rushing through a natural setting, individuals take their time to appreciate the details, the sounds of nature, and the overall atmosphere.

Sensory Engagement: The practice involves paying attention to the sensory experiences of nature, including the rustling of leaves, the scent of pine, the feel of the earth beneath one's feet, and the visual beauty of the surroundings.

Health Benefits: Research suggests that spending time in nature can have various health benefits, including reduced stress levels, improved mood, enhanced immune function, and increased overall well-being. Nature bathing aligns with these findings, emphasizing the positive impact of nature on mental and physical health.

Connection with Nature: Nature bathing is rooted in the idea of fostering a deep connection with the natural world. This connection is seen as essential for overall health and is believed to contribute to a sense of harmony and balance.

To practice nature bathing:

Choose a Natural Setting: Select a natural environment, such as a forest, park, beach, or any place with abundant greenery and natural elements.

Engage the Senses: Pay attention to what you see, hear, smell, and feel. Take your time to appreciate the textures, colors, and sounds of nature.

Mindful Walking: If walking, do so mindfully. Pay attention to each step, the feeling of the ground beneath you, and the movement of your body.

Find a Resting Spot: Take breaks to sit or lie down and simply be in nature. Close your eyes, if comfortable, and focus on your breath.

Disconnect: Consider leaving electronic devices behind or, at the very least, turn off notifications to minimize distractions.

Nature bathing is a flexible and accessible practice that can be adapted to various natural settings and individual preferences. Whether done solo or in a group, it offers an opportunity to recharge, relax, and connect with the healing power of the natural world.

The Benefits of Mineral Hot Springs and Hydrotherapy

Mineral hot springs and hydrotherapy have been appreciated for centuries for their potential health benefits.

Here are some key advantages associated with these therapeutic practices:  

Muscle Relaxation:  

Heat Therapy: The warmth of mineral hot springs helps to relax muscles, reduce muscle tension, and alleviate stiffness. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions or those recovering from physical exertion.

Improved Circulation:  

Vasodilation: Hot water causes blood vessels to dilate, improving blood circulation. Enhanced circulation can contribute to better oxygen and nutrient delivery to various parts of the body, promoting overall cardiovascular health.

Pain Relief: 

Analgesic Effects: The combination of heat and buoyancy in hot springs can have analgesic effects, providing natural pain relief for conditions such as arthritis, joint pain, and muscle soreness.

Reduced Inflammation:  

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The minerals present in hot springs, such as silica, and radium, are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. This can be beneficial for individuals dealing with inflammatory conditions.

Skin Health:  

Detoxification: The warm water in hot springs can open up pores and promote sweating, facilitating the removal of toxins from the body. This process is thought to contribute to clearer and healthier skin.

Stress Reduction:  

Relaxation Response: Immersion in warm water induces a relaxation response, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm. The buoyancy of the water can also contribute to a feeling of weightlessness and relaxation.

Improved Sleep: 

Relaxing Effects: The relaxation induced by hot springs can positively impact sleep quality. The calming effect on the nervous system may help individuals achieve a more restful sleep.

Joint Mobility:  

Increased Flexibility: The heat and buoyancy of hot springs can enhance joint flexibility and mobility, making it an ideal therapy for individuals with conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Balanced Nervous System:  

Autonomic Nervous System Regulation: Hydrotherapy, including hot springs, can help balance the autonomic nervous system, with warm water promoting the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response).

Improved Respiratory Function: 

Steam and Moist Air: Inhaling steam or moist air from hot springs may have benefits for respiratory health. It can help open up airways, ease breathing, and provide relief for conditions like asthma or congestion.

Social and Recreational Benefits:  

Community and Relaxation: Hot springs often provide a social and recreational environment, creating opportunities for social interaction and relaxation, further contributing to overall well-being.

Note: while hot springs and hydrotherapy offer numerous potential benefits, individuals with certain health conditions, such as cardiovascular issues, diabetes, or skin infections, should consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in such practices. Additionally, the mineral content of hot springs can vary, and some people may be sensitive to particular minerals, so it's advisable to be aware of individual reactions.

