Le Scandinave Spa, Mont-Tremblant, Que.

Going to Le Scandinave Spa in Mont-Tremblant, Que. is definitely unique, with rituals designed to help strenghening your immune system and increasing the blood circulation, leaving you feeling refreshed.

Scandinave is modelled on the Finnish tradition of bathing outdoors in different temperatures, and alternates between warm and cold treatments. The ritual is best done in three to four cycles.

Each starts with warming the body followed by cold-water dips to snap the pores shut (an effect reputed to strengthen the immune system), and ends with relaxation sessions. It took two hours to do three cycles, including one where I lounged in an outdoor hot bath, then plunged into the freezing cold Diable River.

Afterwards, I relaxed indoors on a chair in the Zero Gravity Pavilion (the chair tilts back so your feet are above your head). Circulation pumped up and endorphins released, I felt my stress melt away.

NOTE: Le Scandinave Spa has spas in Old Montreal and Blue Mountains, Ont. Its newest location opened in Whistler-just in time for the Olympics.

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