Photo Credit: Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Photo Credit: Kananaskis Nordic Spa

HOLD THE PHONE! H O L D  T H E  P H O N E! Janet and I, a few weekends ago, took a trip to the newly opened Kananaskis Nordic Spa. Wouldn't you know it, I had connections at that spa which put us into contact with Vice President of Spa Development, Jennifer Buckler. It was love at first sight because this lady knows her stuff, and our experience was that much more richer.

Ready for some deets?

Nestled among trees and mountains in Kananaskis, Alberta, right beside the Kananaskis Lodge, the Nordic Spa proves to be the perfect place AND way to disconnect to reconnect (the reconnecting being the important element that we forget about when we are wanting to get away).

The spa is designed around the ancient practice of hydrotherapy, which research indicates can be more beneficial than massage when dealing with inflammation, lymph, and detoxing.

Here is how it works:

  1. Begin with hot (hot pool, sauna, or steam room): 15-20 min
  2. Next, warm pool: 15-20 min
  3. Then, cold pool plunge: however long you can!
  4. Finally, REST

Why cycle? What are the benefits? Here are five health and healing benefits of hydrotherapy, cited from Health and Fitness Travel:

  1. Reduces muscle tension and relieves pain

    The weightlessness you feel when under water relieves tension in the limbs, supporting aching muscles and easing the movement as opposed to when on land. Plus, hydrotherapy stimulates the release of endorphins, acting as a natural pain reliever which will further reduce muscle soreness.

  2. Rehabilitates injured muscles

    Being immersed in warm or hot water raises the body temperature, increasing blood flow around the circulatory system and so alleviating pain. The improved circulation will in turn help to heal injured tissues and rehabilitate damaged muscles or joints.

  3. Boosts the immune system

    The increased blood flow and circulation of white blood cells around the body allows lymph (an immune system fluid that helps collect and get rid of unwanted materials from the body) to be moved through the body more efficiently and therefore strengthens the immune system, helping to fight colds and illnesses.

  4. Encourages detoxification

    Saunas and steam rooms induce considerable sweating, the body’s primary way of eliminating toxins.

  5. Relieves stress

    Hydrotherapy treatment can be effectively used whilst on a de-stress holiday by helping to reduce blood pressure caused by stress. It may also slow down the body’s reaction to anxiety and release endorphins – a natural stress fighter.

Janet and I enjoyed the cycling. We visited the hot pool, saunas, and steam room. I think my favourite was the eucalyptus steam room that had a cold water bucket that you could use. The warm pool is a perfect temperature to hang out in during your stay, and the cold pool was amazing and invigorating. Each time we plunged, we focused on our breathing to help adapt to the cold and stay longer. Then we retreated to the lounge for a while, enjoyed a latte and sandwiches. 

I cycled three times, Janet cycled four times. I napped in the outdoor heated hammocks. WHAT? That's right. There are four outdoor hammocks that your unzip like a sleeping bag, lined with fleece and heated. I zonked out for 30 minutes while the mountain breeze kissed my face and the sun shone above me.

The intention for our weekend, was to take a break from the onslaught of the city on our senses, and to redirect them as we connected and fully submersed in nature.

After the spa, which we stayed in from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, we did a small hike around the area and retired for dinner at the hotel.

The newly renovated Kananaskis Mountain Lodge  is located right beside the spa. I felt cozy and inspired by the decor and all the inside and outside fires that were roaring and crackling.

Photo Credit: Janet Heikel

Photo Credit: Janet Heikel

Lastly, Janet and I recorded a podcast episode about our experience at the Lodge. It was magical. Have a listen below.


Janet & Pamella