Saturday, April 30, 2011

A different kind of spa experience at Scandinave

There are spas where you can get massages and other body work, and there are massages where you can get facials, pedicures, manicures and other kinds of esthetics done. That's the modern concept of most day spas.

However, spas originally started in Europe and they didn't involve those kinds of treatments, at least not in the beginning. Look it up on an online dictionary or encyclopedia, and you may find the term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy.

Everybody into the spa!
 At Scandinave Spa in Whistler, B.C., you can enjoy the best of both spa worlds: you can enjoy a very relaxing massage or other form of bodywork; and, you can also immerse yourself into the world of balneotherapy, or hydrotherapy. While those two processes are slightly different, they do overlap.

There is an added benefit to enjoying the spa there: you're surrounded by the beauty of the Coastal Mountains.

I had the opportunity to visit there recently, in February 2011.

Those unfamiliar with B.C. weather may not realize that at that time of year, it's often very mild here. So the fact that many of the various hydrotherapy "stations" are located outdoors should not deter you from visiting there at any time of the year. In fact, I found it more invigorating in late winter than I might have during the heat of summer. But, to each his own.

I started off with a Eucalyptus steam bath for 15 minutes, then went outside, plunged into a cold pool for 15 seconds, then hopped out and made a beeline to one of the Adirondack chairs placed around an open outdoor fire.

After some time outdoors, you might want
to have a snack or drink inside the spa by the fireplace.

Again, even though it was February, and I was dressed only in a bathing suit, flip-flops and a towel, I was not uncomfortable.

I repeated that hot-cold-warm process several times, using different parts of the facility: jacuzzi-cold shower-solarium; Finnish sauna-cold pool-solarium; steam room-cold pool-solarium.

After a few hours of that, I was certainly very relaxed. While I didn't have time for a massage that day, the next time I go there, I will make sure I take advantage of that option as well. And there will be a next time...

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