Reviews

The Healthy Shores of Majorca & Ibiza

GM-3021-MA

building-500295_1920

Against a backdrop of sunshine, beaches, culture and gastronomy, the Balearic islands are prescribing medicinal additives to visitor experiences. From sports physiotherapy, fertility, dentistry, ophthalmology, preventive medicine, to dialysis facilities and increased private medical services, the islands have plans to open windows to wellness and health tourism.

The islands, favoured by many British holidaymakers, are forecasting a healthy future with a range of health and wellness treatments, activities and services with new well-equipped private clinics and hospitals, multi-lingual staff and medical service companies designed to take care of international visitors of all ages and needs.

Tennis star, Rafal Nadal is leading the way with sports rehabilitation as well as a champion training academy with an impressive centre on the eastern side of Majorca. As a native resident he opened the centre in June 2016, designed for aspiring young players as well as adults offering stylish accommodation for its range of residential programmes. His museum is also well worth a visit.

Private hospitals on the islands include The Hospital de Llevant in Porto Cristo, the only private hospital on the eastern side, with multi-lingual staff and a range of specialists to meet seasonal demands. Here there is a separate building for the new Porto Cristo Dialysis Centre while the aesthetic unit offers treatments for hair loss, weight problems and cosmetic procedures. Built originally as a retirement residence, the rooms are generous in space, complete with sea views and balcony. The Clínica Rotger, part of the Quironsalud group, is modern and well-equipped with six consulting rooms located around the island. The hospital recently introduced new services in oncology, dermatology, and dermo aesthetic treatments and has a fifth floor to make any patient feel better with views over Palma and contemporary art dotted around.  Clinica Juaneda is a multi-service hospital with 90 specialised doctors covering all medical specialties and a dedicated international medical centre. And with the increasing international demand for assisted reproduction, Majorca has a modern IVI clinic.

Specialised, well-equipped dialysis clinics with professional medical teams are encouraging patients to travel to Majorca for that well-needed break where scheduled treatments can be combined with interesting, cultured itineraries in a sunny climate.

On the island of Ibiza, the Policlinica Nuestra Señora Del Rosario has 70 rooms, an intensive care unit, emergency room and three outpatient centres on the island with more than 40 medical specialties and two physiotherapy and rehabilitation centres.  Its VIP area is independent from the hospital and benefits from a private entrance.

Trendy destinations attract the fashionable & health conscious travellers who wants to look good all year round. Private, certified aesthetic clinics, managed by registered professionals are catering for this growing market so the health tourists can feel assured they are in safe hands. On the island of Ibiza, Eiviluxury, a small, compact clinic is apace with the latest, fashionable treatments for its party-going stylish clientele who frequent the island’s rhythms especially in high season or reside in their second homes. Led by Dr. María Bufí, the variety of treatments include heavy metal body checks, ozone therapies, gynaecological treatments, hair implants and varicose vein removal using the latest technology performed by visiting doctors who are experts in their field.  The Eiviestetic plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine centre, part of Policlinica Nuestra Señora Rosario, also offers a safe answer to aesthetic treatments ranging from tattoo removal by laser, intimate wellness and the new Profound System,a one off non-invasive lifting treatment.

Health blended with a generous dose of tourism makes for a good holiday remedy while regional colourful cuisine serves up healthy Mediterranean flavours. Restaurants in Palma such as Cuit and Fabiola Gastronomic Garden are fine examples while Can March in Manacor is a rustic family inn, popular with the locals.  On Ibiza, you can dine in one of the oldest restaurants at Restaurante Ca N’Alfredo in its centre or at Calma which enjoys views over the marina. There is a good choice of accommodation in season such as the Valparaiso Palace and Spa which commands enviable views over Palma Bay.

Majorca is the largest of the Balearic islands with Palma as its heart. Here you can delve into its history by strolling along cobbled lanes, passing hidden courtyards with glimpses to imperial staircases and buildings proudly displaying their signature coat of arms.  Overlooking the sea is the imposing ornate Gothic Cathedral  with a vast rose window and wrought iron canopy by Gaudi. Away from Palma is the pretty village of Valldemossa set in the Tramuntana mountains and worth the short drive to enjoy the alley ways, stone houses dressed with hanging flower baskets and the 13thcentury monastery where the musician Chopin stayed.  A trip to Porto Cristo leads to an enchanting harbour with coves and caves and the world’s largest underground lake system.

The depth of history on the island of Ibiza is cloaked within the fortified city walls of Dalt Vila, a world heritage site. Its muscular gates lead to uneven pathways, interrupted by bastions, and commemorative plaques revealing past tales and factual statements. Routes climb to the top to admire the views of modern Ibiza, a strong contrast from the old stone walls to the glitzy marina developments and the cosmopolitan retail world of Zara, Rolex watches and new boutique hotels such as the Gran Hotel, Montesol, renovated within a neo-colonial building

As the trend increases in health and wellness tourism, watch out for the healthy glow around these islands and the added restorative and medicinal tonics to holiday experiences. There’s more than fiestas and siestas in the Balearics.

https://illesbalears.travel/en/baleares/health-and-wellnes/

medical-563427_640

 

AguasDeIbiza03

River Cruising to Health

AmaSonata_Exterior

A flute of sparkling wine or a glass of healing gemstone water, circuit training, yoga flow or afternoon tea? Tricky decisions. A fast-paced Vienna walking tour, a castle hill hike in Passau, an 18-mile bike tour to Durnstein, a gentle evening stroll with wine tasting in Krems or a Vilshofen Organ Concert & Beer Underworld Tour. These were the choices I faced on my first wellness river cruise through Germany and Austria on the AmaSonata, one of 19 ships belonging to AmaWaterways.

Wellness is the new wave in river cruising and floated into creative itineraries with a dedicated wellness host at the helm. The preconception of a sedate meander along the river has long passed by and washed ashore. Today, this trendy mode of holidaying involves daily visits to interesting places and cities interspersed with optional wellness activities onboard and indulging in fine wines and gourmet cuisine.

