The shocking death of a 35-year old woman on Friday who fell unconscious during a detox spa treatment at a Quebec spa raises questions about how to make detoxing safe. During an overnight treatment at the Reine de Paix farmhouse in South Durham, about 100 kilometres southeast of Montreal, Chantal Levigne fell unconscious and was taken to a hospital in Drummondville, Que., where she passed away. Another woman was also taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.
What is detox?
Detoxing is a popular goal of many spa treatments – it’s a way of ridding the body of toxins in order to cleanse both body and spirit. There are various ways to detox, through sweating in saunas; body wraps that contain ingredients like seaweed and mud; diet; fasting and even herbal enemas and colon cleansing.
When is it too much?
The body can only stand too much. An overload of heat, especially without proper hydration, can cause stress the body – sometimes in a lethal way. According to reports, the intense detox treatment that the women underwent included being wrapped in mud, plastic and blankets. The treatment was hours long and they were not hydrated properly.
When is it safe?
When done correctly in a safe environment, detox treatments are one of the best ways to give the body a boost.
1) Go to a reputable spa While spas in Canada are apparently not government regulated, the Alliance Spas Relais Santé is a self-regulating body that requires member spas to maintain certain standards. Check their website for member spas. The Leading Spas of Canada is another association that holds members to high standards and professionalism.
2) Hydrate – drink plenty of water.
3) Use common sense If you’re feeling dizzy or nauseous tell your therapist. Don’t stay in saunas or hot tubs too long.
4) Talk to your doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions before undergoing any detox treatment.
5) Moderation – it’s tempting to push yourself in the quest for healing and wellness, but going to the extreme can backfire in a bad way. Slow and steady should be your spa mantra.
Detox is not a dirty word
Tragic events like these are frightening, but done in a safe and controlled way, detox is an important key to wellbeing. For some top detox tips, check out the Grail Springs Spa website. The Grail Springs in Bancroft, Ontario, offers a variety of wellness programs and is a member of the Leading Spas of Canada. A 2.5 hour drive from Toronto, they offer free shuttles from the Toronto airport with certain programs.
Carol Perehudoff is an award-winning travel and spa writer. For more spa articles, visit Carol’s Luxury Travel Blog at www.wanderingcarol.com