Always the cutting-edge spa-goer, I recently braved a “detox” at a resort whose program was created by the son of a German farmer. He had observed that an injured animal rehabilitated faster by resting in the shadows and not eating. And so it was that I found myself sitting down to dinners composed of a single, unsalted, steamed potato, inexplicably sided by a glass of gin. The program didn’t last because they’d missed the point: the best health spa detoxes marry therapy, exercise, diet and a little fun — without forgoing the luxury.
Detox for spa aficionados means simply “a cleansing of the body,” eliminating toxins and usually boosting the immune system. It’s the latest trend to hit the spa world. Here are some of Canada’s best:
Abundant Life Wellness Centre (near Edmonton, AB) specializes in six- and 10-day body cleanses, whereby lectures, workshops and gourmet raw food means a new, squeaky-clean you — inside and out. www.HealthRetreat.ca
A Very Special Place Country Retreat (Qu’Appelle Valley, SK), a lakeside B&B, has minimum three-day regimes (but stay as long as you like) based on a cleansing diet with lots of smoothies, skin brushing, and if the timing’s right, the Northern Lights. www.bbcanada.com/avsp
Balnea Spa (Bromont-sur-le-lac, QC) boasts water-fueled body/mind/spirit therapies, including Finnish saunas, Turkish baths and hydro-massages, all set amidst a private nature reserve. www.balnea.ca
Grail Springs (Bancroft, ON) Holistic Detox Body Cleanse Program is designed to cleanse the body of toxins while balancing alkaline levels. Five- to 14-night stays bring on everything from Grail Moor mud elixirs to the ever-popular colon hydroptherapy. www.grailsprings.com
The Hillcrest Inn – A Valenova Spa (Port Hope, ON) has the Dr. Hauschka Rebalance Detox Program, said to eliminate toxins, improve circulation and stimulate the metabolism by way of treatments featuring the namesake biodynamic, organic products. In the midst of the medicinal, something sensual: five-star spa cuisine. www.thehillcrest.ca