A Fortress Hike in Durnstein, a bike ride along the Danube, a resistance band or Zumba class. Active or gentle, competitive or a complete beginner, from early morning stretch, posture workout, to laps around the jogging track, activities have been designed for all age groups and fitness levels. If classes don’t appeal, there’s a gym, compact as it may be, Nordic sticks for hiking trails ashore, walking tours at paces to suit, a spa offering a handful of massage treatments and lectures on lifestyle wellness. But it was cycling that won the popular vote. Many of my fellow sailors chose rides along the Danube’s river paths,  the more adventurous cycling the cobbled streets and  narrow passageways on guided city tours while the longer rides haloed the fittest amongst us.

Bicycle_Tour_in_Durstein_Austria

Ashore, it was culture in abundance. History echoed through stone passageways, etched on walls, recalled in painful truths and humbling stories, crafted in statues, exposed in Baroque and Gothic architecture, shrouded in monasteries and celebrated in jaw-dropping cathedrals. Our route along the Danube cruised from Nuremberg to Vienna, each port of call having a narrative to tell. The Nuremberg trials and Courtroom, the countless listed buildings and commemorative stumbling stones in Regensburg, the world’s largest pipe organ in Passau’s St. Stephens Cathedral and Richard The Lionheart’s imprisonment in Durnstein.  We visited Mondsee, famous for its appearance in The Sound of Music, Linz, the UNESCO city of media arts, the awe-inspiring Benedictine Abbey in Melk ending in Vienna, the capital, personified by the Blue Danube waltz, gilded palaces and gold statue of Strauss, its state opera, rich chocolate Sachertorte, The Spanish Riding School and St. Stephens Cathedral cradled in its centre.

Quietening the mind is an easy pastime on a ship which glides along calm waters bordered by lush green river banks  – silent, still and serene. Relaxing on the sundeck, roads track us from the side, trains play hide and seek as they hiss between trees and hills, speed boats whizz pass and barges lug past dragging  their heavy cargo.  Pressures of everyday life drift downstream.

The scenery from a river cruise is just as one imagines and vibrant in sunlight.  Paths zig-zagging across the mountainside, boats moored onto private jetties, villages centred by steepled churches and families waving as they share picnics and homemade lemonade.

AmaPrima in Passau (Danube)AmaPrima - Amawaterways

The commentary along the Danube adds a historical date or two, dotted with colourful myths and fables. We see castles still standing, reminding us of Rapunzel-like fairy tales while others lie in ruins. Terraced grooves folded into the landscape define the Wachau Valley wine region complemented with a climate ripe for harvesting  apricots. The secluded inlets carved into the riverbed provide sanctuary for wildlife from river traffic while the locks and low bridges offer a different dimension to our voyage.

Dining is another attractive pursuit offering a good variety of fine dining menus for lunch and dinner with a guide to healthier options. Local and regional dishes are integrated into daily choices with some themed events to add a little theatre to the experience. The Chef’s Table boutique restaurant offers a taster menu, all complemented with wine recommendations. The waiters, as with most of the crew are eager to serve, some with distinguishable personalities, all with an appetite for high standards.  Post dinner, the entertainment takes to the floor with renditions from a West End singer, melodies on the piano, costumed operatta  and jiving into the early hours, offering music for all palettes.

AmaSonata_MainDiningRoom

On board, the atmosphere is convivial and with 160 passengers it’s easy to forge friendships in a short time. Conversation centres around cultural experiences ashore while wellness activities draw individuals together, motivating and sharing achievements. Dotted with miniature orange trees and table orchids, the AmaSonata is tastefully decorated and contemporary in style.

Before disembarking, we are informed of the launch next year of the AmaMagna, a revolutionary new style double-width river ship, with a Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform. So, with more wellness activities, more choices,  I decide to be better prepared for my next wellness cruise as I enjoy a farewell glass of healing gemstone water.

For more information about AmaWaterways or to book go to www.amawaterways.co.uk, call tel: 0800 320 2335 or visit your local travel agent.

About AmaWaterways:

Family-owned, AmaWaterways is headquartered in, California with offices in Switzerland and the U.K. It provides river cruise holidays on 19 ships, sailing along the waterways of Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Next year the company will launch three ships. The AmaMora, will offer a choice of itineraries on the Rhine, while the smaller, more intimate AmaDouro makes her debut on Portugal and Spain’s Douro River.The revolutionary AmaMagna will also enter service in May 2019. She will offer an unprecedented range of facilities including a choice of restaurants, Zen Wellness Studio and water sports platform as well as offering far more personal space than traditional river cruise ships.

From  Summer 2019, the Wellness Programme will be offered across the European fleet (excluding Douro).

AmaMagna_Exterior_rend_04_FULL

Ayurveda, the European way

Ayurveda-Resort-Sonnhof_Honig-Sauna-mit-Lounge_02

Editor’s Review

It has been a very busy year so far and it’s starting to show. I’m eating more of the wrong foods to cope with looming deadlines, my mobile takes priority, my weight is nudging the scales and my skin has lost that freshness. I have no time to just be….

Is this just me or are we losing a sense of our existence, how we feel, how we view the world, who we are. Is there a disconnect between mind, body and spirit? Are we e-people, controlled by technology?

Slow forward to the gentle slopes of Austria, where church bells ring in synchrony with the collar bells attached to goats grazing. Where the Alps form a protective wrapping around the landscape – unpolluted air, solitude, silence. What better setting for an Ayurveda Resort amidst this cradle of tranquillity and peace in Hinterthiersee.

I was visiting for four days for a dose of holistic healing, European style, which meant local and seasonal food,  a western interpretation of treatments and, best of all, no jet-lag.

First was a consultation with the resident Ayurvedic doctor who proved intuitive and impressive in his pulse diagnosis and lifestyle evaluation. He delivered an accurate, informative assessment both with humour and an in-depth knowledge of Ayurvedic doctrines and healings. Based on my particular symptoms and constitution, a therapy plan was created which  combined herbal medicine, a nutrition programme with detox and supportive treatments.

Ayurveda is a system of medicine with historical roots in the  Indian subcontinent. It is the oldest form of medical science based upon the body’s protection of life against negative effects. Put simply, changes in the composition of the natural elements inherent within and around us  affect our health. When our “doshas” (bio-energies) are disturbed, the body becomes imbalanced,  causing illness. Diagnostic ayurvedic treatments can help to restore the body.

