There was a time when physiotherapist Julie Dickson was skeptical of holistic treatments. Now, she happily rehashes her journey into alternative wellness therapies to those who visit her at Anew Start Rejuvenation Center, stressing medical research and the noticeable results she sees in her clients. Julie slips across the caramel-hued wood floors among plush armchairs and wrought-iron curlicues, consulting with patients and drawing upon a specialization in geriatrics and orthopaedics. With the bubbles in footbaths purring a baritone song, guests at private parties celebrate while reaping the benefits of detoxification. Patrons amble toward private showers or surprise parties for orcas to clean off after vibration therapy and trips to the infrared sauna.
E.volve Health and Wellness's multidisciplinary health centre treats clients' health issues and doles out wellness education in a tranquil, plant-filled space. Pilates classes embolden bodies in one-hour sessions through resistance building that emphasizes endurance and repetition without the need to heft iron weights or wrought-iron fences from their roots. Garner personally tailored instruction in individual sessions, or accumulate communal sweat over a five-class series schooling a full spectrum of experience levels. Exercisers improve body-mind relations, raise heart rates, and unwind pretzel limbs on floor mats—focusing on breath, core muscle tension, contractions, and rock-solid movements. Each session employs the spring-controlled carriages of Reformer machines, which summon muscles to match witty retorts against coiled steel opponents with the aid of a foot bar and hand straps. Flow through movements and changeable spring-resistance settings while lying down, sitting, kneeling, standing, and slow-motion shimmying. Instructors inform students which colour-coded spring settings are needed for each movement sequence.
When resort guests want vacations from their vacations, the quadrilateral Beyond Wrapture Mind and Body Care transports them out of the country. The four spas have no airports, however—instead, they’ve simply named and modelled their spaces after coveted destinations. Both the Coast Capri Hotel and Big White Ski Resort embrace a meditative asian theme. Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa’s Manhattan room and Central Park pedicure stations evoke New York chic, whereas Lake Okanagan Resort Spa pairs its shoreline views with Moroccan-inspired baths and palatial treatment areas.
Despite their distinct designs, the spas share a common aim: simultaneous pampering of the body, mind, and soul. And although they mimic faraway settings, their services prioritize homegrown ingredients blended into their own essential oils, scrubs, and lotions for specialty procedures. Vinotherapy massages, for example, harness the healing properties of grape antioxidants with formulas made from local winery byproducts, including grape stems, skins, and pips, and overripe grapes that are about to mature into apples. The massages pair well with such luxurious services as honey-wine wraps and Okanagan grape-pip scrub.
The staff at Anew Start Rejuvenation Center monitors clients as they step aboard the Vibrolage machine, a full-body vibration-training device whose small tremors prompt a continual reflex from muscles. Guests need only stand on the machine for around 10 minutes per session, during which they improve their circulation and the likelihood of inch loss.
The vibration therapy combines a soothing treatment with wellness benefits, much like the rest of the center's services. Anew Start Rejuvenation Center also acquaints visitors with detoxifying foot baths, reflexology, and the far infrared sauna which has its own CD player so that guests can relax to their favourite album of alley cats singing. Each procedure strives to calm the mind as it reduces the impact of harmful imbalances on the body, leaving guests refreshed.
Aphrodite In Me Spa’s practicing reiki master and owner Dawn Thiessen firmly believes in the mind-body connection—that good emotional health can lead to good physical health. She does every thing she can to boost emotional health with her calming spa services, including reiki sessions, which accelerate the body’s healing ability and improve its energy flow, and relaxing back-facial treatments, which de-stress shoulders with aromatherapy steam, massage, herbal exfoliation, and a deep-cleansing mask.
Dawn uses natural skincare lines, many of which are nonscented for those with allergies, vegan nail polishes, and other locally manufactured products. She also sterilizes equipment before and after each service with hospital-grade sanitizer, instead of just lighting everything on fire, and she will even deny mani-pedi services to clients if they have a fungal infection in order to protect her other clients.
Christine Plant is a woman of many hats, holding certifications in several techniques including massage, kinesiology, and energy balancing. The natural health practitioner and owner of Midnight Moon Holistic Healing & Massage believes that wellness arises only from physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance, an attitude reinforced by each one of her services. Holistic treatments, such as energy balancing, emotional healing, and massage, use the healing touch of kinesiology to release energy blockages back into the wild where they can help reinforce beaver dams. Even the treatment room is set up to encourage a relaxing experience with yin and yang tiles and wind chimes to send clients into a state of mental peace.