The world is a chaotic place. Time seems to be a concept that we are always behind on and struggling to keep up with. As one tasks finishes, a dozen more are waiting in the wings. With the invention of cell phones, internet and computers, we are connected, thus expect to be “on”, all the time! Finding a minute or two to oneself is rare and far between.
I have a busy personality. I have always needed to do something at every waking moment of my life. When I was younger, I held two jobs and now that I am a parent, I work full time, raise three children, run a household and blog! I wasn’t surprised when I read an article awhile ago that said the average mom gets only 17 minutes of “me time” a day. Sure, I sit down after the kids go to bed and catch up on a show or two, but I am also planning the events of the next, folding laundry or catching up on social media while doing so. I never seem to step away from it all and take a moment for ME.
This weekend, I found a place that I could do that. It was a place that promoted self relaxation, self discovery and self exploration. It was a place that encouraged naps and doing NOTHING for the fun of it. It was a place where serenity was key and cell phones were not allowed. It is my new found happy place.
Nordik Spa is North America’s largest outdoor spa. Located just across the Ottawa border in Gatineau, Quebec, this spa offers and experience like no other. Upon arrival, you change into your bathing suit and plush rob, then you are encouraged to explore the grounds at your leisure. They offer 9 baths (hot, cold and temperate), 9 unique saunas, an infinity pool, outdoor and indoor relaxation areas as well as a restaurant, café, lounge and terraces. Forget the manicures, pedicures and facials that you are use and instead indulge in a thermal experience like no other!
The Thermal Experience
Thermal cycle is a heat therapy treatment that involves a heat treatment followed by a cold treatment and then a rest period. This relaxation ritual was founded in the Nordic countries over 2000 years ago and its benefits are still seen today!
Step 1 HEAT TREATMENT – The purpose of the heat treatment is to relax your body, open your pores and allow your blood to pump freely through your body. You begin freeing your body of toxins through the sweating process. The heat treatment can occur in many different ways. You can hang out in one of Nordik’s hot baths or visit their hot or dry saunas. The first heat treatment I experienced at Nordik was the Aufguss. This ritual involves a 20 minute session in a hot sauna where an Aufguss Master uses a large towel to agitate the air. What makes this technique so magical is they use water enriched with natural essential oils on the sauna to enlighten all your senses. You simple sit back and enjoy the heat.
Step 2 COLD TREATMENT – After your pores are opened- and your body is relaxed its time to shock your system. It only takes 10-15 seconds in cold air to thermal shock your system!! The results are magical! You body releases adrenaline and hormone that stimulate your entire body. At Spa Nordik, there are many ways to ‘shock’ your system. You can dip in one of their 4 cold pools (full submersion is best!), you can dump a pail of cold water on your head or walk under a cool waterfall. Taking the plunge may be intimidating but the results are so relaxing!
Step 3 RELAXATION – This is the most important part (and fun part) of the process is relaxation. After you put your body into a state of shock, you need to rest and allow your system to return to normal. Nordik offers many different comfortable and inviting ways to relax. The resort is divided into three sections. In the Kaskad, silence rules. It is a spot to nap, enjoy the soothing sounds of waterfalls and fountains, while reconnecting with yourself. The second section is the Borea region. Here you are permitted to whisper. It is a quiet, soothing place for friends to relax and enjoy each others company. The final section is the Panorama section. This is the social section. Armed with Beirgarden and the Panorama lounge you can enjoy a beverage or two while you fuel up for the day. This section offers a variety of hot saunas, heated stone beds and hot tubs, you can unwind in a social environment. My favourite was the panoramic pool that offers a breathtaking view of Ottawa-Gatineau.
All sections offer hammocks and hanging beds, lounge chairs and comfortable seats by the fire. Sit up, lie down or cuddle up on a couch. How you choose to relax is up to you!
Grab your girlfriend, your spouse, bridal party and more for a day of full body, mind and soul pampering!