Sure, a simple après-ski massage is nice, but ski resort spas are branching into alternative treatments designed to boost energy, recovery and performance so you can get the most out of every run.

Salt Cave: Le Chabichou, Courchevel, France

When doctors at the turn of the 20th century noticed salt miners had a surprising resistance to respiratory disease, they looked for a connection between the miners’ work environment and their robust health. They found that salt air benefits the skin, boosts energy and relieves stress, in addition to its respiratory benefits. Le Chabichou’s salt cave features a floor and walls covered with backlit natural crystal salt; a 30-minute session is purported to offer “the benefits of a weekend by the sea.”  LE CHABICHOU, COURCHEVEL, FRANCE


IV Vitamin Treatments: Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, BC

IV vitamin treatments offer high doses of key vitamins that go directly to the bloodstream for “immediate results at a cellular level,” says Nita’s in-house naturopath, Dr. Dawn Gareau, herself a former competitive skier. Those results, Gareau says, can include faster muscle recovery time, reduced lactic acid and lower inflammation. The B vitamins in particular reduce anxiety and provide adrenal support while helping to boost energy and reduce jet lag. NITA LAKE SPA


Cryotherapy Cold Sauna: Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC

After a day of heli-skiing in the Monashee Mountains, Sparkling Hill guests can visit North America’s first cryotherapy cold sauna, spending up to three minutes in a room set to -100 C. As the skin temperature drops to 5 C, blood vessels build a protection zone to maintain the core body temperature, boosting the nervous and circulatory systems. Practitioners claim the dry cold is “comfortable,” but we’ll let braver souls find out for themselves. SPARKLING HILL RESORT


Oxygen Therapy: St. Regis Aspen Resort, Aspen, Colorado
At 2,400 metres above sea level, Aspen is high enough that altitude sickness can hinder performance and athletic recovery. All guests of the Remède Aspen Spa at the St. Regis have access to an oxygen lounge, where they breathe through individual oxygen machines pumping air with sea-level oxygen to counter altitude-induced headache or nausea. Those needing extra relief can opt for the altitude recovery massage, which includes a 30-minute oxygen treatment in the privacy of an individual treatment room. ST. REGIS ASPEN OXYGEN THERAPY


Cupping: Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, Vail, Colorado

Remember those weird bruises Michael Phelps sported at the Olympics? He was cupping, and next time you visit Vail, you can, too – as an addition to any massage treatment the Five-Star Spa. While spa guests experience a gentler treatment that does not create bruises, practitioners say cupping can help sore muscles recover, improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation and open the lungs for better oxygen flow. FOUR SEASONS VAIL

This post is also available in: French