Be a Medical Tourist in Your Own Backyard
by Sussanna Czeranko, ND
Medical tourism and the healing arts go hand in hand. And they’re literally a stone’s throw away, right in our own backyard. We often associate medical tourist destinations with exotic, distant venues, complete with modern medical facilities and services including marvellous traditional spas. Don’t forget, of course, the fine dining with wholesome, delicious food.
European spas include medical activities based on scientific evidence aimed at health promotion, prevention, therapy, and rehabilitation. They have a long history of traditional therapies, so effective that many countries include them in their national health systems, supported by robust research. These medical spas are complemented by cultural and artistic activities considered equally important in the healing of the body, mind, and spirit.
Options for international travel have been sharply curtailed in the last year. Yet the desire for unique experiences that heal and enrich the visitor are right here in Saskatchewan, found in the quaint village of Manitou Beach, midway between Saskatoon and Regina. It doesn’t take long to notice that the 318 people of Manitou Beach love their special, mineral-rich, little lake.
Manitou Beach is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and surprisingly even for many folks in Saskatchewan. Little Manitou Lake is a heavily mineralized and saline body of water, often compared with Israel’s Dead Sea. Its waters are high in sulfur, magnesium, potassium, calcium, silica, and iron oxide. The high mineral content is responsible for alleviating pain due to arthritis and muscular tension and can be the perfect remedy for skin problems. During the summer months, Little Manitou Lake attracts tourists from around the world who come to “take in the healing waters.” But it doesn’t stop there. For such a tiny town, there is so much to discover.
Even Goats Can Float
In the centre of Manitou Beach is a historical and unique building called Danceland, famous for its 5,000 square foot dance floor, whose underlay is genuine horse hair, creating the floor’s amazing flex. Danceland draws a steady crowd of people of all ages who have danced on this floor for years. There are many tales of those who met their beloved here many decades ago and make regular pilgrimages back to the lights and music of Danceland to reconnect with friends and family. Danceland has captured the essence of the saline properties of Manitou Lake with the sales of t-shirts with the line, “Even goats can float!”
When people swim in Little Manitou Lake, they notice immediately the remarkable buoyancy of the water. It is truly impossible to sink when swimming in the lake. There is no need to tread water nor to wear a life jacket in the lake water that is over your head. The minerals in the lake will support you every time and you will stay afloat.
Little Manitou Art Gallery
Expect the unexpected when you find yourself at the famous yellow SUNSHINE GATE of the Little Manitou Art Gallery, another Beach treasure. Your senses will be awakened to a kaleidoscope of treasures made by over 150 Saskatchewan artists, whose exquisite work is displayed among the most stunning flower gardens in the village.
The motto at Little Manitou Art Gallery is “Inspiring Art.” Count not only on seeing inspiring art made in Saskatchewan, but also on creating your own personal art at one of the many workshops, while sipping on a good glass of wine. Create something beautiful that you can take home and remember forever from your time in Manitou.
And, if you come on a weekend, you can listen to original music talents, such as Brian Paul, Louie and the Beach Cats, the Garrys, and many others. This is a welcoming, safe, children-friendly space where little ones are invited to free children’s games in the garden with prizes for everyone.
Down the Lane Cottage
Around the corner from Little Manitou Art Gallery, you will find the stoic and gentle 13-foot Big Bear, the guardian totem for Manitou Waters Naturopathic Clinic. Big Bear has two jobs: first, to slow the traffic travelling on John Street, and second, to stand high and proud while people get a perfect photo of themselves with him.
Big Bear will point you to the Down the Lane Cottage, which is the site for healing arts activities of Manitou Waters. Mentored by local artists, visitors can create with their very own hands something unique. The experience is indelible, and when something magically emerges from delightful and basic materials, there is the exhilarating experience of true accomplishment.
Programs are available by reservation for a personalized spa program in Manitou Waters Naturopathic Clinic that may include a medicinal mud [peloid] wrap or bath, seaweed baths, a steam bath, reflexology, shiatsu massage, and much more. Visitors can savour a delicious lunch with fabulous wines, kombucha, coffee, tea, and gluten-free desserts. Based upon the LOIS principle (local, organic, in season, sustainable), lunch will leave indelible memories on your taste buds. The spa therapies are complemented by an artistic adventure facilitated by the Manitou Waters team.
Stay a day, a weekend, or a week. I promise you will want to come back. There are abundant, creative, and unique experiences waiting for you in Manitou Beach!
2021 Upcoming Events at Manitou Beach
July 1 Manitou Beach Recreation Board hosts
the BEST ever fireworks in the province!!
July 2 Little Manitou Art Galley hosts the
Annual Art Affair celebrating their opening with lots of art displays, activities, and much more
July 9, 10, 11 Manitou Beach or Busk,
Three-Day Busker Festival
July 10, 11 Spirit of Manitou Studio Trails
Sussanna Czeranko, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in Manitou Beach, SK. She is the founder of Manitou Waters Healing Arts, specializing in naturopathic spa therapies. Also a certified Buteyko Breathing Educator, Sussanna is the author of the 12-volume series The Hevert Collection, published by NUNM PRESS in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Czeranko has published over 150 articles in professional journals on natural medicine topics. Manitou Waters, 205 John Street, Manitou Beach, 306-946-4266, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.manitouwaters.com.