Vinotherapy in the green heart of Italy


by Avril O’Connor

At Elixir we promote the anti-ageing properties of red wine – it is bursting with antioxidants, including resveratrol.  But we thought the only way to sample its  anti-ageing effects was to drink it! So you might perhaps understand my situation when I got to try vinotherapy for the first time.

Following one of the best massages ever I was relaxing in the vinotherapy bath tub, containing what I assumed to be grape extracts when my spa therapist uncorked a perfectly good bottle of red wine and poured its contents into my bath.

Seeing the look of pure horror on my face she relented and saved a glass, saying it wasn’t good to drink too much in the spa. So with glass in hand I not only tasted but relaxed and bathed in the revitalizing, antioxidant vapours of one of the finest wines of Torgiano – a pretty hilltop village in the heart of the famous DOC and DOCG wine region of Umbria.

23 vino terapia [320x200]

The Bellavue Winetherapy Spa is indeed a gem. It is peaceful and beautiful, with indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish baths, a gym and outdoor relaxation areas surrounded by olive groves and views of the surrounding Umbrian Hills.

The spa is in one of the region’s most exclusive five-star hotels, the Relais Hotel Le Tre Vasalle. The hotel was once a 17th century house, whose name refers to the ancient ceramic wine jugs, and is in a narrow street in what was once a fortified village in the Middle Ages, near Perugia (5 miles) and Assisi (10 miles).

Surrounded by antique furniture and paintings, each of the 60 bedrooms is uniquely furnished, giving it has the feel of a grand country home – perfect for a romantic getaway. The restaurant, Le Melograine, reworks traditional Umbrian specialities such as pasta with black truffles, as well as diet menus served with delicious local wines.

Le Tre Vaselle, outdoor pool [320x200]

Le Tre Vassale brings together wine, art and hospitality. This is because the hotel is the passion of one family – the Lungarottis, first and second generation winemakers who have made Torgiano their own.

The family has filled the town. As well as the hotel, there is a wine museum and olive oil, museum and the nearby Cantine Lunggarotti which produces the finest red wines grown on surrounding slopes (Sangiovese, Anaiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), including Rubesco. The whites (Trebiano, Grechetto, Chardonnay, Pinot) are grown on cooler hillsides. And there is also an excellent sparkling Lungarotti Brut made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Giogrgio Lungarotti and his wife and Maria Grazia, an art historian run the winery business with daughters Chiara and Teresa and produce around three million bottles of wine annually.

A visit to the Wine Museum and the Cantine are a must. Housed in the 17th century Palazzo Graziani-Baglioni, it has one of the most comprehensive collections of viniculture artifacts anywhere in the world – from its earliest beginnings in the Mediteranean to the Middle Ages and beyond – covering five thousand years of winemaking history. The theme of the wine god Bacchus runs through the collections which are housed in 20 rooms, featuring working tools,  fine prints, drawings, antiquarian books and graphics by Picasso and a glass by Jean Cocteau (pictured below).

Wine Museum, Fondazione Lungarotti, Cocteau glass [320x200]

The hotel offers a range of activities including truffle hunting, cookery classes, as well as scooter hire.

I have always wanted to go truffle hunting. And it was not a disappointment.No need to get up at the crack of dawn.After a lazy breakfast we are driven to a nearby forest to meet our guide Matteo and his English setter Asia (pictured below).

AliceandTruffles [320x200]

The black traffles, known locally as “black gold” can fetch up to 150 Euros a kilo and the rarer white 3,000 Euros so the cost of buying your truffle dog – 4,000 euros in the case of Asia can pay dividends.

Asia was a star. She  sniffed around for a few minutes, driven by a reward of a cheese slice each time she found a truffle. Sniffing the ground and as if by magic she would start digging with her paws, finding truffle after truffle. Standing on her back legs she put her front paws on Mateo’s hips to claim her reward.

As we walked in the woods we passed groups riding horses – this is also riding country – people smile and wave at us.  And back at the minibus we were greeted by table laden with a feast of antipasti and red wine – and it was only 10.30am! A bit early even for me but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do! After all it would be rude not to!


Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, via Garibaldi, 48. Torgiana – Perugia. T:+ 39 075 9880447
Double rooms from £194 ($297, €220), also look out for special packages and promotions on the website.
Cantine Giogio Lungarotti T: + 39 075 988661
For information on wine tastings contact
Wine and Olive and Oil MuseumsT: +39 075 9880200 museovno@lungarotti
Getting to Torgiano
Alitalia to Rome
Ryanair to Perugia

Pure Massage…

massage [320x200].jpgPure Massage specialise exclusively in massage, as their name may suggest.

They say their aim is to bestow well-being through their range of massages; offering face, feet, back, body and pregnancy massages or a combination of those.

I went to try out the facial massage at Fenwick’s of Bond Street.

The facial massage is performed using non-allergenic plant oil (Rosa Mosqueta), which is not known to have a negative effect on even the most sensitive skin. The therapist informed me that Pure Massage classify 90% of people as having environmentally damaged skin with 10% of people having particularly sensitive skin. Predictably, I was environmentally damaged.

I am lucky enough to not have any particular areas of soreness or tension in my face and neck, so I had a more balanced rather than focused treatment but I was told that many people carry their stress around in their neck and jaw, so focus on these points is common.

The treatment first focused on my neck and upper chest/shoulders, moving on to my jaw, with all my muscles being systematically massaged and loosened, carrying on to my cheeks and forehead. The treatment concluded with a short scalp massage.
I found the massage and surroundings very relaxing, but I wouldn’t recommend getting the treatment in your lunch hour as the oil used may disrupt your carefully coiffed hairstyle and/or you will fall asleep at work!

The Pure Massage facial massage costs £80 for 60 minutes, including a recommendation on beneficial skincare products and techniques if required.

To book a facial massage, call 020 7381 8100. Alternatively you can visit their website (link below), where you can find information on the other treatments on offer.

Fly to the sun in Gran Canaria and get 5* spa and aesthetic clinic discounts


Las Palmas: Top spas and clinics on the beautiful island of Gran Canary have joined Elixir’s Makeover Miles loyalty card scheme which offers exclusive discounts throughout the world on anti-ageing services , treatments and products.

These new members to Makeover Miles offer world class treatments in asethetics, eye health, anti-ageing programmes and spa therapies on an island that has the perfect sunshine climate all year round.

New services are being offered by the Clínica San Roque, (aesthetics, anti-ageing programmes, diet and nutrition and much more); the EuroCanarias Oftalmologica Clinic (eye health); and the spa sat the Hotel Cordial Mogan Playa, the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort, the thalassotherapy centres at the Gloria Palace Amadores and the Gloria Palace San Agustin, the Corrallium Spa and the Costa Meloneras Resort Spa & Casino.

Find out more at Makeover Miles


Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria


Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa
Aloe Spa
Urbanizacion Salobre Golf SN
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Canary Islands 35100, Spain
T:34 928 943 030
T:34 928 943 000 Spa
15% off spa treatments

Find all the comforts of home and so much more at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa.

Overlooking the breathtaking greens of the 27-hole Salobre Golf Course, fairways, and splendid surrounding mountains, our resort is the perfect place to catch up with the people who matter.

Treat yourself to some well-deserved you-time and discover a new world of well-being in a relaxing oasis at our Aloe Spa. After a busy day of sightseeing or business, let us show you how to find your internal beauty and balance with our soothing treatments.

Spend the day at Maspalomas Beach. Our free shuttle service can drive you directly to our private beach house, offering a bar, changing room, showers, and swimming pool.

Enticing guest rooms, a wealth of recreational facilities, and a range of exceptional dining venues make the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa an unforgettable resort experience.

Plus, all-day, everyday sun, with an average annual temperature of 23C (73F). So there’s none of that anxious staring-up-at-the-heavens and saying, “Surely in five minutes that cloud will have blown away, sod it, where’s the beer. . .?”

The spa treatments include Swedish massage and hot-stone therapy and cost from €20 to €120 (£14.40 to £86.50). The aloe vera wrap is the signature dish, but the spa’s age-defying treatment and lymphatic drainage is another productive way to spend your time.

This spa also uses the high quality Espa products and is the place for fashionable Spanish yummy mummies


Hotel Cordial Cordial Mogán Playa Spa, Gran Canaria


Hotel Cordial Cordial Mogán Playa
Avda. de los Marrero, 2 – 35138
Playa de Mogán – Gran Canaria – Spain
T: 00 34 928 724 100
F: 00 34 928 724 101

Discount: 15% off spa treatments

The hotel is located in the Puerto de Mogan, a beautiful fishing village also known as Little Venice to its visitors. It is just a few metres away from the beach and from the colourful fishing quay and the marina, all surrounded by the lush and vibrant Mogan Valley.

