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Spa News
Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards Thursday, 4th September 2014

October’s edition of Condé Nast Traveller, sees the Readers’ Travel Awards unveiled. The readers have been voting in their thousands, and now we can share the results with all of you. We must say a huge congratulations to a Healing Holidays favourite, COMO Shambhala Estate, which took the top spot. However, a lot of other firm favourites have done extremely well too, here is a run down of the Top Ten: COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali Brenner;s Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden Parkhotel Igls, Austria Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand Banyan Tree Phuket, Thailand Lefay Resort & Spa, Lago di Garda, Italy The BodyHoliday LeSport, St Lucia Grayshott, Surrey Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts, USA Ananda in the Himalayas, India If you would like to experience these award winners yourself, then speak to one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email info@healingholidays.co.uk.

ila spa & Mustique Island Retreat Friday, 15th August 2014

As summer gradually begins to draw to a close, schools restart, and the inevitable tinsel scatters our shops - the winter-gloom can begin to build up unwanted stress.The perfect remedy for this is to escape to Mustique Island. ila-spa founder Denise Leicester and Mustique Island have teamed up together to bring you a one-off, luxury spa retreat this November. You’ll be surrounded by tropical waters, soft sandy beaches, and resting easy in the height of exclusivity. Wake up to a morning of yoga, followed by island inspired healing treatments - Ananda Facial Therapy, Balancing Massage and Chakra Wellbeing Ritual. While your body will thank you with a special organic and vegan menu designed by Retreat Chef Amy Oliver.To make sure you have secured a place (only 16 can attend), book your place with one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email at info@healingholidays.co.uk*EXCLUSIVE OFFER* When you book with Healing Holidays you will receive a complimentary goodie bag to get you Spa-ready before your visit. Just quote 'ila' at the time of booking.

Enjoy a Healthier Summer with SHA Wellness Monday, 14th July 2014

Are you looking to give your health a boost this summer? SHA Wellness is celebrating five years of delivering cutting edge wellness programmes from its state-of-the-art medi-spa in Spain. To mark the occasion, customers can enjoy one free night when they book a seven-night health programme of their choice on stays until 31st August 2014.A stay at SHA Wellness combines luxury accommodation with wellness programmes which use nutrition, health and sport to rebalance your body and mind.Terms and conditions apply. Speak to our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or info@healingholidays.co.uk to book your stay.

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Karina Stewart: Hit the Reset Button Wednesday, 10th September 2014

Karina Stewart explains how modern technology is taking control of our lives - and with us allowing it in, the drastic affects it can have on our health.I recently read an article in the New York Times that really hit home and re-ignited the conversation that often comes up in so many of my conversations when talking about the causes and effects of stress, adrenal burnout and sleep imbalances.Journalist Daniel J. Levitin of the New York Times writes, “Many will take time off from work to go on vacation, catch up on household projects and simply be with family and friends. And many of us will feel guilty for doing so. We will worry about all of the emails piling up at work, and in many cases continue to compulsively check email during our precious time off.  But beware the false break. Make sure you have a real one. A vacation is more than a quaint tradition. Along with family time, mealtime and weekends, it is an important way that we can make the most of our beautiful brains.”The article goes on to talk about the effects of mobile communications, media and social media in particular, and how every day we are assaulted with a constant stream of “facts, pseudo facts, news feeds and jibber-jabber coming from all directions.  According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986.”Levitin sums up by saying, “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a reason: the processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited.”  He goes on to discuss the fine balance between the task-positive and task-negative networks within the brain. “Task-positive being active when you’re actively engaged in a task, focused on it, and undistracted.  In contrast, the task-negative network is active when your mind is wandering; this is the daydreaming mode. It’s in this brain state that our minds can connect disparate ideas and thoughts, enabling moments of greatest creativity and insight, when we’re able to solve problems that previously have seemed unsolvable.  These two attention networks operate like a seesaw in the brain: when one is active the other is not.” For me, this is the key point and whilst technology has evolved and developed beyond recognition in the last 20 years, the human brain hasn’t.  Biologically and physiologically our brains are the same as those of our grandparents’ generation and yet we use them so differently and expect them to process so much more information.  This constant need to be connected through social media and texts creates an imbalance – a shift away from Levitin’s task-negative ‘mind-wandering’ brain-state towards the highly engaged task-positive – even during our relaxation or down-time. Not only does this shift interfere with the balance within our brains but it can also affect our innate body rhythms – our stress levels and sleeping patterns.  The constant stimulation competes with resources in our brains and takes our attention and time away from the important stuff in our lives.  This is a vital reminder of the importance to take conscious time away from the daily distractions of mobile communications and social media, to connect with nature and ourselves and to encourage our brains into that wonderful mind-wandering state of mind.Happy day dreaming… To embark on a digital detox and escape modern day life - there's no where quite like Kamalaya. To book a retreat speak to one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email info@healingholidays.co.uk

