Reboot with a Digital Detox
There are two types of people in the world: Those who can press their two fists flat against each other while extending both arms straight, and those who can’t. So, if your arms resemble a cowboy’s bowed legs rather than two vertical, heaven-reaching tree trunks (go on, try it), do the unthinkable. Stop texting. Snap shut the laptop. Disconnect from Wi-Fi.
If this step perhaps feels a little too drastic (maybe even impossible), try booking a spa appointment instead. Digital detox treatments are a growing trend in wellness.
“It is imperative that we give ourselves the permission to switch off and look up, to enjoy nature and embrace relaxation,” said Jen Girardi, sales and marketing manager at Scandinave Spa Whistler.
Sticking to that promise of no social media until after breakfast isn’t always easy, though. No need to jump into the deep end right away by banning devices forever. Why not ease into it by wading into a waist-deep pool at the Scandinave Spa instead? The spa provides the perfect kickstart, requiring all guests keep their digital devices in their lockers.
Suffering from anticipated cell phone separation anxiety? Scandinave Spa staff are there to help by offering to store digital devices securely behind the front desk.
Just a few hours at the Scandinave is all that is needed to provide enough silence to let Mother Nature step in and do her work. The outdoor spa, carved out of a hillside, is surrounded by forest and mountain views. A series of hot and cold pools, sauna and steam room, and relaxation areas await, offering guests the benefits of hydrotherapy. Guests alternate between hot and cold experiences, an ancient Finnish tradition, which has been scientifically proven to rest, relax and revitalize the body.
“The benefits of digital detox start almost immediately,” Girardi says. “Guests relax, breathe in the fresh mountain air, close their eyes and embrace the moment. As you look around, nobody is looking at their phones, so it becomes natural not to have your cell phone.”
Step 1 is creating a healthy detachment from digital devices. Step 2 is addressing those tight hand and arm muscles created by too much typing and texting, not to mention the neck tension from looking down at a phone or sitting hunched over a keyboard all day. Massages at The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge are customized to each client’s needs.
“More so, with each year, aches and pains are presenting themselves due to technological use,” said Hannah Edwards, spa manager at The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge. “Our therapists will address these areas, treat them, and provide tips for at-home-care with stretches and suggested modifications in posture.”
The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge will soon carry product and mineral makeup lines that combat the aging effects created by too much exposure to computer screens. Screens emit a blue light, which dermatologists believe can produce wrinkles and skin discolouration over time.
“We are finding natural ways to empower guests’ lives, always looking for the latest developments and bringing an extra level of awareness to experiences,” Edwards said.
Wellness books and magazines are available in the spa’s relaxation lounge, so that guests can both prolong their spa escape and expand their knowledge.
A digital detox treatment addresses the body, mind and spirit. Massages at the The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler take a regular massage treatment one step further by using products that get down to the molecular level of well-being. In the digital world, positive is negative, and negative is positive. Digital devices create positive ions, affecting the body, detracting from overall well-being. Nature, on the other hand, creates negative ions, on which the body thrives. So, the Four Seasons integrates as much nature into its treatments as possible from the creams and scrubs to even the treatment-room walls.
“We have a live moss wall,” explains Jackie Goldbloom, the lead massage therapist at The Spa at the Four Seasons. “One of our treatments, the Sea to Sky Massage, utilizes aromatherapy like camomile as well as a lot of locally inspired ingredients, such as hand-harvested seaweed, sea salt scrubs and hot stones.”
At the Whistler Day Spa, their RnR Feature Facial offers a perfect opportunity for those who have fallen into the all-too-common overworked, exhausted, not-enough-me-time trap to reset, nourish and reconnect.
On arrival at the spa, guests can change into the robes and slippers that are provided and are encouraged to leave their devices in their locker — a much-needed escape from their busy “digital” worlds. Spa clients are then offered a cup of camomile tea to calm and relax prior to the treatment, and are then treated to a 60-minute hydrating facial using Dermalogica products.
Those tired “screen eyes” are pampered with a pressure-point massage and reviving mask, and a nurturing lip treatment will revitalize that smile. This, while masterful hands deliver a neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage, capped off with a heavenly scalp massage.
Forced to unplug, guests often say, “‘That was the best hour of my life,’” said Spa Director Janie Marcoux. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s outdoor hot tubs and dry sauna before and after their spa treatment.
Digital detox treatments aim to leave guests a little more mindful and educated about maintaining a healthy relationship with their devices.
“I have found that once guests experience what it is like to give themselves permission to unplug at the spa, they find themselves embracing the principle in their day-to-day lives,” Girardi says.