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Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain

Dear body, heal thyself with a little help from the spa

Visiting a spa can be a passive experience. Lie on a table. Get done. Go home re-energized and beautiful. At the Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain, active participation is required. And we all know, being in control is a sweet path to satisfaction...

Scandinave Spa at Blue MountainScandinave Spa at Blue MountainThe Scandinave spa has built a global reputation for guiding spa-seekers to find their own unique path to bliss. They've been touted as one of the world's top spas, as seen in the Toronto Star. After visiting the spa, GoGirlfriend is happy to confirm this accolade.

Scandinave Spa - the experience

Considering all I'd heard about Scandinave, I expected pomp and circumstance. Instead, I found a gravel parking lot with a forested trail leading to knot of log cabins. Humble, charming and unassuming set the tone for relaxation and peaceful introspection.

Scandinave spa heated bathsScandinave spa heated bathsAfter changing into our swimsuits and covering up with fluffy, white robes, we ventured outside to labyrinth of hot and cold pools, steam room and sauna.

The eucalyptus steam room, our first stop, opened the pores and released toxins. We were advised to spend as long as possible here but were also told 10-15 min is the longest most people can stand the 180'F room. Lack of clocks forced me to listen to my comfort/discomfort level to know when it was the right time for me to move along.

To close the pores and wash away all those released toxins, the cold plunge came next. We were invited to choose one of three cold pools - all with ridiculously cold temperatures (50'F to 65'F). I've done cold plunges at the Body Blitz and Caesar's Palace and challenged myself to last as long as 5 minutes fully immersed. Not so at Scandinave. I was in and out in less than 30 seconds, sure that I'd need defibrillator to restart my heart.

Scandinave Spa waterfall poolScandinave Spa waterfall poolFrom there, we chose between hot pools (104'F) or the sauna (180'F) alternating each hot experience with a cold plunge. The hot/cold philosophy prevents overheating while forcing blood through the body at an accelerated rate. Healing nutrients rocket through the bloodstream and the metabolism gets the equivalent of a shock treatment.

When we began the circuit, it was snowing lightly outside. While I'm a hardy Canadian, I was skeptical about being outside in bare feet and a bikini. After an hour of traveling between pools we decided to hang out by a small fire. I was not even remotely chilled. Seems the celebration going on inside my bloodstream created its own tropical environment.

There are also relaxation indoor rooms with expansive windows overlooking both the forest and pools. You'll also find outdoor hammocks, both single and double for couples looking to sneak in some canoodling time. If you plan to do the circuit more than once, give your body a chance to recover periodically.

A note about the "Quiet Please" signs.

Prior to my visit, a friend told me she'd heard talking was strictly forbidden within the spa - and had not visited based on that belief. While whispering is encouraged, complete silence is not an expectation. Couples talking quietly to each other filled the pools, walkways and deck chairs. The sauna, steam room and quiet rooms were almost completely silent but I assume that's because each person was carefully gauging tolerance levels and planning an exit strategy. Smart.

The cold plunge pools were the noisiest - and the most fun to watch.

Massage packages

Scandinave Spa at Blue MountainScandinave Spa at Blue MountainLike the Body Blitz spa in Toronto, Scandinave offers daily and monthly rates. Guests are welcome to come just for the pools or to add a massage into the experience. While Scandinave is not a medical spa, it's also not a beauty spa - you won't find facials or more elaborate treatments like a body scrub or wrap.

We chose a Duo Massage after enjoying the circuit for 3 hours. Scandinave employs registered massage therapists and Canadians who have a massage prescription from a medical doctor can claim the fee on their health insurance policies.

Spas like Scandinave in Canada and Blue Lagoon in Iceland focus on the body's ability to heal itself through water. The word spa comes from Latin and roughly translates to healing by water. We torture our bodies with epic amounts of stress, foods laden with chemicals and forcing our bodies to withstand long periods in uncomfortable furniture.

Thankfully, a soothing soak and massage can break down that damage and reset our body clocks.

Hungry for more info on Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain?  Visit them online or call: 877 988-8484. As well, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook or read reviews on Trip Advisor or Yelp.

Ever been to a health or medical spa? Share your most memorable spa stories - follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook and let's start talking!

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My pleasure, Carol, thanks for stopping by here as well. Now that we've discovered the Scandinave,we'll be regular visitors - hopefully! Julia

I love the Scandinave! And thanks for linking to my Toronto Star spa article. Carol Perehudoff

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