A salt rub is not for the faint-hearted, it’s vigorous and stimulating. Known as Upana, this Alpine scrub is used to release stressful energy and strengthen the immune system in preparation for cleansing and detoxing.  Its effects are then sealed in with a sauna visit.

The spa area houses a number of saunas differentiated by heat temperature and purpose.  The Kapha is a detoxifying steam bath, the Pitta a herb and clay sauna while the Vata is denoted as the gemstone and saltwater therapy.  There are several infra-red cabins,  a small gym, an indoor pool and various relaxation areas.

The resort exudes calm and intimacy which is visually reflected by a décor which splashes the colour purple alongside local timber panels to create an earthy feel.  Spiritual energy seems to ooze from buddha statues and handcrafted sculptures dotted around.

Meal times are quiet and pleasant. Each guest has an assigned table, a daily personalised agenda with personal encouragement and affirmations which I would read at regular times during the day. I would also peep enviably at those guests not following a specific programme – enjoying  seasonal, colourful dishes, artistically presented. For those of us on a stricter regime, the simple delicate detox dishes were served with encouragement and a knowing smile.

I was prepared for the  “purging cocktail” concocted to rid the body of toxins and waste products. It was administered by the medical team on the second day – so no cheating was allowed.  The remainder of the morning was confined to the room and close to the much needed facilities. I was grateful for the distraction of the mountain views from the balcony. Later, a belly massage continued the process, a treatment designed to strengthen and detoxify the tissues and release any blockages.

No caffeine, no sweet treats. I was suffering from a headache and tiredness from the previous day, natural reactions I was assured to a detoxification process. But to my delight, a head and body massage was on the day’s agenda, very timely. Billed as Shirodhara, this treatment is a traditional head treatment and body massage specifically to relieve stress-relating symptoms and it worked.

The atmosphere is cosy, friendly and supportive. Guests share their experiences in a positive light and are sympathetic to the effects endured. Many guests return  here for their annual MOT, some travel with supportive partners but most are alone. Days can be active with Yoga, Pilates, Qi Gong, Tai Chi walks, forest bathing and lectures, all providing a social opportunity or non-verbal company.

Guest rooms are tastefully furnished with amenities needed for this type of stay – a hot water bottle to help with liver detox and flasks for hot water, thoughtful and considerate, just like home!  And with 30 rooms and a staff of 50, service levels are high. The therapists are trained and conversant in the European Ayurveda discipline. Those I met monitored my progress along my ayurvedic journey.

When I left this inner sanctum to join the outside world, I felt consciously transformed, lighter in weight and freer of worries. My mind was now connected to my body and spirt.  The church bells seemed to be louder and more in tune and I noticed more goats munching  on the Austrian Alps. Ayurveda maybe ancient but it remains even more relevant today.

There are direct flights from the UK to Innsbruck and a one hour drive from the airport by taxi

Prices for a 7-day Pancha Karma programme are priced from € 1,525 excl. accommodation, single rooms from €166 pp/pn

European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof, Tyrol, Austria www.sonnhof-ayurveda.at

European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof is included in the niche destinations distinctive portfolio www.niche-destinations.com

Ayurveda-Resort-Sonnhof_Wintergarten-Indra-Garden_01

Ayurveda-Resort-Sonnhof_Energiegarten-Shiva-Shakti-Biotop_01_

Ayurveda-Resort-Sonnhof_Juniorsuite-Sonnhof-Spirit_01

 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW SERIES: FACIAL REJUVENATION

Dr. David M. Alessi (Picture 1)

THE HEALTHCARE HOLIDAY -EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS 

INTERVIEWEE: DAVID ALESSI – ALESSI INSTITUTE

TOPIC: FACIAL REJUVENATION

As facial rejuvenation is increasingly becoming a sought-after cosmetic treatment, The Healthcare Holiday wanted to seek professional advice to share with you We contacted Dr Alessi, a renowned facial plastic surgeon, based in Beverly Hills, CA.

In this interview Dr Alessi offers his views on procedures and what to look out for when choosing treatments and practitioners.

QUESTION: Non-surgical facelifts and facial rejuvenation procedures are increasingly popular in today’s vanity–focused social world. What would your advice be to those considering these procedures but are concerned about undesirable results?

ANSWER: My advice to those considering any kind of facial rejuvenation procedure, whether surgical or non-surgical would be to go to an expert. These procedures are becoming very common but also, the number of doctors doing them is increasing, and many of them are not well-trained. Always look for Board Certification and primarily in the American Board of Facial Plastic Surgery or the American Board of Surgery. Non-surgical procedures should always be done first (if at all possible) because the chance for a bad outcome would be lower with a non-surgical procedure. There are many non-surgical procedures that are great such as: Profound that can tighten the skin, fillers such as Voluma to fill in the sunken look that occurs with the aging process. In terms of invasive procedures those that are the least invasive should always be done first. Everybody is an individual and no surgeon should use a cookie-cutter approach to every patient. It depends on what the patients concerns are, the surgeons to listen to the patient and come up with a surgical plan, or a non-surgical plan that the patient agrees with and fully understands.

QUESTION:  You are renowned for your “natural looking” results. How do you achieve this? Does this stem mainly from your technique, experience and products you use?

ANSWER: In terms of obtaining ‘natural results’ it’s mainly by understanding anatomy and beauty, and not cutting corners. For example: when doing a neck lift or a face-lift, many surgeons will cut corners by only pulling back the skin. That will give a ‘too-tight’ appearance and an Old Hollywood Actress appearance to their look. For facial rejuvenation surgically, as somebody ages not only does their skin sag but also their fat and muscle will sag at the same time. These all need to be put back into place to achieve a very natural look. Also understanding the aging process and putting things back to where they were when the individual was younger is very important. It’s not just about tightening skin but also to reconstruct the underlying structures.

QUESTION: Botox v fillers: What are your views on these procedures? How long do the results last and is there any medical research to indicate that repeated treatments can be detrimental to health?