The hotel is set in a luxurious botanic garden with over 200 species of subtropical plants. There are two stunning adult pools which are heated during the winter months, withartificial beaches and whirlpools and a children’s pool and playground. There are extensive solarium areas with loungers and parasols

The Spa offers an array of treatments including Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology, and Facials. Body Wrapping (Sea Weeds; Chocolate; Wine; Mud…) Peeling (Exfoliates of Aloe Vera; Exfoliates of Sea Salts…



Rujuvenation at the Fortina Spa Hotel Malta


Valletta: Overlooking Valletta’s bastion walls across the harbour, Fortina Spa resort is a temple to self-indulgence and luxury so it’s little wonder that it has earned itself the accolade of grandest spa in the Mediterranean.

The number of spa, health and wellbeing treatments total over 300 which can make the decision making process of which treatments to opt for dizzy-making for even the most experienced of beauty junkies. New for 2008 they are hosting Botox breaks administered by their resident Cosmetic Dermatologist, Angèle Farrugia.

The choice of mid-week or long weekend breaks will be held once a month from January until June and then in October and December. The Fortina Spa Resort has teamed up with Operations Abroad, a specialist medical tourism provider in overseas healthcare, who will accompany the groups going out to Malta.

Emphasis is placed upon having fun in a relaxed and pampering environment where groups of friends can stay on an all inclusive basis in the 5 star Fortina Spa Resort whilst being administered a total of 50 units of Botox per person. The areas treated with Botox will be the upper face, eyes, forehead and the area between the eyes. For guests seeking further Botox treatments there is the potential to have more whilst staying at Fortina up to a maximum of 100ml.

There will also be plenty of time to explore and enjoy one of Europe’s most comprehensive spas which is divided into four sections: Thalasso Therapy Spa, Spa Sante, Belle Epoque and Hypogeum. At this super-sized, supersonic spa, guests are simply spoilt for choice. You can take a dip in the vast pool, stretch at a pilates or yoga class, or if chilling is your thing book time in for some serious spa relaxation. The treatment menu is vast with therapies inspired from the Caribbean, Far East and Europe.

So if you’re looking for rejuvenation and a short spa break why not let Operations Abroad take the hassle out of booking a trip by doing it all for you – there’s step one to looking younger sorted!

For further information about Botox treatments at The Fortina Spa Resort call Operations Abroad who can talk through any requirements on freephone from the UK only 0800 081 0018 or



Ayurvedic treats on beautiful Sri Lanka


London: Holiday on the beautiful island of Sri Lanka and sample the fantastic spas and Indian Ayurvedic medicicine.

The Barberyn Ayurveda resorts on the Island are family run and feature classical treatments such as synchronised full body massage, herbal baths and steams, rejuvenating scrubs and individually freshly prepared remdies.

The food is wholesome and delicious, the rooms spacious and beautifully furnished.

Overlooking stunning, secluded beaches the resort at Weligama, 140km south of the airport, nestles among palm trees and two verdant valleys, giving each balcony a view of lush greenery or the sea. It is ideally situated for exploring the sites of the South and the turtle sanctuary.

The Barberyn is open all year round but February is perhaps the best month to visit. Doubles are from $1,749 (£895,€1,375) per week including Ayurveda treatments. For the best sunsets and sea views request a room on the top floor.

The Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort is located on Sri Lanka’s south-west coast, right by the beach at Beruwala. The resort is sheltered by a long coral reef running the length of the resort, which forms a natural swimming lagoon. Sand stretches for miles on either side. This resort is 85km south of Colombo airport.

To book or obtain more details tel (from the UK) 0870 444 2704 or go to and more lovely holidays at

The Power of Massage

Massage is the No1 therapeutic treat for men and women. Massage is one of the oldest forms of physical medicine. It was practiced in Arab culture where the word “mash” means to “press softly”.

