Friday 12 December 2014

30 Things by 30 - Hydrotherapy Treatment

I am a pretty down to earth person but I will admit that I do love to indulge in the spa. I love being pampered – be it a manicure, facial, massage, pedicure – I love it all. When I was in High School my Mom and her friend visited St. Anne’s Spa for the day and I remember being so jealous. This spa was in my book of the “Top 100’s Spas in the World” (yup that’s a book I own!) and I wanted to go there so badly. The appeal was simple – it looked and sounded amazing and it was close by, only about an hour away from where we lived.

I can’t remember which birthday it was, but my mom surprised me with a trip to St. Anne’s. We drove up on the 15th of November and the cover story was we were going to visit a cool Christmas Store she had heard about.  When I eventually realized where we were going I was ecstatic. It was a wonderful place and everything I had hoped for and imagined it to be. I loved being there the night before my birthday and waking up there on the 16th. Mom had thought of everything and even brought me a cupcake! Since then its become our yearly tradition and she and I go every year on-or-around my birthday. (Again I must point out that I have the best mom in the world!)

St. Anne's in the Summer 
Despite being a spa person I tend to stick to my usual treatments – the typical familiar ones that change little from place to place. I’ve tried a few variations on massages and facials but haven’t been too daring in my treatment choices. I did muster up the courage once and tried a body wrap while on a cruise and it was somewhat awkward as I was thrust into the shower while still wearing clothing. However there has always been once treatment at St. Anne’s that intrigued me  - the Moor Mud Hydro Wrap. Over the years I have heard nothing but positive reviews of this treatment from staff and clients and the whole concept seemed interesting. It combined a lot of treatment elements I was curious about but had never tried– a body masque/exfoliation, hydrotherapy tub and massage, mud and a vichy shower. It’s one of their most popular treatments and when working on this list I decided to muster up the courage and try it.

The official description of the treatment from the St. Anne’s website is as follows: “After a body masque of Ontario Moor Mud and an exfoliation, you are submersed in the hydrotherapy tub containing Golden Moor Plus with pine oil, while a hydro-massage is directed on the body. Finish your treatment with a warm Vichy shower and an application of hydrating lotions” (

And that is a perfect description of the treatment elements – but the process is the interesting part.

First I was led into a darkened treatment room which looked like a cross between a large luxurious bathroom and a sterilized morgue from TV. I use the morgue description because the room was all tiled with drains in the floor and a metal moveable table in the middle. However it wasn’t an unpleasant room – just a lot different then your typical massage or facial treatment rooms. The table was all made up with green sheets (which are easier to clean the mud from) and nearby were clear plastic sheets, which the therapist said was actually a certain type of shower curtain.

The treatment started with me lying down draped in the sheets while she used a bristle brush to exfoliate the skin (as per most treatments of this nature I got to keep the brush). She then had me get into the shower and rinse off any of the dead skin, dry off and get back on the table. Next she applied the Moor Mud (which had been warmed) to my body and wrapped me in the plastic curtain and warm sheets. While the mud did it’s magic she massaged my feet, scalp and face. Next she had me get into the Jacuzzi tub which was filled with warm water and added Pine Needle Moor Mud to it. She had me wipe off most of the mud from my arms and legs before setting me back on the table where she used a Scotch-hose to clean the rest of the mud off which also gave a hydro massage. Once this was done she rolled me under the Vichy Shower heads which poured down on top of me like a massaging rain. After I dried off once more, she massaged a hydrating location onto my body.     

It’s important to note that while there was a lot of moving from place to place and getting wet and drying off, everything was done professionally and tastefully. I was never left fully exposed and always had some sort of towel, sheets or draping covering me. One the occasions when I had to flip over or stand, a sheet was lifted as a barrier of sorts giving me privacy. This treatment also ensures that female guests are treated by a female staff member which also ensures guest comfort.

Overall it was an interesting experience. I enjoyed the feeling of the Vichy shower and the Moor Mud, but the Scotch-Hose was a strange sensation. My skin looked and felt amazing afterward, but it wasn’t what I would call a relaxing treatment. There was a lot of movement – table-shower-dry off-table-bath-table-dry off-table – and the room got warm with all the water heat. I will say that the therapist did an amazing job! First, its almost impossible for her not to get wet so I really appreciated her hard work and efforts. Also, she was constantly moving around and prepping – changing the linens, getting dry towels, setting up the bath. There was nothing relaxing about the treatment for her!

I would definitely recommend this treatment to people heading up to St. Anne’s and am glad that I got the courage to try it. But before I do it again I am going to step outside my comfort zone and try a bunch of other treatments first because St. Anne’s has an entire menu of cool things to try. My next treatment is either going to be the Mud Stone Wrap or the Eucalyptus Body Wrap!     

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