"Tai Chi is Moving Medication."
~ Harvard Medical School

The Benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong: Mind, Body, and Spirit

Tai Chi and Qigong are traditional Chinese mind-body practices that offer a range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits.

Here are some key advantages associated with the regular practice of Tai Chi and Qigong:

Stress Reduction: Both Tai Chi and Qigong incorporate slow, mindful movements and controlled breathing, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels. These practices activate the parasympathetic nervous system, fostering a sense of calm.

Improved Balance and Stability: The slow, flowing movements of Tai Chi enhance balance and coordination. Regular practice has been shown to reduce the risk of falls, making it particularly beneficial for older adults.

Enhanced Flexibility and Joint Mobility: Tai Chi and Qigong involve gentle, continuous movements that help improve flexibility and maintain joint mobility. This is valuable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

Muscle Strength and Endurance: Despite the low-impact nature of Tai Chi and Qigong, the constant shifting of body weight and controlled movements contribute to muscle strength and endurance. These practices engage various muscle groups throughout the body.

Cardiovascular Health: While not as intense as some aerobic exercises, Tai Chi and Qigong can positively impact cardiovascular health. The combination of controlled breathing and gentle movements may contribute to improved circulation and heart health.

Pain Management: Tai Chi and Qigong have been found to be effective in managing chronic pain conditions, including arthritis and lower back pain. The practices promote relaxation and improve the body's perception of pain.

Immune System Support: Regular practice of Tai Chi and Qigong has been associated with a boost in immune system function. The gentle movements and deep breathing may contribute to overall immune health.

Enhanced Mental Focus and Cognitive Function: Mindful concentration during Tai Chi and Qigong practice helps improve mental focus and cognitive function. These practices have been linked to better attention, memory, and executive function.

Emotional Well-being: The combination of physical movement, breath awareness, and mindfulness in Tai Chi and Qigong fosters emotional well-being. Regular practice may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Increased Energy and Vitality: Tai Chi and Qigong aim to balance the flow of energy (Qi) within the body. Practitioners often report increased energy levels, vitality, and an overall sense of well-being.

Community and Social Interaction: Group classes or community practice sessions provide opportunities for social interaction, fostering a sense of community and support among practitioners.

Adaptability and Accessibility: Tai Chi and Qigong are adaptable to various fitness levels and physical conditions, making them accessible to people of all ages. They can be practiced anywhere without the need for special equipment.

Overall, Tai Chi and Qigong offer a holistic approach to health and well-being, addressing physical, mental, and emotional aspects of wellness. Regular practice, even for a short duration, can lead to lasting benefits in various aspects of one's life.

The Benefits of Craniosacral
and Sound Therapy

Craniosacral therapy and sound therapy are complementary approaches that aim to promote relaxation, balance, and well-being.

Here are some potential benefits associated with each of these therapeutic modalities:  

Craniosacral Therapy:

Stress Reduction:  Craniosacral therapy involves gentle manipulations of the skull, spine, and pelvis, promoting relaxation and helping to release tension stored in the body.

Pain Management:  It may be effective in managing chronic pain conditions, including headaches, migraines, and musculoskeletal pain. The gentle techniques aim to alleviate restrictions in the craniosacral system.

Improved Sleep:  Craniosacral therapy's calming effects may contribute to improved sleep quality by reducing stress and promoting a state of deep relaxation.

Enhanced Mood and Emotional Well-being:  The therapy's holistic approach may have positive effects on emotional well-being, potentially reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Balanced Nervous System:  Craniosacral therapy is thought to influence the autonomic nervous system, promoting balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. Support for the Immune System:  By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, craniosacral therapy may indirectly support the immune system, contributing to overall health.

Improved Fluid Dynamics:  The therapy aims to enhance the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, potentially improving fluid dynamics around the brain and spinal cord.

Sound Therapy:

Stress Reduction and Relaxation:  Sound therapy, including techniques like using singing bowls, gongs, and tuning forks, induces a deep state of relaxation, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm.

Enhanced Meditation and Mindfulness:  Sound therapy is often used in meditation practices, helping individuals achieve a deeper state of mindfulness and focus.