And most of the dominate civilisations have extolled the virtues of massage from China, to Greece, Ancient Egypt, and India. In Rome the gladiators had their injured limbs massages and Julius Ceasar, was treated with it for neuralgia and headache. Unfortunately massage fell out of favour in the Middle Ages when “pleasures of the body” were outlawed by the Church. Fortunately it became fashionable again after the Renaissance. But it was a Swedish professor, Per Henrik Ling who developed the technique we know today as Swedish Massage for alleviating the muscular aches and pains of athletes.

Massage is now more popular than ever with many techniques on offer including Swedish, Thai and Indian, along with combinations of these specialities for the treatment of specific conditions such as sports injuries and stress.

Many companies are also recognising the benefits of massage as a valuable therapy in managing stress and stress related aches and pains amongst employees. They include law firms, accounts and merchant banks, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Law Society, Lexis PR, Ubisoft, Wings Corporate Travel and Many of the firms pay the full cost of treatments or subsidise treatments which take place during the working day.

Charlotte Hunter, director of The On Site Massage Company which works with City firms to provide practical solutions to stress and postural problems in the workplace explains: “On Site Massage is a very popular health initiative that is well received by employers and employees alike. It benefits individuals by helping to relieve the build up of stress and tension as well as relieving physical aches and pains. Companies are now realising the positive impact on morale and productivity of on site massage at work and are implementing regular massage programmes to improve their working environment and assist in the wellbeing of their workforce.

“Forward thinking companies are becoming increasingly aware that stress can be an issue in the workplace. Responsible employers are realising that by expressing a caring attitude towards the workforce and implementing a pro-active scheme such as on site massage, they can have a very positive impact on the working environment.”

It is recognised that massage can be soothing and sedative and helpful for those suffering from disorders such as insomnia, tension, headaches and other stress-related conditions. It can also be stimulating, benefiting the skeletal system, circulation, muscles, the skin and the lymphatic drainage system which removes toxins from out bodies.

Here are some of the massage treats to soothe your cares away:

Abhyanga massage at the Shymala Ayurveda Spa, Holland Park

One of the most therapeutic of massage therapies is practiced by the Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda, which means life knowledge. In this doctrine, massage is known as Abhyanga therapy and is a way manipulating the body to produce strength, mobility and flexibility using the Marma points, the vital points of the body.

The massage acts directly on blood, nerves, and lymph circulatory systems. There is three main types of massage techniques in Abhyanga therapy: active, passive and persuasive. It also concentrates on the naval which is considered the epicentre of the body and abdominal massage is used to relieve constipation, tone stomach muscles and detox the body. The massage is also the first step in the ancient colonic cleansing ritual known as Basti, which uses oils infused with spices and herbs. The Spa creates bespoke oils for each client. A 60-minute Abhyanga relaxing whole body massage costs £85 and an energising massage costs £115. For two therapists at the same time add an extra £60. Shymala Ayurveda Spa, 152 holland Park Avenue, W11. T: 020 7348 0018

Irish facial and body massage rejuvenation from the SÁMAS Spa at the Park Hotel Kenmare at Urban Retreat at Harrods – St.Patricks Week March 13 – March 25 2006

The SÁMAS Spa is the no 2 spa in Europe and voted one of the top 25 spas in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. It is set in the beautiful, inspiring scenery of Kerry and the range of treatments on offer from the spa’s therapists will use oils from the West of Ireland to rejuvenate mind, body and soul: ‘Suaimhneas’ (Peaceful) – A distressing and relaxing massage that begins with a smoothing and hydrating body polish that leaves the skin glowing with radiance. ‘Spiorad’ (The Spirit) – A stimulating massage to invigorate and recharge energy levels and bring clarity of mind, focusing mainly on the back, feet and head and uses a powerful blend of mallow, mint and sweet almond oil. ‘Fe’ (To clam) – A purifying anti-ageing facial, combined with deep cleansing and massage. ‘Saoirse’ (Freedom) – Ideal for athletes and those experienced in massage, this deep tissue massage uses advanced forearm and elbow techniques to work deep into the muscle layer through stretching and lengthening techniques. ‘Anam’ (The Soul) – This is a nurturing massage that is a healing delight for the senses and is created especially for those times of high stress or emotional imbalance. All treatments cost £110 for 60 minutes. Call the Urban Retreat at Harrods on 020 7893 8333, for more information visit

Sports and deep tissue massage at Urban Remedies at the Apex City of London Hotel