ANSWER: These are both very safe procedures and they do different things. Botox is for lines that are there part of the time, such as the lines in between the brows and the forehead that contract with muscular movement. The best uses for Botox would be forehead lines, the lines in between the eyes, and crow’s feet. We also use Botox to make the eyes a little bit bigger, and also to help keep somebody’s mouth look like its slightly smiling rather than looking like a fish mouth. There is no evidence to suggest that any repeated use of Botox or fillers can be detrimental to health. There is no incidents of cancers, or other medical problems occurring because of these fillers, assuming the individual does not have an allergy to the fillers or the Botox. Fillers are used for filling in lines that are there all the time such as the lines by the nose that go to the corner of the mouth, called the nasolabial folds, or for noses that have a defect in the bridge that needs to be filled out a little bit. It can also be used for the Tear Trough that is underneath the eyes (which gives a hollowness to the eyes), to fill out lips, or it can be used to make hands look younger, and there’s multiple other uses. Most of the fillers used nowadays are made out of a Hyaluronic acid. The neat thing about these fillers is that if the result isn’t exactly what the patient wants then it can be dissolved easily. There are different types of Hyaluronic acid depending on how cross-linked they are, and will change how long the substance will be in there. It also changes the consistency as to whether or not it’s thick or thin. Thicker fillers are used for deeper correction such as giving new cheekbones, and nasolabial folds. Thinner fillers are used for underneath the eyes and for the lips. These are done very frequently and an expert of hands can be a wonderful result for patients. In terms of fillers we actually do a lot of fat injections. Fat will function just as any other filler except the only issue with fat is that sometimes the fat can go away. However with better processing of the fat, the chance of the fat surviving for a long-term or forever, is much higher.

QUESTION: Being at the forefront of this area of the medical profession, can you provide any insight on new developments?

ANSWER: In terms of any new developments in medic procedures, there are better and longer lasting fillers. There is still the search for the perfect filler that is one that will last forever but can be dissolved very easily. Also, there is research in terms of neurotypes of Botox-like substances that will last for longer periods of time. There is research on topical Botox that will avoid the use of needles. Additionally, there is more research on better types of radio frequency that can tighten the skin non-invasively.

QUESTION: We all want to keep our skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible – what is essential for our daily skin regime.

ANSWER: In terms of keeping your skin looking as young as possible, for as long as possible, the four things you need to do are: 1) moisturize; 2) stay out of the sun; 3) avoid stress and; 4) don’t smoke. Also hormonal changes especially pre-menopause or menopause can have a detrimental effect on the skin. Hormonal replacement therapy is a wonderful treatment to keep your skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible. Basically, if somebody follows the four main points above, then the skin will look great for a long time. In terms of moisturizers there are many different types. Our studies show that our skincare line performs very well however the main factor is not the cream itself, but the fact that the skin is staying moist. Antioxidants can be very useful in helping to inhibit sun damage and free-radical damage, and that is what we have in our creams as well as in other creams.

QUESTION: I note that you have a residency at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, from 25 March – 5 April 2018, can you tell us why you have chosen this location?

ANSWER: We have chosen a residency at Niyama Private Islands because we have been to the Maldives several times and in fact this will be our 10th time there. The owner of the hotel discussed the opportunity of me performing more simple procedures such as Botox; fillers, Kybella at the resort. We are exploring the possibility of doing this on a bigger scale where we can even do surgeries and have this as a destination resort for recovery, not only from surgery and cosmetic procedures but also for overall health and wellness. The Maldives is one of the most spectacular creations in the world that we have been to, and given that we travel everywhere for a hobby, I think this means something.

QUESTION: Do you have a Practice in London or plan to in the future?

ANSWER: This has always been a consideration. My wife is British, being from the Highlands in Scotland, so ideally we would love to do this. Although practically to run an office in Beverly Hills, as well as in Dubai, with the periodic residency in the Maldives, this takes up a considerable amount of time. So we will have to see how we could possibly fit this into our schedule.

QUESTION: Would you provide a general quote on the key benefits of non-surgical facelifts for those seeking age-defying procedures?

ANSWER: Our preferences is the Profound RF. Procedures such as Ulthera and Thermage help somewhat with many patients noticing a subtle result, very few noticing the home run, and several patients, especially with Ulthera, not noticing any results at all. The Profound (in our opinion) is the best way to tighten the skin non-surgically. Everybody seems to have a result, and sometimes the results are spectacular. Combining this with Botox, resurfacing the face with a fractionated CO2 Laser, and fillers, can completely rejuvenate ones appearance without surgery. The results can be remarkable.

QUESTION: And finally, you are described as a “beauty whisperer to the stars”. We would like to hear more about this!

ANSWER: It’s basically because of where I’m located. I feel I do very good work and since I work in Beverly Hills where all of these stars seem to live, they come to trust me to give them advice in terms of beauty, and maintaining their beauty. It’s a special niche in terms of that they need to look natural and normal on television, without looking like they’ve had anything done. We will often adjust our Botox so that it will not affect the roles that they are doing. For example, comedians need to have more action in their eyebrows than perhaps for someone who is doing more dramatic work. In addition we will consult with their managers and casting directors to see if any of the changes we are considering will have any impact on the types of roles they may be getting.

Chewing Over A Modern Mayr Cure at Park Igls, Austria

Parkhotel-Igls_Relaxation-area_sauna_01

My happiest New Year fantasy is to wake up back at the Park Igls Hotel in the Austrian Tyrol, all set to be cosily eased into a Modern Mayr Cure – making me healthier, fitter & thinner for 2018!

The traditional FX Mayr Cure was the stuff of legend. Devised in the 1920’s by Austrian doctor Franz Xaver Mayr, it was based on his then, highly innovative theory that good gut health is critical to our all-round wellbeing.

Zoom forward almost a century and current major research into chronic modern diseases show that Mayr’s thinking was well ahead of his time. Experts now predict that the science of gut health will be a medical game changer – creating a radical new approach to many major conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The traditional FX Mayr Cure is based on a Spartan regime of stale rolls, milk, water,  massage and exercise – and has become famously effective as a super swift and safe way to de-tox and lose weight. As such, it’s also become the well-beloved secret weapon of many of the world’s most famous faces.

Happily, however, for those of us not big on hard-core deprivation, Park Igls has devised a gentler version: The Modern Mayr Cure is a bespoke programme of diet, exercise, abdominal massage, treatments, coaching and state-of-the-art medical tests and diagnostics –  served up in luxurious, but super friendly and relaxed surroundings.

