This article originally appeared in Reynolds Living Magazine - subscribe here.

Here comes Jason Plazola for his photo op. He steps out of his car and strides heavenward to a sweeping view of land and water. No wonder he’s smiling before the camera is in focus. This is more than a photo op for Jason. It’s an “escape op.” As the General Manager of Reynolds, he has a million places to be, but in the time it takes to scale the small hill overlooking the Richland Pointe Wellness Center he will forget all but this one.

“I come to this spot as often as I can,” Jason says, strolling through the lobby, saying good mornings, and exiting out the back door to where he does something very unusual for him. He stands perfectly still. Staring across a wide infinity pool and beautiful lawn to Lake Oconee, he shuts off his quicktwitch muscles and turns on his philosophical mode. “From the moment you’re within earshot of the fountains, you sense a shift in energy. The things that don’t matter in the overall scope of life … evaporate. The things that do matter become vivid. And they’re all positive.”

Relaxing music plays over the sound system. Whirlpools bubble. A light scent of eucalyptus fills the air. It’s as peaceful and picturesque as being at the beach and in the mountains at the same time. This seems like a good place and time for Jason to clear something up about wellness.

“The word ‘wellness’ has good intentions, but over the years it’s become an overused marketing term. I think of Richland Pointe as ‘well-being.’ It isn’t just a facility to draw people inside. It’s a road map to a better life. It’s your continual condition — mentally, physically, and emotionally.”

Welcome to Our Blue Zone

In 2005, a National Geographic expeditionist trademarked the term “Blue Zone” as he traveled with a team to find the healthiest, happiest places on earth. The researchers found a few common denominators among the people in each location: they spend time outside, eat healthy foods, enjoy strong community, and practically smile in their sleep.

Richland Pointe is a parallel to a Blue Zone. The lake, the people, the scents and sounds, even the designs set the stage for overall well-being. Everyone does look healthy, and happy, too.

The Spa

The Himalayan hot-stone massage will turn tight muscles into melted butter. Yes, there’s room for couples’ massages. Or take the massage outside.

The Cabanas

One habit found through Blue Zones research is “nature bathing.” Simply, you surround yourself with sights and sounds of forest and flowers.

The Drinks

Hot tea is a staple in many of the Blue Zones. So is wine. Specifically, the daily ritual includes sipping tea or wine before an afternoon nap.

The Pool

This is the liquid hinge between the spa and the lake. Members lounge in a chaise, immersed in the sounds of relaxation: water and soft music.

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