The Apex which opened in January has a newly-equipped gym with sauna, steam room and treatment suites offering a range of holistic and lifestyle therapies from Urban Remedies. A holistic service focusing on physical and mental well-being are tailored as much to the busy professional male as female looking for remedies for their hectic lifestyles as well as the weekend breakers looking for a pampering treat. As well a reiki, Bach flower therapy, reflexology and a range of massages, there is also physiotherapy and neuro linguistic programming. Recommended is the 90-minute organic aromatherapy massage which costs £75. A quick pick-me-up is the 15 minute head, shoulder and arm massage which is done fully-clothed and costs £15.Apex City of London, No1 Seething Lane, EC3 Tel:020 7702 2020

Swedish Massage at Xfolia at Canary Wharf

The classical massage and also anti-stress massage are available in Canary Wharf. Both last 60 minutes and cost from £65. Xfolio also sells a range of own-products for massage and skin rejuvenation including for stretch marks and skin elasticity. Xfolio, Unit 1 Horizon Building (behind Marriott Hotel), Hertsmere Road, E14. T: 020 7538 1001

Black mud massage from the Kalmora Spa, Goudhurst, Kent

The signature massage is wonderful experience of warm and heat in which your body is enveloped in Dead Sea black mud. The mud is massages in with firm strokes, after which you are wrapped in heated thermal sheets while the 21 therapeutic minerals in the mud are absorbed by the skin. It is followed by an indulgent Indian Head Massage to complete this 75 minute heavenly experience. Costs from £25. Kalmora Spa, Goudhurst, Kent. T:01580212953

Aromatherapy massage at Beautyworkswest Westbourne Grove

Aromatherapist Michelle Roques-O’Neil and combines the principles of aromatherapy, cellular release, acupressure, reiki and reflexology, whist the ideals of Chinese energy balancing, incorporated to increase the flow of Qi (life-force). This energy flows along pathways called meridians, there are twelve in total and each relate to various systems of the body, by working along these pathways stagnant energy can be released enhancing vitality. This is a treatment to revitalise and experience greater energy. An ideal treatment when you feel distinctly lack-lustre, or when your get up and go has gone.
The first one and half session includes a 10 minute consultatation and costs £140. Follow up session is £120. Beautyworkwest, Lambton Place, Nottinghill, London W11. T: 020 7221 2248

Stone and water massage a K SPA at the K West Hotel

A two-and a half hour pampering with luxurious E’SPA products. It is a head to toe treatment which starts with a foot soak and foot and leg massage, an all over body exfoliation, hot stone massage therapy and express facial, as well as a restorative wrap and a dry floatation experience. The dry flotation experience leaves you feeling positively revitalised and a twenty-minute session is the equivalent to several hours sleep. Also included are complimentary facilities such as the whirlpool, eucalyptus steam room, lemon steam room, sauna and relaxation zone. The Dry Floatation Ritual costs £185 for two and half hours. K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 T: 087 00 27 43 43 or visit

Holistic aromatherapy at the The Landmark Health Club & Spa

One of London’s most beautiful hotels, just opposite Marylebone Station, it has a 15-metre pool and all that a detoxer needs – a whirlpool, saunas and steam rooms and a fully-equipped gymnasium. The ultimate detox treatment is the holistic aromatherapy back, face and scalp treatment which begins with a deeply relaxing aromatherapy back treatment to soften, nourish and ease away those hidden stresses and strains. For total relaxation the treatment continues with an aromatherapy facial combining the therapeutic benefits of E’SPA active aromatherapy products with acupressure, lymphatic drainage and oriental head massage techniques. It lasts1 hour 30 minutes and costs £75.00 The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone Road, NW1 T: 020 7631 8000 or visit

Delanta Ethiopian Massage

One hour of the most intensive massage regimes by Yerous Sissaye-Raya, who brings massage techniques from Ethiopia. A qualified massage therapist she specialises in deep tissue massage using invigorating strokes that stimulate and relax. She also offers stress and relaxation treatments including back, neck and shoulder massage and Indian Head Massage in a calming and quiet atmosphere. Cost: Delanta Deep Tissue Massage £50, Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage, £30 and Indian Head Massage £30. Deltanta Holistic Therapy at Anita Cox Hair and Beauty Salon, 62 Britton Street, EC1. T: 020 7251 8220.


