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Did you know that Sedona’s Healing Desert Heat is available to you, even if you are an autoimmune warrior (like me)? While it’s true that preparing for a summer visit to Sedona with autoimmune considerations involves thoughtful planning, it can be done. I spent a week there during the desert heat of July, and had an amazing time. You can too.

Autoimmune Self-Care

First things first, prioritize consultation with your healthcare provider to discuss potential challenges and receive personalized advice. Familiarize yourself with local healthcare facilities in Sedona to navigate any unexpected health situations effectively.

I have visited Arizona many times in the summer, and every time is glorious. In the desert climate of Sedona during the summer, staying well-hydrated is crucial for managing symptoms and preventing fatigue. Pack a reusable water bottle and consider oral rehydration solutions to combat the dry heat effectively. Invest in high SPF sunscreen, UV-protective clothing, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the intense sun. When it comes to clothing, choose lightweight, breathable fabrics to stay cool, and consider bringing a cooling towel or scarf for instant relief in the heat. For a detailed packing list, as well as personal examples, read here.

For your itinerary, keep things flexible. Include rest periods to manage fatigue associated with autoimmune conditions. Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day to avoid the peak heat, and ensure your plans allow for breaks in shaded areas to escape the sun. Research local dining options in Sedona to identify restaurants that accommodate dietary restrictions, and pack healthy, hydrating snacks.

With these considerations tailored to Sedona’s summer climate, you can look forward to a delightful and health-conscious visit.

You may already know that a trip to Sedona will offer physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional healing, since Sedona is considered one of the most spiritual places in the United States, thanks to the healing vortex energy it offers. But did you know that you can combine a spiritual retreat as part of your self-healing journey? Lodging combined with spiritual, personalized healing sessions is very popular and easy to access.

Getting There:

a trip to Sedona, Arizona, offers you a few airport options depending on your preference for convenience versus cost:

Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG) – This is the nearest commercial airport to Sedona, located about 45 minutes to an hour’s drive away. It’s a smaller airport, so flight options may be more limited, and you might have to connect through a larger hub.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) – As a major international airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. It is about a two-hour drive to Sedona but provides more flight options and frequently cheaper fares than smaller airports. This is the most commonly used airport for travelers visiting Sedona.

Prescott Regional Airport (PRC) – Located in Prescott, Arizona, this airport is about an hour and a half drive from Sedona. It offers limited commercial service but could be a convenient option depending on where you’re flying from.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) – As a major international airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor offers a wide range of domestic and international flights. It is about a two-hour drive to Sedona but provides more flight options and frequently cheaper fares than smaller airports. This is the most commonly used airport for travelers visiting Sedona.

Beginning Your Journey

Start with Sedona Self Love Retreats for a wide array of sessions. If you have an opportunity, do a combination of services at the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. The park is a free public outdoor venue of prayer, meditation, and spiritual renewal for people of all faiths. A peaceful setting, Tibetan Prayer flags blow softly in the breeze. The path then leads to the towering Buddhist stupa.

The Buddhist Stupa

A stupa is defined as a spiritual monument, and is usually a hollow tower symbolizing complete perfection of enlightenment. The main stupa is the crown part of the monument and is filled with over a billion prayers for peace, while the base is a dirt mound with a sacred relic chamber deep within. The dome symbolizes, among other things, the dome of heaven enclosing the earth.

Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park in Sedona, Arizona

Pilgrims worship at a stupa by walking around its outside base, usually clockwise, three times. One primary effect of this practice is mindful meditation for Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Many believe that encircling a stupa purifies negative karma and fosters realizations of the path to enlightenment. This practice is known as circumambulation, and walking around a sacred deity image or temple can be found in other religions as well. 

It’s a public place, so other people likely will be interacting with the site. All are welcome to receive  healing and transformation from the love and compassion of the stupa.

While there, sit in quiet meditation on the perimeter of the stupa. There are chairs placed aside in a covered area which provide shade. This is the perfect setting to recall your intention of self-healing. Practice gratitude to be in the mindful, present moment. It’s a good idea to have your travel journal with you to record your thoughts and feelings.

Prayer flags along your journey for your Sedona's Healing Desert Heat
Peaceful Prayer Flags

In addition to the stupa, prayer wheels line the area, and are filled with hundreds of sacred prayers. At about 5 feet tall, the prayer wheel’s top resembles a very large sewing spool, which is perched on a base. Similar to the stupa, prayer wheels are meant to be circumambulated and spun in a clockwise direction. This is believed to release the virtuous energy of peace and blessings. These vessels are filled with over two million prayers. 

Devotees honor and respect their time spent in prayer in the sacred space by leaving an offering. The offering can be just about anything…fruits and vegetables, coins, symbolic items, written prayers, flowers. 

The Medicine Wheel

An ancient Native American symbol, the Medicine Wheel is a large circle divided into four quadrants, and represents the circle of life. Movement is circular, and typically in a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. The purpose is to align with the forces of Nature, such as the rising and setting of the Sun. As one walks the wheel, they walk the day, the year, a lifetime.

Further connections could include corresponding parts of the Wheel to spring, summer, winter, fall, as well as states of being (spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical) and elements of nature (fire, sun, air, water, and earth). The Medicine Wheel is also known as the Sacred Hoop, and embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree. Each of these aspects symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles or stages of life, for example birth, youth, adult (or elder), and death.

healing open heart

As a self-healing tool, the Medicine Wheel organizes all experiences of one’s life and walking the wheel is meant to facilitate change in one’s suffering, patterns, and stories. It’s hoped that unhealthy energies surrounding pain, loss, trauma are transmuted and will be released. This leads the walker to a new growth, meaning, and purpose. 

The Medicine Wheel contains a universal, timeless energy. Experience the love and protection from unseen ancestral bonds. There are many secrets hidden in the wheel, and also many answers. 

Corn Mother

Finally, participate in Earth based spirituality practices. One session offered by Sedona Self Love is called “Earth and Animal Wisdom” and incorporates a ceremony of song and the use of corn. Not specific to one belief or practice, the ritual honors indigenous people of the desert southwest. Informally known as a Corn Mother Ceremony, it  honors corn as a very sacred gift from the Earth. Because it is not only a food but also a seed, corn was commonly used when making offerings. This represented planting corn as symbolic just as planting seeds of our prayers.

In this spiritual exercise, the outward manifestation of shifting the accountability of personal healing is removed from the facilitator and placed onto self. Personal responsibility for one’s soul journey is placed in one’s own hands.

The ceremony culminates with scattered cornmeal into a small circle on the ground, musical instrument, and traditional Lakota song called, ‘Sacred Circle of Life’.

The final stage is for the participant to enter the circle and announce their new birth, in the form of an intention. Entering this now sacred space represents a physical, spiritual, and emotional healing.

Feeling of victory along your Sedona's Healing Desert Heat

Three circles. Several religions. Countless philosophies. Hundreds of devotees. Thousands and thousands of years. Millions of Prayers. All brought together in the name of Universal Love. All ready and waiting for your self-healing.

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