For most of us, a spa day is synonymous with the ultimate in relaxation and pampering. But for a woman visiting a Quebec spa, the experience turned out to be fatal.
35-year-old Chantal Lavigne died in hospital Friday, following a detox at a spa in Durham, about 100 kilometres southeast of Montreal, in La Belle Province.
Lavigne was one of 10 people taking part in a lengthy detoxification session that involved profuse sweating and "being all wrapped in plastic with mud... and blankets". Apparently the treatment didn't include hydration.
According to Quebec provincial police spokesman, Daniel Thibodeau, the victim and another woman were rushed to hospital in nearby Drummondville; one was in critical condition while the other was vomiting frequently.
Although the other woman was reported to be in stable condition on Saturday, Lavigne died. Police are trying to establish whether the case involved negligence or criminal conduct.
Lucie Brosseau, of Alliance Spas Relais Santé, admits that Quebec spas are not regulated, and while industry standards do exist, they are not mandatory. Brosseau was adamant that individuals booking in to a spa do their research before receiving any treatment.
"One thing we want with this incident is to [get] people to go and look and ask for quality," she said. "Ask for quality therapists, ask for quality treatments."
According to its online listing, the farmhouse spa, which is run by Daiva Goulet, offers Reiki, as well as massage and natural products.
Creepily, neighbours have previously complained to police about loud screaming coming from the adjacent property.
"The screaming was odd, it gave me shivers," said neighbour Roxanne Labonté, who complained just last month to authorities about the disturbance.
While you can't really go wrong with a pedi, Yummies, be sure to do your homework. Make sure the right credentials are framed and hanging on the wall before you go climbing onto any therapist's bed. You don't want it to be your death bed.