Tisserand’s Four Point Massager and aromatherapy oils

The Four Point Massager can be used over clothing for simple and effective on the spot relief or directly on the skin with any of Tisserand’s Massage Oils to enhance the experience. Why not try the Relaxing Oil, a blend of Orange Blossom, Bergamot and Lavender or the seductive combination of Jasmine and Clary Sage in Tisserand’s Sensual Body Oil. It isdeal for improving the circulation on those problem areas to help reduce superfluous fat deposits that can build up. Why not increase its benefits with Tisserand’s Cellulite Treatment Oil. Also ideal for use after sports or strenuous activity to relieve muscle fatigue. The massager costs £5.9. Tisserand products are available nation–wide and by mail order: Ring 01273 325666 for details or log

Body bliss from Laline

The Laline body scrub (330ml £14/140ml £9) with soy oil, almond oil, macadamia oil, Dead Sea salts and citric oils. Used twice weekly, this scrub in luscious scents of Vanilla Patchouli; Lavender Coconut; Cucumber Melon, Lemongrass and Ocean. Laline body soufflé (£18) is a rich cold cream, ideal for when winter skin needing an extra bit of pre-Summer TLC. Enriched with natural ingredients, citric oils and aloe Vera gel for soothing skin, it will not only soften and moisturise but, in scents of Vanilla, Coconut and Ocean. Meanwhile, Laline bath & body oil (£9), containing rich avocado oil is ideal for drizzling in a bath but, for maximum results, apply directly to skin. In scents of Vanilla, Coconut, Amber, Lavender, Rose, and Patchouli, it is fabulous for giving legs a natural sheen. Buy on line at

Home visiting masseurs

Ayla Cho of LA Therapy, also offers treatments at 6 Moscow Place, London W2, and is also a reflexologist, Reika master, and a baby massage instructor. Costs £45 per hour. Contact: 07886 705 633

Siva Raja offers Thai Massage and sports massage. Costs £60 for an hour of sports £120 for a two hour Thai massage. T: 07932 038202, Email:

The On Site Massage Company Ltd, Trident Business centre, 89 Bickersteth Road, London SW17 9SH 08450 090 212 Fax: 08450 090 213

Ulpotha Yoga & Ayurveda Holidays


Ulpotha is open for 13 fortnightly periods between June and August and from November till March. Between these times Ulpotha is closed to allow the village time to revert to its natural state between visits. There is a maximum of only 19 places for guests per holiday.

Guests are encouraged to visit Ulpotha for a whole fortnight with bookings running from Sunday to Sunday. Prices are on a full board, twin sharing basis, inclusive of airport transfers (for designated group arrival/departure times), excursions, yoga and herbal steam baths; flights are not included. Personalised Ayurveda treatment packages are available separately – see below.

Two-week Summer 2006 holidays cost £1,200 (each extra night £85). One-week holidays can only sometimes be accommodated, depending on availability. These would run Sunday to Sunday and cost £600 (each extra night £85).

Two-week Winter 2006/7 holidays cost £1,300 (each extra night £95). One-week holidays can only sometimes be accommodated, depending on availability. These would run Sunday to Sunday and cost £650 (each extra night £95).

The Christmas/New Year holiday costs £1,830 for the full 16 nights; or £1,600 for 14 nights (each extra night £115). There is usually no availability for one-week holidays over Christmas and New Year but if there is, the cost would be £800 for the week, plus £115 for each extra night.

The Summer 2006 per night rate (for stays of less than one week) is £90; in Winter it is £100; at Christmas/New Year it is £120 per night.

Summer 2006 (Yala season)

18 Jun – 2 Jul Pilates with Aud Aasbo
2 Jul – 16 Jul Scaravelli Yoga with Lawrence Chapman & Audrey Tom
16 Jul – 30 Jul Astanga Yoga with Mark Hill
30 Jul – 13 Aug Astanga Yoga with Jane Kemlo

Winter 2006/7 (Maha season)

19 Nov – 3 Dec Astanga Yoga with Edward Clark
3 Dec – 17 Dec Hatha Yoga with Angus Ford-Robertson
17 Dec – 2 Jan Hatha & gentle Astanga Yoga with Nigel Gilderson (16 nights £1830; or 14 nights £1600)
2 Jan – 14 Jan Core Yoga with Martin McDougall
14 Jan – 28 Jan Yoga Teacher TBC
28 Jan – 11 Feb Yoga with Caprice
11 Feb – 25 Feb Chinese New Year
25 Feb – 11 Mar Iyengar & Astanga Yoga with Jean Hall
11 Mar – 25 Mar Yoga Teacher TBC

Please note, the above schedules may be subject to change.