11 Tips to Combat Stress Tuesday, 19th August 2014

Stress can be all-consuming, whether it stems from a demanding workload, relationships or other personal matters. Absolute Sanctuary’s Wellness Consultant, Dr William Engelhardt, shares 11 tips on how to combat stress through exercise, diet and a positive attitude.  For acute stress, Diaphragmatic Breathing is hands down the best tool. Used by performers, musicians, fighters and soldiers, this technique helps prevent a "fight/flight" (sympathetic nervous response) from kicking in and keeps one's mind focused and in control. Meditation. There are many forms of meditation (including doing art or playing an instrument), but the one thing in common with all forms, is the idea of focus. By focusing on a single task we prevent the mind from becoming scattered and literally train the brain to become still. Vigorous exercise. Burning off "Bad Mojo" (or energy) is incredibly important and has been show to alleviate depression better than anti-depressants. Soft exercise and movements. Techniques like Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, and even walking help create a balance between Yin and Yang. They also incorporate the benefits of meditation. Dancing. Used for millennia to release stress and create community "oneness", dancing is unique in that it combines exercise, emotional release, and freedom of expression. It is truly one of the best forms of stress release and management. Watching funny movies, videos, or comedians. Laughter is one of the best medicines. Get touched. If you feel physically neglected, get a massage, hold a child, dog or cat, but make a point to get regular physical contact. Recent studies have shown that physical contact increases immune function and lowers stress and anger. Avoid sugar and caffeine highs & lows. As the saying goes, the higher we go up, the harder we fall. Spiking blood sugar levels with High Glycemic Load and High Glycemic Index foods (refined carbs) not only make us tired, but nervous and anxious as well. Spend time in nature. Just an hour in a park, beach, or wooded area greatly reduces stress and gets us in touch with nature's flow and what life is really about - living. Make sure you get adequate protein in your diet. Neurotransmitters are made of amino acids derived from protein. If our protein intake is to low, we might suffer from depression and mental fatigue. Supplementation of tyrosine and tryptophan may be useful under conditions of high stress. Certain herbs known as "Adaptogens" and "Nervines" can be useful under conditions of chronic stress. These include: Astragalus, Eleutherococcus, Ligusrum, Rhodiola, Withania, Passiflora, Scutellaria, Kava Kava, and Valeriana. A Herbalist or Naturopath can help prescribe useful formulations depending on your lifestyle and current conditions.Absolute Sanctuary offer a 7 Night Anti Stress and Burnout Programme. Speak to one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email info@healingholidays.co.uk to arrange a stress retreat specifically for you. 

What Happens to your Body During Stress? Friday, 15th August 2014

Healing Holidays work with a wealth of industry experts, who are leaders in the Spa world. Dr Michel Golay, from Lonhea Alpine Clinic, uses a unique theory of the two brains and the relationship between them - the human brain and your digestive brain. Michel explains what happens to your body when stress becomes a factor... By Michel GolayMy opening statement is not something you’d usually expect to hear - but we all need stress to live. It’s a key body functionality which releases an ‘adaptation’ mode for us to react to the situations life throws at us, and our ability to adapt is a clear measurement of our state of health. There are three elements to stress; Chemical, Physical and Emotional, and when one, or all three elements become a negative aspect, the results can be damaging. Physical and Chemical StressWhen it comes to chemical and physical stress, the first reaction is an increase of oxidant stress in the most exposed parts of our body. If this oxidant stress is not well managed and the effect continues to grow, it will lead to the next step of the process – Inflammation. Once this process begins it will target the immune system. In our current society (fast paced lives mixed with city living), the intestine and the lung mucous membrane are at the greatest risk as they are the most exposed – we inhale fine particles in the air and xenobiotic (unnatural processed elements) in our food.Emotional StressEmotional stress can result in something entirely different – it’s all in the development. When emotions (messages from the cerebral cortex) reach the reptilian brain (the co-ordinator of all essential functions), it actually has an initial positive impact on your health, resulting in an attitude called ‘hyper-control’. The impact becomes negative, however, when these messages are released over a prolonged period of time at a heightened level. As this happens your control decreases and leads to the hyper activity of the autonomous nervous system. You might experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, hot flushes, irregular heart rhythm, asthma attack or an irritable colon. This could develop into exhaustion and a demise of the reptilian brain which could result in the failure of the digestive and immune functions, sleeping disorders and eventually serious illnesses and diseases.To understand the state of your autonomous nervous system, a stay at Lonhea will begin with a four hour consultation to assess your body’s functionality, based on the method of the two brain functions. Upon the results you’ll have a programme tailored to improving your wellbeing. Once your stay is over and you return back home, you are monitored for the next four months to continue your new health regime.Lonhea Alpine Clinic recently won the Condé Nast Traveller – Best Avant Garde Spa. Their innovate treatments, Michel Golay’s Two Brain method, and the simply stunning Swiss location make it a truly original spa. To book your stay speak to one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email at info@healingholidays.co.uk.

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Conde Nast Traveller: Six Senses Zighy Bay

Daisy Finer, Spa Editor of Condé Nast Traveller, reports from Oman and explains why this haven in the desert is a winter-sun-spa must.

Body+Soul: SHA Wellness Clinic

September's issue of Condé Nast Traveller highlights the importance of Body and Soul. Here they showcase SHA Wellness Clinic, the ideal retreat for a detox holiday - which is the beauty of SHA, they remember you are still technically on holiday. Enjoy the seven-day Detox Programme from £3,035 per person including flights and transfers. Speak to one of our Spa Experts on 020 7843 3597 or email info@healingholidays.co.uk

Real Estate - Spa Gazing

Spa Travel is most certainly on the up. In August's edition of Real Estate Magazine, South Africa, they highlight this development, along with the help from Healing Holidays Director - Frances Geoghegan.

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Healing Offers
7 Nights at Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali, Indonesia

The beach paradise of Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali has a 7 night offer not to be missed includes 2 free nights accommodation.

September & October: Energetic Autumn at SHA SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain

SHA Wellness Clinic are celebrating the arrival of Autumn with 10% of various programmes.

Verdura Sicilian Aroma Massage Verdura Golf Resort & Spa, Italy

Verdura Golf & Spa Resort are offering a free Scilian Aroma Massage when you book minimum of 4 nights.  

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