Lyn­d­sey Steven checks into Vi­vaMayr Al­taussee where she tries Nasal re­flex therapy, chats to un­wind­ing cor­po­rates and hears why you shouldn’t eat raw after four

Business Traveller (Middle East) - - Health -

“Alot of men are re­ally fa­tigued,” Dr Sepp Fegerl tells me. With the bu­colic view through his win­dow of lakes and for­est, gen­tle mead­ows and snowy peaks, I’m find­ing it dif­fi­cult to con­cen­trate. But then dis­trac­tion is clearly writ­ten into the DNA of Vi­vaMayr Al­taussee.

“It’s not only women who are striv­ing to be the per­fect wife, mother and ca­reer woman,” con­tin­ues the idyl­lic health re­sort’s Med­i­cal Di­rec­tor.“We have a lot of male clients who are get­ting onto planes ten times a week – this is not healthy. They are over­weight, stressed and suf­fer from in­som­nia. What’s more, is that the state of des­per­a­tion in our male clients is some­times higher than in our fe­male clients.”

Dr Fegerl and his team be­lieve that one ten-day stay can add ten years to a life­span, while adopt­ing their clean liv­ing prin­ci­ples could give you at least another 20 years. Staff follow the doc­trines of Aus­trian physi­cian Dr Franz Xaver Mayr who started prac­tis­ing more than 100 years ago – and who lived un­til he was 90. He be­lieved hu­mans un­know­ingly self-harm by stor­ing up tox­ins in their in­testines. To this end, he de­vel­oped the Mayr Cure, a com­bi­na­tion of fast­ing, sweat­ing, sleep­ing, sen­si­ble liv­ing and chew­ing. Lots of chew­ing. Your ears need to echo from chew­ing.

Through word of mouth (Gen­eral Man­ager Dr Di­eter Resch tells me that they never ad­ver­tise, though the web­site, vi­­taussee, is com­pre­hen­sive), it’s a phi­los­o­phy that’s gained an avid fol­low­ing. What’s more, big cor­po­ra­tions are buy­ing into it as a method in main­tain­ing a health­ier, hap­pier ship.

“More com­pa­nies are send­ing top-tier ex­ec­u­tives to Vi­vaMayr in a bid to make them look after them­selves bet­ter. A lot of big fi­nance and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing ones from Dubai, are ben­e­fit­ting from our pro­grammes,” says Dr Fegerl.

It’s a sen­ti­ment that Paul Joseph, co-founder of Health and Fit­ness Travel, reaf­firms.“With men still sig­nif­i­cantly less likely than women to make time to con­sult a doc­tor, well­ness re­treats cater­ing to men of­fer a more ap­proach­able means of ad­dress­ing health is­sues,” he says.“We had the GM of one of the big­gest banks of Eng­land for three weeks re­cently just to take a break and re-en­er­gise,” Dr Di­eter re­veals. And in­deed, while women are still slightly out­num­ber­ing men in the detox spa stats stakes, dur­ing my stay here I ac­tu­ally en­counter a greater pro­por­tion of men.

Jonas, a 42-year-old orig­i­nally from Mu­nich, who now works in real es­tate in New York, says the sooth­ing scenery alone is medicine for the soul.“I’m lov­ing be­ing in the moun­tains with all this fresh, clean air and walks around the lakes are so re­vi­tal­is­ing.”

In­ter­est­ingly, he’s not here with a part­ner, but with his par­ents, a jolly, sprightly cou­ple who per­ma­nently ap­pear to be high on life. Per­haps it’s be­cause they too are rel­ish­ing be­ing so far re­moved from the ev­ery­day world.

As a mu­sic man­ager Rob, who could al­most pass as a mil­len­nial (con­firm­ing Dr Di­eter’s claim that more young peo­ple are sign­ing up to Vi­vaMayr), is some­one who spends his life up in the air, with his weeks spent com­mut­ing be­tween LA and Lon­don. With his fop­pish hair and youth­ful face he could be in one of the boy bands he man­ages – if it weren’t for his slug­gish, puffy physique.

As I sit down for Nasal re­flex therapy ac­cord­ing to Roeder, a natur­o­pathic treat­ment for si­nusi­tis, rhini­tis and headaches, I chat to Steve. With an ear­bud pok­ing out my nose. Thank­fully he’s hav­ing the same treat­ment and also looks like a one-horned aard­vark so there’s no need for any em­bar­rass­ment. On the con­trary, be­ing in this some­what ab­surd sit­u­a­tion to­gether al­lows us to chat more freely to each other. A 52-year Brit, Steve has been liv­ing in a quiet vil­lage in the south of France for 16 years. He’s healthy and hand­some. But he’s in a wheel­chair.“Mul­ti­ple Sclero­sis,” he tells me,“I’ve had it for 20 years. It came as quite a shock, es­pe­cially since I had been so ac­tive be­fore.”While the doc­tors here are not promis­ing to cure him, they have said that with the right diet, min­er­als and treat­ments, they would be able to help his mo­bil­ity in some way.

Im­prov­ing qual­ity of life for all their guests is key, with the main fo­cus be­ing on pre­vent­ing “civil­i­sa­tion dis­eases” like gout, di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure, ar­te­rioscle­ro­sis and can­cer.

“One ex­am­ple,” says Dr Di­eter,“is a Turk­ish fam­ily of six

Be­low: The pine and sor­bet coloured lobby

Above: The re­lax­ation area around the in­door pool

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