Personalised Ayurvedic Treatment Programmes
Ulpotha is a particularly suitable place in which to undergo Ayurvedic treatment as the food and the environment will complement the therapies and serve to underscore the holistic approach of Ayurveda itself. Ulpotha’s resident Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Sri Lal can draw up a personalized detoxification and rejuvenation treatment programme for you. Allow at least two days to acclimatise after arrival in Sri Lanka before start of Ayurvedic treatments.

The Ayurveda Treatment Programmes are charged for separately and available for a minimum of one week at £200 per person. There are also ten days (£300); two weeks (£400); three weeks (£600); four weeks (£800 per person). Pre-bookable via us, capacity is limited. Please ring 0870 444 2702 or email

Neal’s Yard Agency
BCM Neal’s Yard, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel/Fax: (44) 0870 444 2702 (national number)
or ++44 7000 783 704 (international number)


Stressful situations release the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone-S (DHEA-S) in the body which helps us look and feel younger, as well as boosting sex drive and improving memory. Those who produce more of the hormone are better able to deal with stress.

DHEA-S is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressful situations. It assists brain and body function, boosts memory and mood and keeps skin supple, weight down as well as boosting libido. Like other hormones production decreases as we age.

Ultimately it is the way that we deal with stress that has the potential to allows stress to become a negative or positive force in our lives.

For example, when we find ourselves in a threatening situation, our heart beats faster and our muscles tense. This is known as the fight or flight response and our ancestors depended on this reaction for their survival – to escape enemies and predators. We still use it today but in lesser situations and the body returns to normal.

It is constant stress when the body does not return to normal that can result exhaustion and illness. In life crises such as bereavement, marriage breakdown or depression, doctors have found that the immune system becomes impaired and the
body manufactures large quantities of stress chemicals particularly corisol. At the same the activity of “natural killer” (NK) cells, which circulate in the blood ready to attack foreign bodies and mutant cells are supressed.

These are some of the symptoms of long-term stress:

* Fast and shallow breathing
* A racing heart which can led to chest pains, tingling, palpitations and asthma
* A dry mouth
* Muscle tension and pain.
* High blood pressure
* Nausea, indigestion, heartburn and ulcers.
* Sweating
* Sudden feelings of fear and panic
* Feelingtense, nervous or wound-up
* Difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or waking
* Constant feelings tha something awful might happen
* Feeling irritable, edgy and bad-tempered
* Irregular eating patterns and often eat too much or too little
* Smoking or drinking too much, or take tranquillisers or other drugs
* Suffering from upset stomachs, diarrhoea or constipation
* Difficulty with concentration, memory or making decisions
* Constantly feeling exhausted
* Worrying that you will lose control, crack up or become ill
* Feeling apathetic – like nothing matters
* Feeling short of breath even when resting
* A feeling of tightness in the neck, chest or head
* Avoiding worrying situations
* Unable to turn off certain worrying thoughts
* A loss of interest in sex
* A sensation of palpitations or butterflies in the stomach or chest
* A lack of self-confidence
* Constant worrying that you will not be able to cope
* Frequent headaches
* Feeling thatlife is not worth living
* Feeling pessimistic about the future
* Feelingunder strain.
* Feeling obsessive about certain issues
* Constant aches and pains that worry you
* Feeling very emotional and crying easily
* Feeling physically run down
* Feeling dizzy, remote, unreal or faint.
* Can’t be bothered to see friends or take up interests

What can you do about stress?

Although there is no magic cure or pill to cure stress, there are certain lifestyle changesthat will help you better cope with it and diminish its impact on your health and life.

Look after your health by eating foods that help you to be fitter and strengthen your immune system. There are also mood-enhancing foods that trigger the release of the serotonin which has a soothing effect – these include vegetables and
wholegrains. Vegetables contain high levels of the amino-scid L-Tryptophan which is also a serotonin trigger.