Improved Sleep Quality:  The calming and soothing sounds used in sound therapy can contribute to better sleep by promoting relaxation and reducing insomnia symptoms.

Pain Relief:  Certain frequencies and vibrations used in sound therapy may have analgesic effects, providing relief for chronic pain conditions.

Emotional Release and Healing:  Sound therapy is believed to facilitate emotional release by vibrating and resonating with the body's energy centers, supporting emotional healing.

Balancing Energy Centers:  Sound therapy is often associated with the concept of balancing the body's energy centers, or chakras, contributing to overall well-being.

Enhanced Mood and Creativity:  The harmonious and melodic sounds used in therapy may positively impact mood and creativity, creating a sense of inspiration and inner harmony.

Stimulation of the Parasympathetic Nervous System:  Sound therapy has been shown to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting the relaxation response and reducing the "fight or flight" stress response.

Both craniosacral therapy and sound therapy are gentle and non-invasive modalities that aim to support the body's natural healing processes.

It's important to note that individual responses to these therapies can vary, and they are often used as complementary approaches alongside conventional medical care. Before exploring these therapies, individuals should consult with qualified practitioners to ensure their appropriateness for specific health conditions.

The Benefits of Letting Go
and Creating Art

The creative process of making art can improve and enhance mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

When we consider the relaxation response in the context of art making, it becomes a powerful tool for individuals to manage stress, anxiety, and other emotional challenges.

Here's how art making can be linked to the relaxation response:  

Mindful Creativity: Engaging in the creative process through art making can be a mindful activity. Focusing on the act of creating art in the present moment helps individuals shift their attention away from stressors and worries, promoting a state of relaxation.  

Self-Expression and Emotional Release: Art provides a non-verbal means of expressing emotions and thoughts. Creating art allows individuals to explore and release pent-up emotions, leading to a sense of emotional relief and relaxation.  

Reduction of Anxiety: The act of creating art can have a calming effect on the nervous system. Engaging in a creative activity may activate the parasympathetic nervous system, triggering the relaxation response and helping to reduce anxiety.  

Enhanced Self-Awareness: Art-making encourages self-reflection and self-awareness. Exploring one's thoughts and feelings through art can lead to a deeper understanding of oneself, contributing to a sense of inner peace and relaxation.  

Catharsis and Stress Reduction: Art-making provides a safe and supportive space for individuals to express and process difficult emotions. The act of creating art can be cathartic, allowing for the release of stress and tension.  

Sensory Engagement: The tactile nature of art materials, such as clay, paint, or pencils, engages the senses and can have a grounding effect. This sensory focus can contribute to a state of relaxation and mindfulness.  

Holistic Well-being: Art making involves the individual holistically, considering the interconnectedness of the mind, body, and spirit. By promoting creative expression, art making supports overall well-being, including the relaxation response.  

Art creation can be done by individuals of all ages and backgrounds. We emphasize the importance of creating a safe and calming environment for individuals to explore and express themselves through art.

The Benefits of Group Activities in a Safe, Welcoming, and Relaxing Environment

Bring a Friend!

The ability to save 50% or more on accommodations and enjoy even greater benefits.

A recent study found a 26% decrease in stress when engaging with group activities with friends. 

Expanded version of a residential retreat setting.
Accommodations  with private hot springs.
Eat on your own or enjoy local restaurants.
Explore the personality of the quaint little town.

The Town


           ... not Consequences

In 2002, David interviewed Steve Kortemeier, who then owned the oldest, continuously operated bath house in the area. The hot springs had been in Steve's family since 1972. Steve renamed the bath house to Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs after native spiritual beings that play a role in maintaining balance and harmony and healing. Steve believed the hot springs exist for a purpose, and that if you come without any consciousness at all and soak in the water, the water will take care of you physically. Most of this area information comes from that initial interview with Steve.

Downtown Truth or Consequences sits on a hill above an aquifer. The aquifer was estimated in 1942 to produce 2.26 million gallons a day, making it one of the largest aquifers in North America.

The water flows to the surface through faults, taking routes short enough that the water is still hot when it reaches the surface. The hot water also aids in freeing and dissolving minerals along the way. These unique mineral hot springs have long drawn people to Truth or Consequences.  

