“Intemperance is the culprit, the mother of all crises”, said Innsbruck’s former Bishop Dr. Reinhold Stecher (†), a man I value greatly. Many of the problems in Western society stem from the excessive use of food and drugs. A period of abstention can be a time of empowerment and renewal for body, mind and soul.
If you are anything like me, the New Year feels like a reset button: I wake up on New Year’s Day, feeling like a new person! All my bad behaviours and habits have been turned off – as if they never existed. Enough Christmas cookies and hot mulled wine! Shortly thereafter, I find myself enjoying carnival treats and drinking sparkling wine – back on those same negative paths, this time consciously aware that they exist. So, this time, I knew I had to stop. Stop eating sweets. Stop drinking alcohol (which I don’t drink a lot, but anyway …). I am suggesting the same to treat the mobile-affection. As far as possible, I will try what I would like to call “mobile fasting”. Observing the 40 days of Lent, which is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. Actually, I found out that refraining from things I like and things I think I need is more satisfying than giving in to chocolate cravings.
Ancient cultures, religions and philosophers across time have fasted for healing and spiritual purification. Fasting, by definition, is going without food and/or drink for a period of time. While it was typically done for religious reasons in time past, voluntarily abstention from food and/or stimulants for a period of time is actually pretty commonplace in today’s world, although more for health than for spiritual reasons. And anyone who tried abstention for a while—whatever the reason—will tell you they discovered that food cravings and other symptoms are completely gone after a short while. And that it is truly empowering.
There are many different ways of fasting and cleansing that you can choose from, from alkaline diet over F.X. Mayr cure and juice cleanse to refraining from food completely. But how can we cleanse our bodies and help our internal systems function optimally without compromising our health and losing out on essential nutrients? Spending some time away from work and family (not to mention fair-weather friends like chocolate and wine) seems like a great idea to get it done right. As I am a mother of two small kids, this is not possible for me now, but there are some great retreats in Tirol—when the stresses and strains of life start to wear you down, you need more than a regular holiday hit. Instead, check in to a medical spa to get a serious health overhaul from the experts. These places are designed to assist you during any withdrawals from the world in beautifully natural environments, providing a cocoon from external distractions and stress. In such surroundings you can come to terms with nature at her most benevolent—and eating healthier won’t feel like a deprivation here!
A sort of modernist monastery, the sprawling clean-lined spa high above Tirol’s capital Innsbruck is a landing place for the exhausted and the burned out; a time-out corner for adults needing to disconnect from stressful lives. And although checking at Europe’s leading health resort isn’t exactly a bargain, it’s definitely worth exploring the virtues of the LANS Med Concept, which fuses traditional naturopathy with state-of-the-art medicine to heal both the mind and body. This bespoke plan is designed to achieve specific health objectives via detoxification, medical consultation and massage, along with therapeutic treatments, and fitness programs. Lanserhof stands apart as the health destination to soothe your soul and inspire you to live a healthier life. http://www.lanserhof.com
Vata, Pitta, Kapha. A remarkable Ayurveda retreat in the unlikely location of Tirol’s lofty mountains? Well, yes, award-winning Sonnhof in Thiersee is THE Ayurvedic Center of Tirol. “I do feel really good”, is what you will learn from highly trained Ayurvedic practitioners. What a rare treat: Come and enjoy the ultimate personalised health rejuvenation experience amidst Tirol’s glorious mountain scenery. The pioneers of Ayurvedic treatments in Europe offer unique detoxifying retreats that help you relax, feel great and return home with a wealth of knowledge to help you stay feeling great—without having to schlep to the Indian sub-continent! http://www.sonnhof-ayurveda.at
Tucked away in the beautiful Mieming Plateau, Europe’s first Fully Organic Hotel offers a truly unique experience, where they cater to your well-being and provide a sanctuary for rest and renewal. Sunshine in abundance and certified fasting coach Barbara Walter will make sure you get the best out of your eight-day Healing Fast or Alkaline Retreat. You will enjoy amazing organic meals, each made of wholesome, locally grown fruits and vegetables and locally sourced ingredients to give you a healthy boost and clear toxins from your systems. The hotel’s innovative yoga and meditation programs focus on creating a healthy, active and enjoyable lifestyle. Moreover, there’s full use of the one of a kind spa facility located at nearby 5* Alpenresort Schwarz. http://www.biohotel.at
The idea of the “milk – stale bread roll diet” may not convince everybody; however its effectiveness was proved by F.X. Mayr himself who believed that 80 per cent of chronic disease is caused by poor nutrition and lack of exercise. A stay at award-winning Holistic Health Center at Igls Park Hotel offers a major reboot to your system. They offer a variety of programs, from fasting with cleansing teas to Mayr Vitality Cuisine. With the philosophy of Dr. F.X. Mayr, a pioneer of natural, preventative remedies at the heart of their offering, the Holistic Health Center’s emphasis is on diet and fitness, both physical and mental. You will advance your personal journey to optimal health with a medical consultation designed to ensure that your time at Igls Park Hotel is tailored to your specific needs. Enjoy a physician supervised health retreat within a relaxing, spa environment. http://www.parkhotel-igls.at
Life is stressful and rich in temptations that can play havoc with healthy intentions. The typical Western diet is high in refined fats, simple sugars, sodium and chloride and often results in common health problems like overweight, high cholesterol and hypertension (high blood pressure). Spending a week cosseted in a pampering alkaline retreat, with medical professionals on hand to administer health-boosting treatments, is a fantastic way to optimise wellbeing. The nourishing change retreats at Kurzentrum Umhausen in Ötztal Valley are based on the alkaline diet, which helps balance the pH level of the fluids in your body. This is important to support a healthy metabolism and avoid acidity that creates inflammation and can predispose you to degenerative diseases in the long term. Fresh fruits and vegetables promote alkalinity the most and anti-alkaline foods are avoided. Restore your health by creating a balance in your diet that will give you more energy. http://www.kurzentrum.com/umhausen-im-oetztal
“Get away from it all and change your lifestyle habits – enjoy ease and find your inner strength,” is the maxim of Tirol Fasting and Health Coach Lisa Linzmaier-Strillinger. Based on the Buchinger/Lützner-Method, her fasting retreats cater for two to three clients at a time so you can be assured of her personal attention during your stay with Hotel Schlossblick in Tirol Unterland Region. You will be coached through an effective five day cleanse using broths, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and teas. Body toxins will be mobilised, then eliminated during a variety of cleansing, therapeutic treatments. The supervision includes a thorough preparation pre-fast and a careful build-up of your food intake after your fast to make your fast a life changing, positive experience for you. http://www.fasten-in-tirol.at or http://www.schlossblick.at
Having its seat in Gnadenwald, Tirol’s fasting guru Dr. Peter Gritsch will focus to stabilise and improve your general wellbeing—and to create a positive change that will last. Upon entering his consulting room, which is located in the former parsonage and schoolhouse building that dates back to the year 1741, you will feel like joining a haven of health and rejuvenation. Dr. Gritsch regards fasting as ideal for its transformative effect on clients’ lifestyle habits. Above all, he is a dedicated follower of the “Mayr Cure” (based on the original Dr. F.X. Mayr’s principles for healthy living), which is intended to support and improve digestion and detoxification. Clients are instructed to chew any solid food they are given at least 30 times. The Mayr Cure is not a luxury lie-down – it is a bit more like an endurance test, where you ideally spend 21 days fasting and hiking around the forests. Accommodation is provided in the picturesque resort of Gnadenwald itself (e. g. at Michaelerhof) or in one of the surrounding villages. http://www.drgritsch.com