Take more exercise. Go for a 15-minute run before work. Don’t eat lunch at your office desk – go and sit in the park and take a walk. Take the dog for a walk before dinner.

Do something to make you laugh.

Develop a positive attitude.

Express your feelings

Learn to delegate

Relax and take time out for yourself

If you do feel stressed breath deeply and slowly, close your eyes and go to a place where you feel good – like a palm-fringed beach, where you can listen to gentle waves lapping back and forth. Practice this several times a day and it will help you relax and refocus.

There are a number of alternative therapies that can help with stress such as massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, flotation and Bach Flower Remedies. Read about these in more detail in Alternative Therapies

Silky Oaks Lodge & Healing Waters Spa – Daintree, Queensland

Silky Oaks Lodge & Healing Waters Spa

In the Daintree National Park, in Queensland, Silky Oaks is in a rain forest near the Mossman River. Therapies are inspired by native Aboriginal healing techniques. “Mirryindi” which means rainbow is one of the spa’s signature treatments in which the body is exfoliated with lemon myrtle desert salts and enveloped in mud.There is lots to do outdoors such as visiting the rainforest, white water rafting or the Great Barrier Reef.

SilkyOaks Queensland.jpg


Finlayvale Road Daintree Rainforest

T:61 74 098 1666



There are a variety of different massage therapies including Swedish and Indian. Western massage is aimed at
releasing knots in the muscles while Eastern therapies use accupressure points. Helps to ease muscular aches and pains and stress.

British Massage Therapy Council
Greenbank House
65a Adelphi Street
Preston, Lancashire PR1 7BH. UK
Tel:++ 44 (0)1772 881063

Udai vilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan


T:+91 294 243 3300;

The resort has two large swimming pools which are heated in winter, a gymnasium, boutique and a library with a selection of music and DVDs. Private excursions and cruises on the lake can be organised by the hotel. The spa, managed by Banyan Tree, offers holistic treatments and therapies to pamper and revitalise mind and body using holistic therapies and massages combining the best of East and West. Massages, facials and body beautification methods use ancient Ayurveda and aromatherapy as well as Thai and western techniques designed to relieve stress as well as create a sense of wellbeing. The spa has a private pool and individual therapy suites with views of Lake Pichola, the Aravali mountains and City Palace. Each of the eight suites has its own steam sauna and Victorian style bathtub. The gym and hair salon are located around a central domed foyer with a marble fountain.

Cap Juluca, Maundays Bay

Cap-Juluca-Beach-Pano-sm.jpgThere are eighteen Moorish-style villas with private sunbathing areas and patio/balcony overlooking the sea and set in landscaped tropical gardens with palms. Insulated from the outside world, yet only minutes by air or motor launch from St. Maarten, Cap Juluca is a private self-contained resort along two miles of some of the best pristine white-sand beaches in the Caribbean.

Cap Juluca has an array of entertainment amenities, including a fully equipped fitness centre and outdoor activities such as aqua golf driving range, bunker and putting green, croquet lawn, junior Olympic-size swimming pool, a library, tennis courts with a full-time resident pro, and water sports, including snorkeling, wind surfing, water skiing, and sailing.

The spa has only two treatment rooms but you can also have these in your own room. A number of alternative therapies are also available such as reiki, shiatsu and yoga. Personal and circuit training can also be arranged.


T: +1 264 497 6666;


Highly-concentrated oils from spices and plants are combined with a carrier oil usually almond, and used to massage or inhaled to give relief from all kinds of ailments from coughs and colds to stress and breathing problems, as well as chronic fatigue, back pain and menstral complaints.

The essential oils, usually in a combination, are massaged into the body with light strokes or inhaled in steam, depending on the condition to be treated. The oils are absorbed by the body and enter the bloodstream – which is why pregnant woman and anyone with diabetes, epilepsy and heart problems should consult their doctor prior to any treatment. Each oil may have several therapeutic uses. For instance lavender and thyme can be combined to reduce inflammation:lemon oil is an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. See guide to oils.


The International Society of professional Aromatherapists
82 Ashby Road
Leicestershire LE1U 1SN. UK
Tel: ++ 44(0)1455 637987

Also Aromatherapy Council
PO Box 355
Croydon, Surrey CR9 2PQ. UK.
Te: ++44 (0)20 8251 7912