05 Spring 2019
SPA & WELLNESS INTERNATIONAL
UK, USA, SA & ASIA
Where you can find wellness around the world
We’ve gone all shades of green with eco trips and beauty tips
What’s the correlation between food & mood?
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SPA & WELLNESS
Cover: SALT of Palmar, Mauritius. SALT of Palmar is named one of the World’s Greatest Places in Time Magazine’s second annual list, celebrating 100 places across the world in a variety of categories. https://www.saltresorts.com
Managing Editor Kris Abbey
HEY! DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW US:
Partnerships & Advertising Kara Geyer @ mediahut Creative Director Kris Abbey Beauty Editor Cleo Glyde Photography Unsplash Supplied Enquiries Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial: email@example.com Published and distributed by Commotion Pty Ltd PO Box 123 Freshwater NSW 2096 Australia
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Contributors Cleo Glyde, Tara dos Santos, Nicole Dynan, Tamara Krebs, Beth McGroarty, Jakie Messaike, Lyndall Mitchell, Mark Paul, Michelle Reeve, Jennifer Walsh and the Global Spa Summit. Printing This magazine is printed at Guangzhou Wenhua Color Printing Factory using recycled paper and soy-based inks. All rights reserved copyright © 2019 Reproduction of any of the Spa & Wellness International magazine material without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. The acceptance of advertising does not necessarily imply endorsement of services or products. Cover price is recommended price only.
HEALTH IS A STATE OF BODY. WELLNESS IS A STATE OF BEING. J Stanford
“What do you mean when you say Wellness?” I get asked this question a lot. And while there are many different spins on the definiton, the World Health Organisation defines Wellness as: An active process of becoming aware of, and making choices towards, a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than being free fromillness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. A good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterised by health, happiness, and prosperity. A mouthful right? To me, wellness is doing something that benefits your health and makes you happy. It might be catching up with a friend and having a minddancing discussion, going for a bush walk, seeing a sunrise, or volunteering your time. Anything that has a positive impact on either your mind, body or soul. Like most ‘buzz words’ it will be used and abused and confusion will reign over something that is simple. I recently read an article about a ‘Wellness Retreat’ in Thailand that promised to make you work hard all day and party harder at night! How is that wellness? It is ego-fuelling in over-drive and further adding fuel to your stress levels. Not to mention increasing your risk of adrenal burnout. The retreats are aptly called Fuel Weekends! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good time as much as the next person. I’m just not going to wrap it in a bow and call it wellness. Most of us need to ‘let go’ from time to time. Recognising the need and doing something about it is a good thing. If you’re not sure what that ‘something’ should be.... you’ve come to the right place. Start turning the pages, we’ve got your back - no burpees required! Kris Abbey Managing Editor 9
Contents SPRING 2019
34 22 Places to Go & People to Know 16
NEWS - GOING GREEN
BEST OF BRITAIN Including the best places to eat, play and stay.
ELEMENTS OF BYRON
WEEKEND OF WELLNESS
SECRET SPOTS IN NSW
EAST & WEST COAST USA
A GEM OF A JOB
What is new and newsworthy in wellness tourism?
The hip and hippie side to this piece of paradise.
Take a trip to the Blue Mountains and rejuvenate.
Explore SA the healthy way, and maybe a vineyard too!
Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone, but Yamba has something for everyone.
From the East to the West, we give you the best.
Meet Australia’s Freshwater Pearl Princess, Erica Miller.
Sun. Sand. Soul. Spa Relax & Rejuvenate in Heaven There are 15 words in the Fijian language meaning heaven. ‘Yasawa’ is the first. Yasawa is home to Fiji’s first beachfront spa, the award-winning Baravi Spa... just metres from the ocean’s edge on a sweep of soft white sand. Baravi is a blend of traditional and contemporary design, that offer guests a premium spa experience.
ULTIMATE SPA PACK FOR JUST FJ$499 YOU’LL RECEIVE A 50 MINUTE TREATMENT EVERY DAY OF YOUR STAY, NO MATTER HOW LONG YOUR STAY Alila Seminyak Bali +679 666 3364 (island) | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.yasawa.com
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Beauty & More
MASTER THE PAUSE
THE JOY OF STRESS
POWER OF TOUCH
KEEP CHEMICALS OFF YOUR PLATE
HOW FOOD AFFECTS YOUR MOOD
CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
CREATED FOR LIVING
POWER OF PLANTS
THE BEAUTY OF DIVINE DANCING
The art of taking time out to breathe.
A little bit of adrenalin can be beneficial.
More than massage, the human touch truly heals.
How can we do this in an era of processed food?
The correlation between a healthy gut and happy moods.
How do you care for someone with dementia?
Add extra living spaces with next-level outdoor furniture.
What are the benefits of surrounding yourself with plants?
The heart and hours that go into perfecting a performance.
From long flights to vegan products - beauty tips galore!
