Spa Business issue 2 2021

Page 54

FITNESS OPINION

Boris Bánovský medical director, Ensana

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ong COVID includes a combination of different symptoms such as, but not limited to, fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, sleep disorders, intermittent fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety and depression. The effects can persist for 12 weeks or more, so targeted and effective rehabilitation interventions for these patients are essential. Ensana launched its Respiratory Recovery Programme in December for Long COVID sufferers. Its foundation is based on guest education and individual and group exercises aimed at practising proper breathing biomechanics – static and dynamic breathing gymnastics – with the ultimate goal of

Our Respiratory Recovery Programme is now our second most popular package

increasing physical endurance, the mental condition and general wellness. But it’s not just breathwork alone, we have a holistic, multi-modality approach. The majority of our properties are based by, and use, natural healing resources such as thermal mineral water which has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal, respiratory, nervous, endocrine systems as well as immunity.

Physical therapeutic methods are also key. Other treatments include inhalations, oxygen therapy, biolamp applications, hydrotherapy, classical massage, Kneipp walks, salt cave treatment and drinking cures. An initial medical examination by a specialist in balneotherapy sets up the guest’s individual therapeutic plan. All treatments are then delivered only by trained staff and exercises led by licensed physiotherapists. The recommended minimum stay for the Respiratory Recover Programme is seven nights. This can be

either extended or repeated up to three times a year. Since the pandemic, people are gradually becoming aware of the need to protect their own health and insurance companies are supporting this. We’re certainly seeing increased interest in this programme – we’ve only been offering it for five months and it’s already our second most popular package – and feedback from those who have completed it has been positive. ■■With 26 properties, Ensana is the largest health spa operator in Europe. www.ensanahotels.com

Aaron McCulloch managing director, Your Personal Training

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his pandemic has damaged people’s health. It’s not simply a matter of reopening gyms and hoping people will come back. The same goes for spas and wellness facilities that offer fitness elements. Customers need to be eased back from COVID and a vast range of specific health issues, including fatigue, dizziness, cardiovascular and muscle deterioration, need to be addressed by experts with a bespoke approach – and breathing techniques are just one of the tools to help. Your Personal Training is now upskilling personal trainers (PTs) to create Long COVID rehab hubs. At the Waterside Hotel and Leisure Club in north-west England, for example, we recently put 12 PTs through CAWS UK

54 spabusiness.com issue 2 2021

Customers need to be eased back from COVID and its vast range of specific health issues – and breathing techniques are just one of the tools to help

training, which specialises in the rehabilitation of Long COVID. This includes cardio rehab, plotting and charting client’s progress, as well as looking at the neurological and mental health impact. One particular PT had success by using breathing methods, especially those linked with anxiety and relieving stress, on a client who still had respiratory issues five months after infection. He used parasympathetic breathing, including

diaphragmatic breathing and controlled exhalation to help the acute onset symptoms of stress and anxiety. Secondly, he added pursed lip breathing, concentrating on deep inhalation, to expand his client’s lung capacity and to increase oxygen proliferation through their alveoli, to help with chronic fatigue. He also looked at the role of CO2 through breath hold work and nasal breathing. This produces nitric oxide and slows the rate of breath during exercise, allowing the body to feed oxygen

more efficiently, which again decreases stress and fatigue. Using these methods, and other CAWS modalities, his client was able to work up to full one-to-one sessions again, allowing more rapid whole-body recovery. Could spas offer similar areas of expertise? Absolutely, because it’s part of a complete wellness programme. l ■Your ■ Personal Training specialises in the provision and management of personal trainers. www. yourpersonaltraininguk.co.uk