When I arrived for my 6-night stay, top doc Peter Gartner gave me a private introduction to Park Igls – set in leafy parkland just 10 minutes outside Innsbruck. I explained how a series of unexpected losses had led me to neglect my normal (admittedly pretty feeble) diet and exercise disciplines – leaving me overweight and suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

The empathetic Dr Gartner explained how his highly qualified medical team create a personalised recovery plan for every guest, matching their individual needs with gut-health-focused, Modern Mayr Medicine and cuisine.

Like so many great ideas, the basic thinking is fairly simple. We are what we eat! But how we eat – and when we eat – are also vitally important….

So recovery starts with the eating process. The more we chew the better we do! Chewing breaks down each mouthful of food, exposing an ever increasing surface area to saliva – with all its essential pre-digestive qualities.

Core Modern Mayr Cure tips for healthier eating include…

  • Essentially, breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper – giving your digestive system time to rest overnight
  • Eat fresh, well prepared food
  • Eat nothing raw after 4pm
  • Take small mouthfuls
  • Concentrate on chewing, chewing – then chewing some more – ideally 30 times for every mouthful. This will allow your saliva to do its vital pre-digestive work before you swallow.
  • Eating mindfully will also help you enjoy all the true flavour of your food – so you’ll feel satisfied with less
  • Use small sized forks and spoons – and put them down down between mouthfuls
  • Don’t drink just before, during or after a meal. But, between meals, drink at least two litres of water a day
  • Eat slowly – each meal should take at least 20 minutes
  • Stop the moment you start to feel full
  • ENJOY!

Days at Park Igls start and end early – partly because there’s no alcohol to keep you up partying through the night in the cosy lounge with its roaring log fire!

Most guests stay for a recommended two to three weeks.  Each day begins the same – with beastly ‘Bitter Wasser’! You collect a mug of concentrated Epsom Salts, mix with warm water and drink slowly. Then avoid swimming in the indoor pool while you wait for the – often dramatic – call of nature!

Once the Bitter Wasser has done its worst, there are always plenty of diversions. Mornings are pampering – filled with massages, warmly indulgent body wraps on wobbly waterbeds and strangely addictively, toe tingling Kneipp treatments, designed to improve circulation.

Surprisingly, I grew to enjoy working out in the panoramic gym with its amazing views and chandeliers. Other get-up-and-go options include Nordic walking, yoga, Pilates, strength training, cookery course, lectures, kybun® running and whacking balls at the exclusive TheMedGolf® Institute, plus beauty therapies, shopping and and theatre trips.

Mealtimes at Park Igls are quiet affairs. Mobile phones are banned. And the eight different levels of meal plan – depending on guests’ health and weight loss aims – are based on food combining. The alkaline focused menu includes spelt rolls, crispbreads, yoghurt, lightly cooked vegetables and small portions of protein – plus a Hoorah! pudding at the final lunch.

The need to chew, and chew some more is not conducive to social chit chat. So diners sit quietly chomping, like a field of contented ruminants!

The food is daintily portioned. But it’s also packed with flavour. And I was surprised to find that the secret ingredient of their yummy soups is often a good glug of Cointreau or Pernod – burnt off, of course, before serving…

But then, Park Igls was full of surprises. My “talking therapy” with lovely Thomas Blasbichler was unexpectedly helpful, offering truly practical life tips based on “possible” changes. The genuine care shown by Thomas and my personal doctor Peter Barth was typical of the whole Park Igls team. They know that life throws up googlies and that we, their guests, are fallible human beings, with normal lives, weaknesses and temptations.

They see it as their mission to listen and understand, offering a range of effective, coping techniques to alter our mindset and helping us move on to a much healthier, happier place. And so, while I’d expected to feel a bit deprived at Park Igls, instead, I felt pampered, thinner – and more positive. And by the final morning, I’d lost 8 pounds – yippee!

I followed the general ethos of the programme when I got home, mixing basic Modern Mayr principles with normal life. And by the end of a fortnight, I’d amazingly lost more than a stone – with no recurrence of my long term IBS.

So here’s to Mayr-vellous New Year! Having lapsed a little, I now feel motivated to get to grips again with the Modern Mayr programme in 2018. And I’m looking forward to rolling away much more than a stone by Easter Monday…

How to book

Felicity Hawkins was a guest of Health Retreat Park Igls (www.park-igls.com / +43 512 377305).  The award winning, 5* pioneer of Modern Mayr Medicine offers a wide variety of health enhancing programmes – helping with burnout syndrome, giving up smoking, weight loss detox and stress reduction.

Prices:

The Basic Programme costs: €977 (includes examinations, 20-minute abdominal treatment, group exercise/anti-stress sessions, lifestyle management and coaching plus Kneipp treatments and personalised Mayr cuisine eating plan.)

The Mayr Classic Programme costs: €1254pp – including the Basic Programme plus 5 massages and one metabolic detox bath.

Accommodation costs: €153 single, €148 sharing a double per night

Fly to Innsbruck with EasyJet or British Airways.

Park Igls is a member of the exclusive Niche Destinations portfolio (www.niche-destinations.com), promoting responsible and sustainable travel for independent travellers in elegant surroundings.

 

 

The Healing Waters of Bath

Roman steam roomDip your toe into the therapeutic waters of Bath for a reflection of a Roman era. Echoing a bygone time, it’s easy to imagine servants carrying vessels of mineral rich water, bathing in the warm waters that promise miraculous healing powers, being pampered in majestic surroundings with high domed ceilings while pompous and imposing Romanesque statues watch over.

From the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Georgians, Bath has long been associated with well-being which is well documented and exhibited at The Roman Baths, a first-class museum honouring the excavated remains which centre around the Sacred Spring. The rituals of spiritual contemplation, social interaction and the belief in health-giving properties of water are showcased and owe much to the Roman philosophy. Here you look and learn while a short distance away a more immersive experience awaits.

