Carol Lovell Calvert at The Light Retreat
photography & words: Ellen Gurley
When I first heard of the Light Retreat, it was all I could do to not roll my eyes. It made me think of drumming circles and twirling hippie dippies. I shut down and nothing they said after that made any sense. I could smell some sort of essential oil (in my mind) but I couldn’t hear their words. It took hearing about light therapy from another friend to attempt to open up to what I was originally presented. The Light Retreat is run by a Carol Lovell Calvert. She actually looks like light; all soft, blonde, bouncy hair and bright, blue eyes … and a smile that literally lights up the room. She looks calm and in turn makes you feel the same.
I asked for a tour of the Light Retreat and as I approached the space, to my delight on a ninety degree afternoon in June, the lightest of drizzle came out of the sun. The first thing I noticed after that was a wild life habitat (ducks, cardinals, geese) frolicking peacefully around a pond. Driving out of center city down Providence Road and into this scene, I was already feeling calmer. I had agree to take part in some of her services, admitting to her that I was a skeptic.
People will try nearly anything to leave the hustle and bustle of their day-to-day lives and find a moment of relaxation. Some like yoga, some like massage, some like a good day drive out of town … and some like light therapy (an increasing number at that). There are five different ways to receive light therapy at the Light Retreat. One is a light bed that resembles a tanning booth, one is an ultraviolet light sauna, one is a pad upon which you lay, one is a teeth whitening and nutrient added face light and the final are units (much like athletic straps) that you place on your body and your face. I opted for the last three. It didn’t hurt that there were three women at the retreat that were giving me live testimonials of their experiences. Not only are they visiting the retreat regularly for stress relief, they see other positive benefits of it in other aspects of their wellness (pain management, infection prevention, weight loss, energy restoration, circulation improvement, detoxification, anti-aging, balancing biological functions, etc.).
The sauna is not like the hot, sweaty saunas that you see at the Holiday Inn. It’s an Infrared Sauna that you sit inside of and relax. Jan Jenson (who will tell you the dangers of fillings, cell phones, high-rise condominiums, power lines and other modern day disturbances… if you’ll sit a listen) recently broke a few vertebrae, hips, and knees and attributes the light therapy (obtained from the use of the sauna and her at-home light pads) to her quick recovery. (www.VizualExplorations.SmugMug.com)
The bed is called a Light Canopy. Krista Sigmon, a certified health coach, had a high risk of hereditary breast cancer. Upon getting her first preventive screening (thermagram), she was shown how high of a risk. She promptly started light therapy and her follow-up was hopeful; the risk had gone down. She stopped doing the lights and her next screening was back up again so she has been doing the lights religiously and her risk has not increased a bit upon the implementation of this regular regime. (www.KristaSigmon.com)
The Peace Mat was designed specially by Carol herself for commercial and personal use. Upon my visit, it was so fresh in its organic goodness that I was only the sixth person to lie upon it. The White by Light Teeth Whitening was just something to do. I used to use traditional white strips but felt too much sensitivity. The light promises results with no pain. I was game.
The Star Trek Mind Fit and the body pad with straps are warm to the touch. One goes on your lower back (adrenals), one goes on the chis (the thighs) (and you place your hands atop this), and the last one goes across your eyes. Kathy McNally who suffers daily from rheumatoid arthritis says that she HAS to visit twice a week as the retreat aides in relinquishing her constant discomfort.
Carol also carries both nutrient packed / activated water and a “jiggle machine” (Whole Body Vibration) that the girls all swore by. In addition she offers biofeedback and life coaching sessions. You may spend the night in one of her three available suites, book a team building weekend, enjoy all of her on-site accomodations or just pop in for an hour or two and indulge.
Carol has another light therapy design in the works (remember her Peace Mad). Soon she will celebrate a tabletop version that you can just set up in your home and go about your day while you and your pets reap the benefits. More local educators and doctors are opening their minds to more and more alternative medicine options and in turn have become advocates of Carol’s but due to certain laws (FDA) no one who receives or practices light healing can say certain words (fix, heal etc.) but I do know that I met some women that were literally testifying upon behalf of the benefits. Mind you, I don’t know if it was the lights, the water, the peaceful (and informative) host, the rainforest music or the overall relaxing feel and serenity of the place itself, but I left feeling rejuvenated. That was not my final visit to the Light Retreat.
Until July 31st, Carol is running a special for $35.00 wherein you can visit and try any of the services or light / energy modalities offered at the retreat for a flat rate. So, get hydrated, bring a towel and make your appointment with the Light Retreat today. Your body and mind will thank you and may even pay you back twofold.
7016 Providence Lane West
Charlotte, NC 28226
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