Maple Sugar Massage: The Great Canadian Spa Treatment
If I was going to Canada’s most highly-rated spa, I was determined to experience a truly Canadian massage. I booked the seasonal Maple Showers spa treatment with a surge of patriotism, but also some trepidation. As I nibbled on biscotti and sipped herbal tea in the cozy waiting lounge, I tried to imagine what the “maple showers” treatment would entail. I contemplated, then discarded the idea that sticky sweet syrup would be applied to my bare skin. That would be messy, right?
The therapist guided me downstairs, and into a large, tiled shower room. I quizzed her briefly, and was relieved to note there would be no maple syrup coming out of the Vichy shower. My treatment would start with a maple sugar exfoliation, after which I would be rinsed with fresh water and massaged with maple-infused lotion.
I love exfoliating treatments. Rather than the soporific daze you get from a massage, you leave feeling revitalized, invigorated and smooth as river stone. The scrubbing done, I was wrapped in warm linen and wheeled, still prone on the table, to be rinsed by a Vichy shower (which boasts multiple heads that rain down warm water on the entire length of body).
I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a shower while lying on your stomach, but it’s a distinctly more pleasurable experience when done at a spa (and not in a bathtub to sober up because the party is over and your high school friend’s parents are going to be home stat).
Now rinsed, I was dried on the massage table and the final phase of my treatment began. As my hydrotherapist expertly rubbed the maple-infused lotion, I quizzed her about the benefits of maple therapy.
“Maple sugar has some antioxidant qualities,” she promised, and has all the benefits of an exfoliating massage/hydrotherapy, but its key benefit as a seasonal treatment is its yummy smell. “When I first trained on this massage, I headed straight to the supermarket when my shift was over and bought some of those maple cookies. It made me so hungry!"
I knew what she meant. At the end of my massage had a massive craving for a stack of pancakes smothered in maple syrup. Lo and behold, next to my robe was a maple elixir and a maple sugar candy.
Back in the lounge, I chose a sunny seat overlooking the beautiful farmland that surrounds the spa. I savoured the treat in my cozy robe, surreptitiously smelling my soft, maple-infused skin. I felt – and smelled – deliciously Canadian.
St. Anne's Spa, with locations in Grafton and Port Hope, Ontario offers the Maple Sugar massage from April 1 until May 31. You can check out their entire treatment menu here.
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