The Gainsborough Bath Spa has become the City’s crowning glory over healing waters. It’s tucked away in the quaint and aptly named Beau Street, minutes from the Roman Baths Museum and opposite the new and popular Thermae Spa facility. The hotel was originally built as a hospital, taking advantage of the curative properties of the underground springs. It was named after the artist Thomas Gainsborough and reflects a colourful history and a modern, sophisticated interpretation of its classic design. It stands as the only UK hotel with a naturally-occurring source of hot water with each guest room having its own supply of natural thermal water

The staff welcome guests like returning friends of the house. If your sat nav is not behaving, don’t despair, the hotel concierge will personally accompany you and guide you to the entrance. The rooms are elegant and tastefully furnished, complete with bathroom amenities from Asprey and a pillow menu to ensure a perfect night of slumber. It’s easy to stay in this cocoon of luxury.

Accommodating the lower ground levels, a star attraction awaits. The Spa Village offers its own version of Roman history, enjoying the privilege of exclusive access to naturally hot mineral-rich waters. This serene environment, swathed in natural light from a glass atrium, offers a range of aquatic body treatments, crafted for individual needs and conditions.

Your experience starts at the Aroma Bar where a delicate pouch of aromatherapy salts is crafted according to your mood preference.  This accompanies you throughout your time like a personal aroma mascot.  Use it as a reminder to enhance your mood during the recommended thermal circuit of three natural thermal pools, an ice alcove, traditional and infrared saunas, steam room and relaxation areas. And don’t miss the hot chocolate on tap, purported to be an ancient roman indulgent!

Treatments are designed to ensure the full benefit of the thermal waters through exfoliation, hydration and essential antioxidants and nutrients to complement the absorption of the Spring’s unique minerals. I selected the magnesium wrap, my choice based on the fact that most of us are deficient in this mineral. Apparently, magnesium is better absorbed through the skin rather than as a tablet supplement. It was a 90-minute relaxation experience combining a body scrub, massage and wrap in warm comforting towels. My skin took on a new suppleness and my mind equally nourished in relaxation. My therapist, Karbir Aliri, an expert in body nutrition, emphasised the significance of water as an essential component to relaxation, psychologically washing away stressful thoughts while immersion relaxed the muscles, allowing the breath to renew energy.

Two minutes away from the hotel is a rather different immersive experience at the Thermae Bath Spa. This popular facility is renowned for its rooftop pool created to maintain a connection with the surrounding landscape while providing therapeutic benefits. Go when the light is fading at twilight to enjoy the fabulous skyline views across the city.

The Thermae Bath Spa has involved the restoration of five historic buildings and a new contemporary structure to combine modern with a tradition of well-being which dates back over 2,000 years.

There are four natural thermal baths, one being The Minerva Bath, aptly named after the Goddess of Health and Wisdom. There are 24 treatment rooms offering a wide range of 40 therapies.

I experienced the “Nurture and Nourish” treatment which is one of the newer and recommended therapies using aromatherapy oils blended for dry or tired skin. The treatment involves a rose scrub to prepare the skin for a nourishing, light mud wrap. While wrapped cosily in towels, a facial and head massage furthers the relaxation process. The mud was showered away and the natural oils sealed in with a final massage.  I then retired to the adjoining relaxation room with a comforting cup of herbal tea in a far more calming state than when I arrived.

For that wow factor, the Wellness Suite, which was added this year, will certainly sparkle your senses with its range of colourful thermal chambers leading guests on a multi-sensory journey of seven experiences. These include Roman and Georgian inspired steam rooms, infused with aromatherapy oils, an infrared sauna, ice chamber, and an astral relaxing room, so popular that you may find a short queue. (www.thermaebathspa.com)

Bath may be brimming with restaurants but the Gainsborough Hotel’s cuisine is outstanding.  A young chef so impressed the hotel with his classic British dishes and creative use of local foods that they named the restaurant after him.  Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant offers an interesting menu as well as a creative seasonal six-course tasting option. I delved into the main menu to savour Sauteed Scallop which consisted of king prawn risotto, spring onion and yuzu – scrumptious.  The Fillet of Turbot followed, laced with crab tortellini, green peas, broad beans, girolles and crab bisque – mouth-watering and finally a menu of hard to resist desserts to include Lemon Parfait, healthy described with lavender sugar, lemon balm and raspberry sorbet.  Gluten-free requests are honoured without reminder and signature dishes modified to suit. It’s an informal yet sophisticated atmosphere with beautifully presented dishes honouring local, seasonal foods.

Before dinner, do find time to sample a cocktail made to suit your own personal taste. The bartenders are very talented and can craft a specially designed cocktail with your signature notes from a quick brief of your favourite tipples. You won’t be disappointed.  The Gainsborough bar is also well stocked with artisan gins, local ales and champagnes.

Bath’s wellness tradition is more than a bridge over flowing healthy waters.  Its natural springs have inspired architectural richness, aquatic treatments and a reverence towards the traditions and heritage of a healing destination. This is a place fashioning thermal health and wellness with the curative powers of warm hospitality.

Water floweth – The Facts on Bath’s waters:

There are three natural spring heads in the centre of Bath- The Kings Spring which fills the Roman Baths, The Hetling Spring and The Cross Spring

Each day the flow of water in 1.25 million litres at 45 centigrade.

The water contains 42 minerals. The most concentrated include calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, hydrogen carbonate, silicate and sulphur.

Places to visit…..

The Cross Bath is an 18th century open-air bathing pool where spring water rises up under natural artesian pressure through a sculptured fountain. It is a hidden sanctuary and an official sacred site, used in a similar way to years gone by for private gatherings reminiscent of Georgian bathers sipping hot chocolate with serenading musicians on the balcony above.  This hidden gem is recognised as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

A must is to see the “halo” of Georgian houses designed by John Wood the Elder which has become Bath’s memorable piece of architecture. Walk west to the Royal Crescent.

Bath Abbey is a former cathedral which has stood since 757 AD. Visit to see its stained glass windows and towering stone columns.

Jane Austen Centre is a draw for literary enthusiasts.  Hear about her own experience of Bath when she wrote “Persuasion” and “Northanger Abbey”. www.janeausten.co.uk

The Pulteney Bridge provides a view over the horseshoe-shaped weir and views to the high grounds.

The Grand Pump Room for afternoon tea while enjoying a recital or string quarter.

Sally Lunn’s is the city’s oldest eating house and kitchen and home to the famous Sally Lunn Bun – a recipe dating back 300 years.