Some think the use of these hot springs goes back as far as the first inhabitants. It is not inconceivable that Indians who first settled this area would have discovered the naturally flowing, warm pools of water. The pools were discovered by all who followed. The Chiricahua Apaches named these springs “Place to Pray” and considered the natural hot mineral springs a sacred place: a place for healing, a place for praying, and a gift to be shared with all.  The Spanish later named the springs Ojo Caliente de Las Palomas.  

In 1910, before there were bath houses, people would come down to the water and pull mud up over themselves to soak. Soaking in the mud bogs was a famous therapy for rheumatism. The Rio Grande river ran between present day Truth or Consequences's Main and Broadway streets, but at that time there was only one homestead in Truth or Consequences.

Truth or Consequences began to grow with the construction of the Elephant Butte Dam in 1911. Growth of the town was spurred by a ban on all liquor and gambling establishments within five miles of the dam.

In 1919, the dam was finished and it was decided that twenty miles of river channels were too much to maintain, so a new channel was cut between Truth or Consequences and Williamsburg. The new route shortened the channel length to seven miles, moved the river two blocks south of the present day "La Paloma Too"  bath house location (formerly Hay-Yo-Kay), and reclaimed the area, allowing the bath houses to be built.  

Built in 1920, the Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs and Spa is the oldest continuously operating bathhouse in Truth or Consequences. The original owner was the U.S. Marshal for the area. He lived in one small room and always kept a shotgun in the corner. When he had to go chase the bad boys, he would put up a sign telling bathers to toss their change in a can. Baths were a quarter back then.  

Just before World War II, the number of bathhouses had grown to forty. Today, only eight remain and only three of these have natural flowing pools: Marshall Hot Springs, Indian Springs Bath House and Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs.

Hot Springs, New Mexico changed its name to Truth or Consequences in 1950 as part of a radio show contest hosted by Ralph Edwards. The town won the contest, and the name change became official on March 31, 1950.  

Steve Kortemeier called the name of the town "Truth" saying he preferred Truth to consequences; That has remained David's sentiment as well.

There are eighteen natural spring-fed pools, twelve of which existed on Hay-Yo-Kay property. The remainder of the bathhouses obtain their mineral water through wells.  The temperature of the natural springs varies: One of the factors is the route that the water takes as it travels to the surface; the shorter the route, the warmer the water. Typically, water temperatures range from 101 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit in the Summer and are two to three degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the Winter.

Soaking in a riverside hot spring is definitely the cure for the hectic pace of day-to-day life. It is an experience I would recommend to all whose health allows soaking in the high temperatures.

Places to Stay

Book on your own. Not included in price of retreat.

Blackstone Hot Springs - Luxury Lodging with Personal Hot Springs.

Every room on Blackstone's main property features private in-room hot springs.  Rooms on the north side  offer large, warm spring mineral baths on private patios.  Guests of Blackstone may also reserve any of our three outdoor luxury baths or the Wet Room for additional cost.  

Please call to book your stay: 575-894-0894.

Photo by Blackstone Hot Springs of the Star Wars Bath.

Fire Water Lodge

Enjoy your own private geothermal mineral tub in the comfort of your room. Each room offers a variety of amenities, surrounded by Southwestern designs.

All guests have access to their on-premise kitchen. There is a refrigerator, oven, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and other kitchen supplies.

Enhance your relaxation by making an appointment with one of their recommended massage therapists.

Photo by Fire Water Lodge of the Morning Glory Room and Bath.

Hot Springs Glamp Camp

Book a stay in their remodeled vintage RV’s, the yurt, or their newest accommodation the dome.

Their  camping sites can accommodate any RV (up to 30 ft), Teardrop Campers or Trailers, Tents, Vans, buses, and Car Campers.

All guests have 24/7 access to 3 outdoor, fresh-air tubs, and 1 indoor jetted jacuzzi tub. Guests fill and drain for each use, on a first come first serve basis.


These are just a few selections. There are numerous AirBnBs, local hotels, and the usual national chain hotels. There is the marvelous Riverbend and Ted Turner Reserves Sierra Grande. Message us for a list. Choose the accommodation that fits your budget and creates the experience you wish to have.

