Wow – What a mind-blowing experience! For some time, I have received Massage Therapy at the Ovarium Spa and have found it very beneficial. The therapists are all certified, experienced and extremely busy. The spa has been in Montréal for thirty years, the last twelve at St-Denis & Beaubien in Rosemont. I couldn’t wait to try the other incredible treatments offered, after hearing about them from Anne, my massage therapist. I had such a great time that if you can’t actually take a vacation, I highly recommend coming here to get away! The combination of a massage and one or more of these advanced therapies is my idea of Heaven.
From the moment you enter this historic building to the moment you leave, it is a progressively relaxing journey. In a former two-storey bank, the ceilings are high and there are soothing images and décor everywhere. I waited in the main lounge area for someone to come and get me, while rocking in a comfy chair. The New Age music by Vangelis surrounded me and I helped myself to a complementary cup of tea.
This is where the cutting edge of technology melds with the mind to induce the calmest atmosphere possible. The massage therapists all use ipads to record your medical history with an application created by the Ovarium Spa, and there is state-of-the-art stereo equipment everywhere! The time spent here will be the purest integrated relaxation you can get for your time and your money. I was led into the old bank vault, still intact, to a dimly lit cubicle where the amazing Neurospa awaited…
It was a bed, molded for maximum comfort and support, a fairly new addition at Ovarium Spa. The attendant covered me with a blanket, set the chair for thirty minutes, turned down the lights even more, and left. At the same time as the chair started to vibrate into my lower back, a symphony of aquatic sounds, orchestrated by Angelini, filled my head from the built-in speakers behind me. Every stressful thought I’d had minutes before, was drowned out by the bliss of my isolation. I closed my eyes and felt as though I was body-surfing on waves in the middle of the ocean, listening to the whales. Between the vibrations and the sonic boom, it was overwhelming – in a fabulous way! Personally, I could have spent twice as long in that bed and I know I’ll be back for more! It works with your nervous system to promote “positive vibes” and results in serious stress reduction. This treatment is not for those who don’t like being alone with their thoughts. I was so impressed to find out that it was developed by two Québecois, Gilbert Bouchard with Bernard Meloche, the owner and genius behind the Ovarium Spa.
Next, was the Pulsar – a voyage in sight and sound. I sat in another cozy chair and put on the goggles which emit flashing LED lights at a frequency which slows the brainwaves, regulated from a control unit, promoting relaxation. You don a set of headphones, piping harmonic music and relax for another thirty minutes. Apparently, a lot of people swear by this, and book recurring appointments to complement their massages, but I was still thinking about that bed!
And then… la pièce de résistance – the flotation bath. The Ovarium Spa was the innovating force in Québec for this treatment. I had spent the night before worrying that I would feel claustrophobic in this device. However, when I entered the private room, with shower, I stepped into the huge alien-looking pod and the ceiling was higher than I imagined. I was able to completely close the door of the egg-shaped chamber and I was so relieved! The music started and my journey began… I turned the light out in the antechamber, but left the bluish one on inside. There was a call button, along with buttons to control the lights and music. My senses isolated, I floated on my back for an hour which passed so quickly that I was disappointed when the Music of Angels came on, signalling the end. I have done a lot of meditation but never have I experienced anything like this. As my body floated weightlessly, my mind became free of its everyday constraints. I was at once far away yet closer than ever to myself. I connected with a part of myself I don’t often hear, while also having an out of body sensation.
(Yes, the film Altered States by Ken Russell ran through my mind!) Likened to the Dead Sea in Israel, the 1:1 ratio of epsom salt to water is what makes you float and there are real health benefits here. The silky water is great for your skin and there are improvements in the cardiovascular, circulatory, immune and pulmonary systems. Apparently , it’s also great for pregnant women. You absolutely have to try this! (Towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap and hair dryers are all at your disposal.)
There are several other lounges, in which to acclimatize slowly and have more tea until you “recover” and can face the world again. I was in my own world until the second I walked out the door and I’ve already booked my next visit!
The prices vary, but are extremely reasonable for the treatments offered, and I highly recommend gift certificates for your stressed-out loved ones! They have amazing packages available – including one for Mother’s Day! Visit their website for a complete price list.
Products available: great smelling bath & body products, relaxation CDs, epsom salts, books and t-shirts, celebrating the spa’s thirtieth anniversary.