 

How to Book:

For the Thermae Spa bookings:

Reservations. Tel: 01225 33 1234,

Email: reservations@thermaebathspa.com

https://www.thermaebathspa.com/contact/

For The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel

Reservations. Tel: +44 (0) 1225 358 888

Email: reservations@thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk

http://thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk/pages/contact-us.html

 

A Designer Touch

IMG_2203

Editor’s Review:

Versace clothing, jewellery, eyewear,  fragrances….. Welcome to Versace hospitality, to the Versace Palazzo in Dubai styling furniture, furnishings and paintings in this fashion branded hotel which stands smartly in the heart of Dubai’s developing Culture Village.

Step into the lobby and its grandeur and sense of space will stop you in your designer shoes. A panoramic view focuses on statement pieces, splashes of “Medusa Blue”, paintings of fashion models and a mosaic of 1.5 million pieces.

A quick glance will not suffice. Floating overhead is a chandelier, graceful in its simplicity, a table or two prominently placed, laden with Versace vases while high ceilings tower above.

Promenade into the lobby lounge and you will be trespassing on a masterpiece mosaic, painstakingly crafted as the key floor attraction. Guests are Versace lovers, brand followers and those craving a taste for classical elegance.

For those who want complete immersion, indulgent pampering awaits in The Spa at The Versace Palazzo with a range of tailored and exotic treatments.  If you have time on your side, The Ultimate will keep you cossetted for 7.5 hours. If not, 30 minutes will give you a custom-made exfoliation of oils and salt crystals promising you a nourished glow. Add a sprinkle of sparkle, with a two-hour 24-carat gold dust massage, aptly named 24K, or a healthy based intensive facial of green caviar listed under one of their Swiss anti-ageing treatments.

I sampled a much needed 90-minute Sleep Massage and pleased to admit that I managed to stay awake to experience it in full. From the moment I entered the treatment room, snug in a thick Versace gown and fluffy slippers, the atmosphere was one of peace and tranquillity. Specially blended oils with hints of lavender, jasmine and sweet basil enveloped the room melting away intrusive thoughts.

My therapist started with a foot cleanse and a hint of reflexology before the full massage. Rhythmic strokes of a medium pressure leading from the heel of the hand gradually drained away tension. Soft, mellow music played in the background with no other sounds interrupting the experience. As if completing a full circle, she finished with my feet, wrapping them in warmth, softness and care.  A designer touch tailored to my needs.

Calm and serene, even without the gold dust and caviar, I stepped out into the House of Versace for another intake of its opulence and neoclassical designs.

www.palazzoversace.ae


IMG_2197

 

 

IMG_2200

 

 

 

The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai


IMG_2212

Editor’s Review:

A Spa with a story to tell ….

We have read tales of nomads crossing the desert in search of an oasis to revive and rejuvenate them for their onward journey. Today, searching for such finds has become more hazardess as lands have been developed, skyscrapers blocking horizons and highways creating a spaghetti of routes.

The Palm in Dubai has been created from reclaimed land accommodating an increasing number of stylish and glitzy hotels.  One of the most recent to open its doors is the Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai claiming fame to the world’s largest cube structure as its entrance statement and the doorway to an oasis in the form of The Spa.

Away from the cosmopolitan fast-lane, this contemporary space is filled with architectural styles from different eras. High ceilings yield into elegant archways channelling energy for the wealth of holistic treatments on offer. A gently lit curved stairway immediately sets the scene of tranquillity and calm, leading your mind towards light, openness and the benefits to be bestowed by a skilled therapist.

My treatment took me on a 90-minute Arabian multi-sensory journey, transporting me to a desert complete with sights smells and sounds. It told a story and drew me in to a faraway place, away from the hustle and bustle outside, from the tall buildings, expansive malls and car fumes.

It started with a visual meditation as I lay on a heated sand-filled quartz bed which gave a wave –like motion and the feeling of being on a beach, close to the waves of the sea, transporting me to a personal place of relaxation. Warm, calm and peaceful.

Once there, all senses came into play from the touch of an ostrich feather replicating a breeze, ostrich shells, strategically placed to focus on opening the chakras, the reassuring scents of frankincense and oud, reminiscent of the Arabian culture and the vibration of Tibetan bowls to further my meditative state.

The therapist performed the massage using rhythmic, gliding strokes which seemed to reflect the architectural lines of my surroundings; the gentle circular strokes brought images of the curved staircase bathed in subtle light while her strong pressure work around my shoulders brought images of the arched doorways, signalling an exit for stress and tension.

This was The Spa’s signature Desert Sensory Experience, one of many on the menu, making it difficult to choose. Treatments include the Desert Crystal Massage, The Casanova, exclusively for men or a Diamond Rose Experience which includes a smoothing, nourishing exfoliation with diamond dust, followed by an Absolute Damask Rose Body Oil massage.  For something very special and available only at The Viceroy, there is The Oscars Hollywood Treatment which promises to transform, unblock and reset your mind.

The philosophy behind the treatments originate from the beaches and palm trees of Santa Monica, where Viceroy was first founded, to the desert and beaches of the Arabian Peninsula. The Spa at The Viceroy Palm Jumeirah Dubai demonstrated its promise of escapism with consciousness.

So, armed with opened chakras and vivid images of a relaxing sandy oasis, I felt ready to make my return to the hectic pace that is Dubai.

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

IMG_2211 

 

 

Unveiling the refurbished Preidlhof Luxury Spa Resort

Award-winning luxury health and spa resort, Preidlhof in South Tyrol, Italy has reopened following a €6 million luxury refurbishment. Overseen by Austrian designer, Reinhard Köck, Preidlhof’s refurbishment will see the the unveiling of 36 new luxury suites and five luxury penthouse suites, bringing the total number of rooms to 70 to enhance the impressive medical and health spa facilities already available.

Preidlhof’s spa programme offers an integrated preventative, holistic and medical healthcare programme with highly experience and qualified practitioners, representing tremendous value. Central to Preidlhof’s philosophy is the Mediterranean ‘Good Life’ – La Dolce Vita – and this is interwoven into every facet of its offering.

The new luxury suites all feature spa loggias and some have their own whirlpool and private sauna. The penthouse suites each have an outdoor cinema and the Luxury Penthouse Suite DolceVita Premium Star, its own private pool.The new luxury accommodation is situated within an entirely new main building. This incorporates a new entrance and reception area with a dedicated ‘Adventure’ check-in and Concierge service.