Places to Eat

Book on your own. Not included in price of retreat.

Passion Pie Café

Cuisine: American, Vegetarian, coffee drinks.
Open: 7am-1pm Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun
Closed: Mon-Tues-Wed

Stop in for coffee, breakfast or lunch. Menu includes quiche, breakfast croissants, sausage rolls, savory tarts, baked goods, and daily specials. Try their Mediterranean plate: 2 Spanakopita, 2 dolmas, pita, hummus and a Greek salad paired with their house dressing. We are also offer their traditional spanakopita plate.

Photo by David Burch of their Ham and cheese on a Freshly-baked Croissant and Hot Moccachino.

The Giddy Up Cafe

 Friday - 4pm - 8pm
Saturday - 10am - 2pm/  4pm - 8pm
Sunday - 10am - until sell out  (courtyard Brunch special)
Monday - 9am - 12noon Túesday - Taco Tuesday!
5pm - 9pm Take out and patio seating.

LOVE the Vegan Rancheros! Check out their Friday specials!

Photo by David Burch of their Cuban sandwich.

The Restaurant at Sierra Grande

The restaurant serves contemporary American food with a Southwestern twist, made with fresh, local ingredients.

They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also have a beer and wine selection.

On weekends, they have a wine and tapas bar in the evenings

Photo by Erinn of their Southwest Omelette and Huevos with the best coffee around.

GreatFull Grill
Open: 2pm - 10pm everyday

A newly-opened spot for burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sides. You  can place your order at GreatFull and they will bring it to you at the  brewery.  

Photo by David of their Spinach salad with chicken, feta, and strawberries with a wonderful champagne dressing. David had a cheeseburger with waffle fries.

Outer Edge Pizzeria

Open: 11am - 8pm Tuesday to Sunday

Outer Edge Pizzeria serves a wide variety of pizza, pasta, and sandwich options. They also serve garlic bread, hummus, tomato bisque, chicken wings, salads, and desserts.

Photo by Outer Edge Pizzeria is of their Cobb Salad.

Sidekixx Bar and Kitchen

Open: 12noon - 9pm Thursday to Tuesday

Under new ownership, this remodelled bowling alley has live music, comedy or other entertainment happens on occasion. They serve beer and wine alongside a menu featuring pizza, tacos, appetizers, salads and more.

Photo by Sidekixx is of their Margherita pizza.

Truth or Consequences Brewing

Open: 2pm - 10pm everyday

Located in downtown TorC, Truth or Consequences Brewing has a good  selection of craft beers and occasional entertainment.  

Photo by Truth or Consequences Brewing

Los Arcos Steak & Lobster

Open: 5pm - 10:30pm Monday to Saturday

Local surf 'n' turf option since 1970 with a full bar, front desert garden & seasonal patio. Serves vegetarian dishes, steaks, prime rib, lobster, fresh seafood, and chicken.

They offer an extensive wine list, a comfortable bar with outdoor patio, and ample parking. They tend to be open later than other locations and are one of the most expensive options.

Photo from their website.

Check with guides for additional dining options.

Things to Do

Book on your own. Not included in price of retreat.

Historic Downtown Hot Springs & Commercial District

Truth or Consequences has a historic downtown hot spring district and  commercial district, encompassing the loop of Broadway and Main  Streets. The town has a selection of commercial bathhouses, including  riverside and rooftop bathhouses, as well as lodges with private hot  springs. The district also includes art galleries and shops. Explore the  area on foot. Most of the baths are open to walk-ins who can pay to  soak by the half hour or hour.. Try a private soak by the Rio Grande at  Riverbend Hot Springs, enjoy the tubs at the quaint Blackstone Hotel or bathe on the roof of the Charles hotel on Broadway.  

Photo by David Burch for SouthernNewMexico.com of the former Hay-Yo-Kay Hot Springs.

Healing Waters Trail

A few short blocks from the downtown district, escape into nature and  hike the scenic Healing Waters Trail with its sweeping views of  Turtleback Mountain and the Rio Grande. Or enjoy one of the other  local hiking trails.

