(Last Updated On: November 2, 2016)

Vacations are an escape from the stresses of everyday life, and stress reduction, one of the hallmarks of wellness, often comes naturally while on vacation. In Breckenridge, many visitors are inspired by the healthy lifestyles here to take their search for wellness to the next level.

woods rose from ambika

Herbal elixir using Woods Rose, a local wildflower. Photo courtesy Ambika Herbals.

Wellness is more than just scheduling a visit to the doctor for a runny nose; it is a conscious, self-directed process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more healthful  lifestyle including physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and their environment.

While in Breckenridge, you have many options to elevate your health and wellness with a visit to one of these holistic practitioners.

Acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Acupuncture and TCM have been practiced for thousands of years and the healing benefits have been recognized in the US for many decades now. Local practitioners combine acupuncture (the insertion of very thin needles into specific points in the body to improve energy flow) with Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM includes the use of herbs, tinctures and other modalities, to alleviate pain and address a variety of health concerns to contribute to a greater feeling of well-being.

Acupuncture helps release energy in the body. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Acupuncture

Acupuncture helps release energy in the body. Photo courtesy Breckenridge Acupuncture

Lynne Drakos of Balanced Crane Acupuncture is the longest practicing acupuncturist in Breckenridge. She has treated visitors and locals alike for decades. Many visitors come to Lynne for sports-related injuries and symptoms related to high altitude. Those in the know seek her herbal remedies to help adapt to altitude before arriving in Breckenridge. Part-time residents also visit Lynne for treatments and then follow up with their local practitioner back home.

Jane Matthews of Breckenridge Acupuncture has also been practicing in Breckenridge for many years. She specializes in acupuncture for the treatment of sports injuries and chronic pain, and also helps patients with allergies, digestive disorders, stress, insomnia, and more.


Using native plants found in the Breckenridge area, local practitioner Erica Ragusa of Ambika Herbals creates tinctures, salves, elixirs and “mock-tails” to create healing modalities. She infuses wild rose into an elixir with honey and brandy to aid with digestion and cramping. For massage, the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis is made into a salve for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. Erica creates another salve from a locally abundant wildflower, Fireweed, which is effective on hot, itchy skin conditions. (For more on our local wildflowers and where to find them, see my article here.) Erica also teaches classes on herbals at the Breckenridge Arts District.


reflexology_chart from Feed the sole

Reflexology chart of the foot courtesy Feed the Sole

After spending a day in ski boots, nothing sounds better than a foot massage.  Reflexology is a foot massage of a higher order: it is the gentle manipulation or pressing on certain parts of the foot to produce an effect elsewhere in the body. Many local massage therapists offer reflexology including Blue Sage Spa on Main Street.

Reiki and Energy Work

Reiki energy balancing is a subtle form of hands-on energy work, which awakens life-force energy. Reiki masters claim that the practice helps bring the body to a state of deep healing that nourishes and balances one’s body, mind, emotions and spirit. Reiki is offered at several area massage studios including Breckenridge Mountain Massage and Harmony Health Massage. Inanna Hall at Harmony Health also offers cranial sacral massage and harmonic sound healing.

Ambika Herbals include salves, tinctures, and elixers.

Ambika Herbals offers salves, tinctures, and elixers.

Massage and Yoga

Think of relaxation, and massage and yoga will surely come to mind.  For resources on yoga offerings in Breckenridge, check out this article.  And for more on massage and day spas in Breckenridge, these two articles provide terrific resources.

With so many choices for alternative paths to wellness, a visit to Breckenridge could be the best healthy choice you make this year.







About The Author

Miners and hippies mixed in Breckenridge when Leigh Girvin arrived as a girl with her family in the early 1970’s. She grew up here and has seen Breckenridge blossom from a dusty town with wooden sidewalks to a world-ranked resort community with a burgeoning year-round renown. A long-time non-profit professional in Breckenridge and Summit County, Leigh has interests and background in the environment, education, land use and conservation, history, mining, and the arts. She serves on the Breckenridge Liquor and Marijuana Licensing Authority, and volunteers with Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Creative Arts, and the Summit Nordic Ski Club. Poking around the backcountry near Breckenridge is one of her favorite things to do, whether on foot, on skis, or on wheels. She lives in the incorporated boundaries of the Town of Breckenridge with her sweetheart, dog, two cats and a garden.

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