Located in Naturns, Preidlhof is built into the hillside, interspersed with orchards, vines, olive trees and subtropical plants as typified by the region. The guest rooms, the Spa, fitness pavilion, 450m² wellness water park, and the restaurant – recently awarded a Michelin star – all afford stunning views of the valley. The Mediterranean climate and The Texel Group Nature Park (the largest natural park in South Tyrol) make this a wonderful place to hike and bike with all the equipment and guides available in-house. Guests can also use the complimentary DolceVita Vespas and quad bikes to explore further afield.

The comprehensive 5000m² Spa and Wellness facilities, including six floors dedicated to 16 different sauna, steam and relaxation experiences, as well as 14 Spa treatment rooms. A team of spa and on-site medical experts offer a wide range of natural health, medical and beauty treatments.

The 5-night “Preidl Health Check” programme starts from €1,550 per person with accommodation on a 3⁄4 board basis in a Lavendel Luxury Suite. Treatments include:

Initial medical consultation with PROGNOS measurement, 50 min
Medical abdomen examination, 20 min
Initial medical consultation with heart-rate variability measurement (HRV), 50 min
Medical abdomen examination, 20 min
Concluding medical consultation with HRV measurement, 25 min
Medical acupressure, 3 sessions of 25 min
Life coaching, 50 min
Craniosacral therapy, 50 min
Shiatsu, 50 min
PREIDL harmony massage, 75 min
Relaxation in the Deep Sea Room in the Spa Tower, 2 sessions of 15 min
Option of additional individual infusion therapy
The 10-night “Preidl Detox” programme starts from €2,663 per person with accommodation on a 3⁄4 board basis in a Lavendel Luxury Suite. Treatments include:

Initial medical consultation with PROGNOS measurement, 50 min
Medical abdomen examination, 20 min
Concluding medical consultation, 25 min
Alkali correction
Individual infusion therapies
Visceral osteopathy, 50 min
Lymphatic drainage, 3 sessions of 50 min
Maritime phytotherapy, 3 sessions of 20 min
1 cooking workshop – “My healthy kitchen”
Relaxation in the Deep Sea Room, 2 sessions of 15 min
Alkaline diet
Preidlhof is a highly attractive and great value destination for guests seeking an active and indulgent holiday, couples on a romantic break, and serious detox and wellness seekers travelling alone. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted.

Reservations and more information:
+39.0473.666.251; www.preidlhof.it

May we have your tension please…..

Deep in the heart of Suffolk lies the pretty village of Lavenham with its crooked buildings dating back to medieval times. Woven between quaint teashops and art galleries sits the Swan Hotel, camouflaged by its age-old timber structure. Inside with beams and alcoves, history repeats itself with intimate lounges, cozy fireplaces and meandering passageways. Here, as a guest, you are addressed by your name, not your room number while your breakfast preferences are remembered from the day before. The Swan embraces you and provides the perfect setting for stepping away from busy schedules.

“May we have your tension please….” I read this from a display card. It refers to the unique facility attached to the hotel. Chic, stylish and extremely personal, the Weavers’ House Spa is tucked behind the imposing timber structure in a separate building but linked with easy access from the hotel or through a pretty garden and decked area.

The genuine care for individual comfort and attention seeps through to this award-winning Spa. Modern and bright the experience is peppered with sweet indulgences as well as custom-created treatments. A wide range of treatments include signature packages such as the 2-hour Weavers’ House Hug which promises that you will “Swan Out” feeling totally restored while the Brush with Heaven, which uses brush sequences of different sizes and textures, aims to stimulate, massage and drain toxins. The menu is extensive, capturing every type of facial, massage, scrub and wrap specially created to make them unique, earning this Spa a basket of awards and accolades.

My spa journey started as soon as I arrived. The changing rooms are neat, bright and spotless. The robes engagingly fluffy and soft, setting me immediately into a pampering mindset. I find a little tray waiting for me in the lounge, neatly laid with a consultation form accompanied by a strawberry smoothie in a shot glass – containing those all-important antioxidants. I am then escorted to one of the six elegant treatment rooms where I was surprised by the Hydrotherm waterbed mattress. This apparently relieves pressure off the spine during a treatment. Slightly hesitant that I would lose balance, it proved to be extremely comfortable. A full massage usually requires turning, smothering your face, but this time the whole massage was done lying on my back. At the end of the treatment, totally relaxed, a zesty lemon sorbet is placed in the room as a post treatment treat, prescribed to awaken my senses! I am then led to a quiet relaxation room where a blended tea awaits complete with a macaroon. How sweet!

It’s sensory too. The inhalations help to relax the mind to deepen the effect of the treatment. The various products give a hint of the aroma aiding calm and peace. There is no noise or disturbances around.

Not wanting to turn any guest away, the Weavers’ House Spa has launched its selection of “Touch Therapies” by Jennifer Young for those living with and beyond cancer. Jennifer Young is an experienced micro-biologist and nutritionist, qualified therapist and product formulator. The therapists at the Spa have been specially trained and qualified in her treatments and skincare to provide the highest grade of treatment with quality ingredients. Touch therapies range from a facial, massage and top to toe experience. All Jennifer Young’s “Defiant Beauty” range have been developed for those affected by cancer and are 100% natural and organic.

The same personal attention has also been paid to the products they use and sell. Think cashmere, diamond dust and truffles. The products boast exotic ingredients made by the British brand, Temple Spa. Their exclusivity means availability is limited to the likes of Emirates First Class, Harrods, Selfridges, Orient Express and of course Weavers Spa as well as a scattering of selected spas across the country.

To relegate stress to history, experience products of the modern age while cocooned in a character hotel in a medieval setting, head to The Swan in Lavenham.

To book a stay at the Swan at Lavenham Hotel & Spa and treatments in Weavers’ House Spa call +44 (0) 1787 247477 or visit www.theswanatlavenham.co.uk Rooms start from £185 per night for two sharing including a full Suffolk breakfast; dinner from the a la carte menu is from £39 per person for three courses. Overnight guests have a complimentary two-hour session with use of the spa facilities including the sauna, steam room, outdoor vitality pool and relaxation lounge.