Photo from sierracountynewmexico.info, where there is more information on things to see and do.

Geronimo Springs Museum

The Geronimo Springs Museum is home to the largest prehistoric pottery collection in Sierra County New Mexico. View Mogollon Mimbres, Northern Jornada, Chaco, Cibola pottery traditions that date from A.D. 200 to A.D. 1350.

The various museum exhibits include: fossils; minerals; Native American Pottery & Projectile Points; Ralph Edwards Room; historic photographs; authentic miner's cabin; ranching; genealogy research; historic newspapers; Camino Real Exhibit; & great examples of Western Artists from southern NM.

Make it a Spa Day

Settled above geothermal hot springs, Sierra Grande's Spa offers a full service spa. Services include curative massages, body treatments, European facials and skincare, and bodywork enhancements.

All services include a 30-minute soak in their geothermal mineral tubs.

Call ahead for an appointment. Photo by Sierra Grande Spa.

There are other spas like Spa Azul and independent spa service providers offering therapeutic bodywork, skincare, and reflexology. 

El Cortez Theater stands as a timeless gem of vintage Americana, constructed in the 1930s and continuing to thrive.

Transport yourself to the golden age of cinema with its 35mm film projection—an authentic experience not to be missed.

As a family-owned and operated single-screen movie theater, El Cortez offers this one-of-a-kind journey into cinematic history, showing new releases at an affordable six dollars per seat.  

Indulge in the charm of yesteryear as you enjoy fresh-popped popcorn, fountain beverages, and a diverse array of snacks.


Book on your own. Not included in price of retreat.

Caballo Lake State Park 

Caballo Lake State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, located 16 miles south of Truth or Consequences on the Rio Grande.

Caballo Lake State Park offers affordable campgrounds and RV sites, located a short walk from the Rio Grande River and the lake. Electric and water hookups are available. 

Spaceport America

Spaceport America is an active test facility and is closed to public access. Launches at the site are not open to public viewing and are subject to scheduling changes. Private tours of the facilities can be arranged in advance through the tour provider Final Frontier Tours at  (575) 267-8888 or by email [email protected]. Guided Spaceport America Experience tours depart from Geronimo Trail Visitor Center 523 North Broadway St., Truth or Consequences, NM and is approximately 40 miles from TorC.

White Sands National Park is a stunning natural wonder located in the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico, USA.

Renowned for its unique landscape, the park is characterized by vast expanses of gleaming white gypsum sand dunes, creating a surreal and mesmerizing environment.  

Visitors can explore the park by walking or sledding down the soft, cool sands, and the park's dunes are known for their brilliant white color, especially during sunrise and sunset.

 The driving distance from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is approximately 130 miles.

Downtown Art Galleries: Explore the art scene in downtown Truth or Consequences, where you can find various galleries showcasing local and regional artwork.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What's Included?

  • Three Morning Tai Chi Easy™ Sessions by the River with David 
  •  Three Evening Breathwork and Qigong Sessions by the River with David  
  • One Morning Group Sound Healing with Christopher in a Purpose-Built Acoustic Oasis  
  • One Morning Group Art Outdoors by the Rio Grande with Jessica  
  • Plenty of time to relax, soak, and enjoy the riverside setting.

What's NOT Included?

  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Lodging

Another that is not listed under "What's Included?" is NOT Included in the cost of the retreat. For example: the price doesn't include the cost of travel, transportation, insurance, meals, drinks, lodging, incidental expenses, or any other expenses.

We designed this retreat to be as affordable as possible. We accomplished this by providing a core set of group activities that accomplish our goals of creating a relaxing and healing retreat using multiple therapeutic modalities. We want anyone, regardless of means, to be able to attend.

We placed these activities in the mornings, allowing you to use the town as an extended retreat center. Build your own adventure by choosing how much you spend and the amenities in your accommodations. Likewise, you choose where to eat your meals, from cooking for yourself to eating out with dining experiences of various price points. You decide what to do and how much to spend on during the free time, your retreat from the retreat.

The meals and lodging choices you make range from budget to luxurious. We leave these choices and this portion of the budgeting to you.

