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I was recently in Jamaica, floating in a pool on my back, looking at the big blue sky and feeling very zen as pool water sloshed around in my eardrums.
This was not that.
I didn’t know what to expect when Nadeem Jiwani, founder and owner of Float Valley in Markham, invited me to try float therapy. Float Valley is like a hyperspecialized spa – they only have the one treatment (two if you count their meditation room), but the decor is very spa: soft blue lights, clean white surfaces, a plethora of gourmet teas in the relaxation room, and another separate room where they offer yoga classes.
I actually began my first ever float therapy in a very zen-like state. As the lights came down I closed my eyes and focused on breathing deeply. I marveled at the way the 800 pounds of magnesium-rich Epsom salts buoyed my body in the few feet of water in the float chamber.
I had heard weird stories about float therapy and sensory deprivation in general. I expected dizziness and disorientation, which I did not experience. What I wasn’t expecting was to feel restless after just 20 minutes in the chamber. By around the half hour mark I was experimenting with the light switches – one that turned the blue underwater lights on and the other an overhead changing starscape of coloured lights. I got out of the tank once to take a bathroom break and come back, but my concentration was broken.
Side note: because of the Epsom salts, float therapy can really dry you out after a while, so it’s important to drink water before and after; the problem is if you’re in the tank and you have to pee, that really stands in the way of reaching that higher plane of consciousness!
Maybe it was the fact that it was the middle of the day and I was heading back to work afterwards, or maybe I just missed my smartphone too much, but I couldn’t make it the full hour of the treatment. I felt a little like a two-year-old in a bath after a while and I was a little ashamed that I wasn’t doing it right.
“It takes practice,” Nadeem remarked when I told him afterwards. Float therapy is a good way to get used to meditation, he said. It’s like the mindfulness gateway drug, and I really do want to get hooked. Next time I plan to go on my day off, fight the smartphone withdrawal and Om my way to a zen state. Hopefully practice will make perfect.
By Carmelina Karas
Water is essential for life. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60% of it! We need water for vital organ functions, to replenish ourselves after exercise or while working in a hot climate, and for amazing looking skin. You may have heard that 8 cups per day is sufficient for the average human being. However, when has anyone really fallen into the “average” category when it comes to height, weight, body type, level of physical activity and underlying health conditions? We know drinking water is good for us, so why is it so hard to drink it?
According to Wikipedia, the amount of drinking water required is variable. It depends on physical activity, age, health, and environmental conditions. In a temperate climate under normal conditions, adequate water intake is about 2.7 litres (95 imp fl oz; 91 US fl oz) for adult women and 3.7 litres (130 imp fl oz; 130 US fl oz) for adult men.
Did you know that women need more water than men? In fact, men need over 11 cups of water per day and women need over 15! Feeling thirsty? This is very different than the 8 cups I was brought up thinking that I needed.
Enhancing the Taste
Companies have created flavour boosters to enhance our water, since it seems that “plain water” is boring. Health experts have asked us to add lemon to our water to help detoxify internal organs. Did you know that lukewarm water is actually better for you than cold, as cold water can shock your system?
The bottom line is, we need to drink more water. I have yet to meet someone who has been hitting or passing their water-drinking goal on a daily basis. Keeping a cup or water bottle by your desk, making sure you are adequately hydrated while at the gym, and choosing healthy foods with higher water contents will all contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you and your skin will look amazing!
Awards program continues to celebrate best of Canadian spa industry
Monday, September 19, 2016 – Spa Inc. magazine, in partnership with the Spa Industry Association of Canada (SIAC), is pleased to announce that nominations are now open for the 2016 Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards. The annual spa awards program celebrates creative and innovative spas, industry partners and educators that make the Canadian spa and wellness industry great.
Last year’s awards were a resounding success, with spas across Canada celebrating their awards through social media. Top New Spa winner iwa Spa included their award title on a billboard in Collingwood. “[This award] really gives us the validation that we’re on the right track,” said iwa Spa founder Michelle Udell.
“Spa Inc. and SIAC are incredibly pleased with the success of this awards program, and thrilled to have the opportunity to once again honour the best of Canada’s spa industry,” says Susan A. Browne, publisher of Spa Inc. magazine. “I wish the best of luck to each nominee for the 2016 awards.”
Nominations for the Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards will close October 4, 2016. The nine award categories are as follows: Top 25 Spas, Top Destination Spa, Top New Spa, Top Day Spa, Top Medi-Spa, Top Sanitas Spa, Consumers Choice, Education and Top Spa Partner. The winners will be announced in early November. Please follow us on Twitter @SpaIncMag for future awards news and follow the hashtag #CdnSpaAwards.
Participate by either nominating or supporting excellence through sponsorship opportunities.
For more information, nomination queries or sponsorship package information, please visit
www.CanadianSpaAwards.ca or contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Spa Inc.
