Brand building through storytelling

Spa treatment du jour: sleep therapy

When I set out to break my sleeping pill habit, I schlepped by subway and bus to your basic red brick medical building. Alongside a mom with a stroller and an elderly gent in a wheelchair, I rode the elevator to the Toronto Sleep Clinic, where the walls are beige and the furniture best described as functional. It didn’t even cross my mind that I could have embarked on this adventure in style, at one of those high-end spas where you’re escorted to your treatment in the softest of robes as New Age music wafts in the fragrant air.

I thought I knew a thing or two about spas. I’ve been to half a dozen, including—just once—the Versailles of spas, Canyon Ranch, where my fellow serenity seekers in a yoga class included women dripping with diamonds. I’d never been buffed and fluffed by so many beautiful people, or felt so overwhelmed by the sheer range of options for self-improvement: styles of massage I’d never heard of, plus enough fitness classes, killer bike rides and mountain hikes to challenge an Olympian. But not until I opened this morning’s Globe and Mail did I learn what Canyon Ranch is into now. Forget ashtanga yoga and hot stone massages; the latest trend is sleep therapy. And rival spas, not to be outdone, are jumping onto the bandwagon.

Four days at Canyon Ranch cost upwards of $2,000. My visits to the Toronto Sleep Institute were covered by OHIP. True, I had to wear my own bargain-rack robe with the persistent raspberry stain, and not only draw but scour my own bathtub. I would have liked a cunning little spa dinner of rare beef slivers atop an asparagus fan, the whole design drizzled with curlicues of fat-free jus. But I had to settle for my own rough-and-ready pasta. At least I could have seconds and a glass of cabernet on the side. What matters most is this: the program worked. More about that tomorrow.

Posted by Rona

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