It had been a while since I’d truly taken a vacation. After handing in 4 case management forms (CMFs) and writing 1 exam, and endless weeks of seeing patients in clinic, putting the health of others above and beyond my own, I decided that I would hang back from my rat race of assignments, expectations and obligations and indulge in a little self-care at my favourite hydrotherapy haven, Body Blitz.
Body Blitz is a female-only hydrotherapy spa located in the heart of downtown Toronto. There are two locations, one in the West and one in the East end of Toronto, both easily accessible by street car. I’d always felt that spending an afternoon in a spa was a self-indulgent, egotistical practice. Until, that is, 10 taxing winter exams in a row sent me collapsing into the pools of the West Toronto location with a group of first year classmates. Then I realized what hard and necessary work self-care can be; only in caring for ourselves are we able to care for others. So, I returned, sometimes with classmates and sometimes alone, and the experience is delicious each time.
Visit the website at bodyblitzspa.com
The experience consists of dipping the body into a series of hot and cold pools, saunas and steam rooms, following a circuit. Hot and cold immersions are alternated to invigorate metabolism and detoxification.
The circuit starts off with a dead sea salt pool, impossibly warm and bubbly, followed by a sinus-clearing eucalyptus steam room, a detoxifying infrared sauna and a muscle-melting hot epsom salt pool (at the East end location) or a purifying hot green tea pool (at the West end location). In between each hot station, the pores are closed and muscles and veins tonified with an invigorating dip in a cold salt pool. Benefits of hydrotherapy include:
– boosted metabolism
– relieved stress and tension
– decreased pain and inflammation
– increased circulation
– improved immunity
– improved complexion and glowing skin
The Body Blitz circuit lasts for approximately 2- 2.5 hours when taken at a leisurely pace. The atmosphere is quiet and the lighting is soothing, allowing you to wallow into the sensation of being present in the body. It truly is the most relaxing 2 hours you’ll ever spend in your week.
I love hydrotherapy because, in world where the female body seems to be for the enjoyment of everyone else but the female herself, the hydrotherapy experience allows one to truly feel the physical pleasure of residing in a living body. I spend much of my day living in my head, not feeling the rest of me and the dramatic changes of hot and cold and the feeling of revitalizing detoxification help bring me back to a sense of complete body awareness, reveling in the feeling of being vital and alive. For 2 hours I am able to forget how I’m told that my body is supposed to look and perform and can just experience how good it feels to have it.
Being female only, the Body Blitz experience is also an empowering one. The spa encourages the celebration of a mosaic of female body-types, none of which fit into the one-size-fits-all aesthetic standard of the female body of the media, but all of which are celebrated in their strength, beauty and their ability to feel good. Bearing witness to dozens of women who feel comfortable with their diverse array of bodies and love them enough to dedicate 2 hours of care to them serves as a refreshing paradigm-shift.
Being healthy feels and looks good.
Not only that, owners of Body Blitz have all the pampered details down, allowing you to feel truly cared for. When you arrive, cozy robes, towels and flipflops are provided as well as hair elastics, shampoo, magazines and anything else you can think of. (Bathing suits are not provided but if you forget yours, no fear, the spa is clothing optional). One of the highlights of the circuit is lounging on the cozy red lounge chairs between pools and ordering something delicious to drink, providing nutrients, water and electrolytes to the body from the inside, while toxins are cleared from the outside. I often order one of the warming Ayurvedic teas but a fan favourite is the Vitamin D Shake.
You can relive the Body Blitz experience by having an alternate hot and cold shower in the comfort of your own home and indulging in this sunshine vitamin recipe.
The Vitamin D Shake by Body Blitz
1 cup soy milk OR almond milk OR coconut milk
1 capfull vanilla extract
1 small banana
1 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs honey
1 pinch nutmeg
1 splash water
4 x 1000 IU vitamin D drops
Blend ingredients together and serve.
After a session at Body Blitz I feel relaxed, renewed and in touch with my body again. Skin glows from the inside out and muscles and veins feel nurtured and stronger. Tension and worries are dissolved and I feel a renewed commitment to put clean food and air into this glorious body of mine that, for now, is in a state of true blitz.