Spa Inc. is the only bilingual Spa magazine in Canada reaching spa owners and the clients they serve with the latest trends, products and services. Valued by spa professionals and distributors as a comprehensive resource, our loyal audience frequently turn to Spa Inc. for the latest in the spa and wellness industry across Canada and abroad. To learn
more, please visit www.spainc.ca
About Spa Industry Association of Canada (SIAC)
As Canada’s national spa organization, Spa Industry Association of Canada (SIAC) provides support for the development of the Canadian spa industry and the promotion of Canada as the finest spa destination in the world. Led by a dedicated Board of Directors from across the country, SIAC represents the broad spectrum of the spa experience, from resort and day spas, destination, mineral springs spas to medical spas, schools and suppliers. To learn more about Spa Industry Association of Canada, please see www.spaindustry.ca
By Michael Markov
People don’t like to acknowledge they are couch potatoes. The term is associated with spending excessive amounts of time on the computer or watching TV, but it’s more than that. Being a high school student myself, seeing firsthand how lazy my generation can be is a tad worrying. Gone are the days when your only source of entertainment was getting outside and being active. Now with the internet and phones, it is even easier for one to become glued to the screen for hours on end.
Next time you are with your friends/colleagues, ask them if they think they fall into the sedentary lifestyle category. People are becoming more conscious of the need for exercise, so you will probably get a response along the lines of: “Oh of course not, I’m at the gym 3 times a week for an hour, and I’m constantly moving around at home.” Then ask them how long they sit for at work every week. Now we have a problem.
In 2012, a Canadian survey found that people worked 36.6 hours per week on average. Keeping in mind that most people have a desk job, that is a lot of hours spent letting the body vegetate. A supposed fix to this problem is the standing desk. This piece of furniture has been around since the 19th century, and really hasn’t changed much since. Even famous figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Winston Churchill have been noted to use the special desk. You can write, type, and use the computer all while standing up.
We know that the standing desk gets people out of their chairs, but what does this accomplish? A lot actually, as hundreds of studies have been published on the negative effects of sitting for long periods. One study of 200,000 Australians in 2012 found that those who sat for 11 hours or more everyday were 40% more likely to die over the next three years. Other studies have found that Colon Cancer, Diabetes, and Heart Disease were also linked to inactivity. Even if you happen to exercise throughout the week after sitting around, you will still be digging yourself an early grave according to the research.
When you sit down, your body’s crucial functions come to a halt. Your heart rate slows and your muscles cease to move, which can all lead to health issues after long periods of time. It is the exact opposite with standing, as your muscles and normal bodily functions are completely engaged and working as they are meant to.
So, since science has proven that it’s better for humans to get up and stand, what are we waiting for? You can’t dispute the facts; it’s glaringly obvious what people should be doing now. The standing desk could be one solution to the problem of inactivity, but it shouldn’t be the only one. We should ideally mold our lifestyles around healthy living and physical activity that promotes fit bodies. In the meantime, invest in yourself, instead of that new “ergonomic” chair.
By Sarah Vassos
Today, I wear my ‘Mom’ label as proudly as Superman wore that ‘S’ on his chest. We moms are achieving enormous feats just to balance our careers with the demands of nurturing our families. I’m a busy mom of two and life can get a little chaotic (I’m sure you gals are with me on this!) There are only 24 hours in the day—it’s important for us to decide how to best allocate our time.
1) Time management: As working mothers, we need to have a clear vision of how we want our life to look. I’ve created a list of my top priorities and always try to keep them in mind: doing my very best each day at work, spending quality time with my kids, and TRYING to make some time for myself. The key is finding a balance between the three.
2) Having a plan: When you have children, routine is necessary. Time management is all about having a plan and sticking to it. On Sundays, I get ready for the week ahead by organizing the kid’s clothes (with their help and input) and making a dinner menu so that I am not left in a nightly scramble. This lets me to go to work with a clear mind and with the help of some (a lot of!) extra caffeine, I am able to conquer my day.
3) Effective multitasking: I watch my favourite movies when I do my cardio on treadmills. I pack my son’s lunch while feeding my daughter her dinner (and I always swore I’d be firm on eating dinner as a family at the dinner table!). Multitasking can save lots of time and make room for the top priorities in your life.
In the above photo I manage to get a much-needed pedicure while painting my daughters’ nails—combining a little TLC for mom and some quality time with my daughter Sophia-Rose!
4) Taking time for yourself: We aren’t going to be able to keep up with work or our families if we don’t take care of ourselves. “Me” time is very important for busy moms like us. Every once in a while I’ll squeeze in a massage or a facial, but normally the only “me” time I get is a workout or yoga class. Luckily, that’s enough to reenergize me for another wonderfully hectic day with my family.