A trip to the spa is the ultimate indulgence. Relaxation is a given, but there are countless other health benefits too. Check out these remarkable spa experiences that incorporate elements of nature, promoting good health and well-being.
Salt Cave at High Care Wellness Centre
As you slip blue paper booties over your bare feet, you eagerly anticipate your first visit inside the man-made Salt Cave at High Care Wellness Centre. Salt caves are relatively new to Toronto’s spa scene, but the various compounds have been praised for their therapeutic effects for millennia. Salt therapy, or halotherapy, is said to help clear the lungs, elevate one’s mood, and purify the skin. As you enter the dimly-lit salt cave, you feel like Indiana Jones exploring a lost world. Your feet scrunch across a thick carpet of crystals from the Dead Sea and Poland. You’re immediately enveloped by cool air and soothing music. You hear water trickling softly from several lighted features. You touch the large blocks of Himalayan pink crystal salt that line the walls, feeling the grit of the particles on your fingertips. Then you head for a reclining chair. As you lie back and close your eyes, you breathe deeply, filling your lungs with the slightly damp, salty air. Your muscles relax, and the outside world drifts away. After 50 minutes, you emerge from the cave feeling refreshed and re-energized, the taste of salt lingering on your lips.
Salt is a key ingredient in flotation therapy, also known as Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique (REST) therapy. At Rest Nest in stylish Yorkville, you can experience true tranquility in one of three float pods. Each white egg-shaped pod is filled with 10 inches of water mixed with 500 kilograms of Epsom salts, so your body naturally floats. After a quick shower, you step into the pod and lower the lid. As you lie back, you barely feel the water supporting you because it’s the same temperature as your body. With no light or sound in the pod, you’re completely deprived of your senses, hence the REST. You feel like you’re floating in outer space. Your mind wanders at will, leaving everyday stresses behind.
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa
Your next stop is Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. Their signature Hot Stone Massage is just the thing to relieve tension and soothe tired, achy muscles. As you enter the serene atmosphere of the massage room, you spot what looks like a big slow cooker. Inside, palm-sized grey river stones from Mexico are being heated to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You undress and lay face down on the massage table, inhaling the fresh scent of the white cotton sheets draping your body. Within minutes, a registered massage therapist enters and rubs a silky oil onto your back. The masseuse then glides the smooth, warm stones across your skin with just the right amount of pressure. You feel the tension melting away. The heat from the stones penetrates tissues more deeply, allowing the therapist to work out every last knot.
Hand & Stone also offers a hot-towel, cold-stone face massage. The treatment begins with a hot towel placed over your face to stimulate circulation. Then a therapist rubs small, cold marble stones across your skin to help reduce inflammation, drain congestion, and relieve headaches. You decide that’s a treat for your next visit and silently thank Mother Nature for all her healing elements, from salt caves and therapy to stone massages.