Is the pricing for the retreat based on double occupancy?

The price is per person. The price includes the locations we'll be gathering at for the group activities. It does not include meals, lodging, or travel. You can save on meals and lodging if more than one person attends, depending on where you book. For example: hotels or AirBNBs with kitchens and multiple beds, etc.

What happens in the case of inclimate weather?

 We have wonderful inside and outside locations. If the weather turns bad, we will move the group activities indoors.

Is there a minimum age limit?

This retreat is built for adults in mind. Mature teenagers might benefit as well. 

How long will the early bird special be available?

The early bird special ends March 15th. We also have a payment plan option.

What do I need to bring?

For all activities at the Gathering Space (including "free-time” soaking), participants will need to bring their own towels and water bottles (water bottles can be refilled on site).

For Qigong Group Practice Outdoors, participants should wear loose, comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes.

For Group Sound Healing: participants should wear loose, comfortable clothing. Blankets are provided. The Acoustic Room is a shoes-off zone.  

For Group Art Outdoors, participants should wear a sun hat and bring sunscreen. We will provide participants overalls to protect clothing and covers for shoes.

What Does the #relaxedAF Hashtag Mean?

During the initial idea stage of the planning of this event. David tried to sum up the core feel of the retreat in a hashtag. Every detail from the location to each activity was chosen to leave you feeling as relaxed as possible.

What is the water profile of the hot springs?

Unlike most, there is no sulfur smell...

"The combined flow of the hot springs complex is estimated at 99 liters (3.5 cu ft) per second; the spring system produces 2.5 million gallons of hot mineral water per day, comprising the "largest mineral water aquifer in the Southwestern United States". Water temperatures in the soaking pools range from 100 to 110 °F (38 to 43 °C). The water is heavily mineralized with chloride and sulfates but no sulfur. Trace minerals include: iodide, gold, lithium, magnesium sulfates, potassium chlorate, potassium permanganate, silver, and sodium fluoride." ~ Wikipedia

What are the contraindications for hot spring usage?

Hot springs, while known for their therapeutic properties, may have contradictions such as temperature sensitivity, health considerations (cardiovascular issues, pregnancy), potential for bacterial contamination, skin sensitivity, high-altitude effects, and overcrowding. The chemical composition of hot springs, environmental impact, and accessibility to remote locations are also factors to consider.

It is important that everyone understands the effects of the hot springs so that everyone has a positive and healthful experience. Bathers are also encouraged not to drink alcohol before they soak. This is not a glorified hot tub or a place for partying. A hot tub is regulated by a thermostat. The hot tub heats up, shuts down and cools down, then heats back up again, allowing your body to cool down. These hot springs never cool off.  

The heat is a metabolism exciter. People who are not aware of their blood sugar levels can get into trouble in the 104 degree plus hot water and get so weak that they cannot get out. The hot water also lowers blood pressure and increases the heart rate.

It's important for individuals to be aware of their health conditions and preferences, choose well-maintained springs, and consult with healthcare professionals if needed before soaking in hot springs.

Note: Hot springs are just one of our activities, which have many benefits even if you cannot use the hot springs.

A cool town with a quirky but fun and friendly vibe! Given its small population and small-town vibes, Truth or Consequences is relatively safe compared to the nation when it comes to crime rate. That being said,  travelers should always take caution into account wherever they travel to ensure they remain safe. To ensure your safety and comfort, it is advisable to refrain from traveling alone at night, particularly in dimly lit and sparsely populated locations. Remember to remain vigilant of your personal belongings and stay alert to your surroundings and the people around you. If you are sure to use common sense and always be cautious wherever you go, Truth or Consequences should prove to be a calm and safe place to travel, and enjoy your stay at this quirky, fun, and intriguing place!

How do I get there?

TorC is 146 miles from the Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Take Interstate 25 South and EXIT 79.

TorC is 126 miles from the El Paso International Airport (ELP) in El Paso, Texas. Take Interstate 10 West to Interstate 25 North and EXIT 75.

What's the capacity of the retreat?

Our locations and activities limit us to a maximum group size of nine attendees.