SALT of Palmar, Mauritius. https://www.saltresorts.com
Green Shades of
THE HOTEL SECTOR ACCOUNTS FOR AROUND 1% OF GLOBAL EMISSIONS AND THOUGH THIS MAY SEEM SMALL, GROWTH IN THE SECTOR MEANS THAT THE SECTOR WILL INCREASE ITS NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IF IT DOES NOT START TO MEASURE AND REDUCE ITS CARBON EMISSIONS. International Tourism Partnership
AUSTRALIA’S TOP 5 ECO RESORTS
Staying in eco-friendly resorts is no longer bathing in grey-water and using drop toilets. It is a clever combination of luxury, love of the planet, and educating guests to enhance their stay. Here are some of the properties that are paving the way in eco-tourism: 1 Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, NSW An award-winning, ultra-luxury conservation-based resort in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. oneandonlyresorts.com/wolgan-valley 2 Bamurru Plains, near Kakadu National Park, NT One of the most immersive eco experiences available in Australia, all activities revolve around the spectacular landscape. bamurruplains.com 3 Karijini Eco Retreat, Karijini National Park, WA Owned by the local Aboriginal people of ancient Pilbara, this environmentally friendly ‘Glamp Ground’ is set among staggering gorges, waterfalls and natural plunge pools. karijiniecoretreat.com.au 4 Freycinet Lodge, Tasmania Wake up in one of the geological wonders of the world, the only accommodation situated inside the world-famous Freycinet National Park. freycinetlodge.com.au 5 Daintree Ecolodge & Spa, Queensland The Daintree is the oldest living tropical rainforest on earth. Sleep among the trees in your own treehouse. Where rainforest meets the reef! daintree-ecolodge.com.au
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SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS AT JA MANAFARU, MALDIVES Situated on the northern tip of Haa Alif atoll, the luxurious JA Manafaru beckons many guests to this island paradise with its topaz blue waters fringed by white, powdery sand. To keep this beautiful envionment pristine, the JA Manafaru team undertake many environmental initiatives. They also invite their guests to get involved. From environmental ‘edutainment’ in the form of movie screenings under the stars, to craft activities such as re-purposing old plastic bottles into plant pots and vases. JA Manafaru is proudly a plastic-free resort and all drinking water is provided in glass bottles. Visit JA Manafaru Maldives and enjoy up to 30% off Super Flexi rates, with discounts available on all experiences until 31 October 2019. Visit https://jaresortshotels.com/and use booking code ‘JA-Summer’.
CIDESCO, the world standard for Beauty and Spa Therapy, calls on its industry to help protect the environment and health of the planet by recommending all glitter be made from nonplastic alternatives. Standard glitter is made from etched aluminium that is bonded to a form of micro-plastic called polyethylene terephthalate. Micro-plastics such as these, when thrown away or washed off with water, are an ecological hazard, causing harm to marine life and often ending up in the stomachs of fish and birds. It’s not only our marine life we are concerned about, as studies have shown that fish consumption of micro-plastics finally result in toxins further up the food chain. With the ban of microbeads taking shape, CIDESCO believe it’s now time for authorities and brands in the beauty industry to take note of plastic-bonded glitters and act quickly to ban their use. https://cidesco.com/
Stress and illness causes absenteeism, costing the Australian economy up to $44 billion a year. BLYS aims to help reduce this cost by making self-care more accessible and convenient. Using the Blys app, you can order a massage and have a therapist delivered to your home, hotel or work. The Blys app is an easy way to book your massage. Available on iOS via The App Store and Android via Google Play. https://getblys.com.au
Emotional & Mental
Wellbeing BEST CITIES FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE 2019
Mobile access technology company KISI has released a study examining which cities around the world promote the most holistic work-life balance. Using data relating to work intensity, social wellbeing and liveability to analyse the interplay between work and life, the index assesses how well residents achieve a healthy work-life balance in 40 cities around the world. • Helsinki, Munich and Oslo top the index as the cities promoting the most holistic work-life balance. • Tokyo, Singapore and Washington DC are the most overworked cities in the study. • On average, employees in Barcelona (30.5 days) and Paris (30 days) take advantage of the most amount of vacation days offered per year. • Residents in San Francisco (9.7 days), San Diego (9.7 days), Washington DC (9.4 days) and LA (9.1 days) take the least. • Sydney ranks #15 out of 40 for work-life balance worldwide.
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BRAIN POWER We once believed the brain developed through childhood and remained fairly static as an adult. Today, we know the brain has neuroplasticity, so is adaptable and responsive to our inner and outer worlds, and it can evolve throughout our life. While our genes are fairly set at birth, our gene expression isn’t. How and what we eat, how we respond to stress, and other factors in life and work influence which genes turn on and off, thus impacting brain health. Science now supports what Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have recognised for centuries: your gut and brain are inextricably linked. Disruption in the gut-brain axis is linked to a diverse range of mental and physical illnesses. In other words, gut health empowers brain health! (for more on this see page 88) As our lives are becoming more complex, brain health is more essential than ever. Mental stamina, focus, continual learning, emotional intelligence, creativity and holistic thinking are rated high among the skills that will enable people to live and work well in the 21st century. Here’s a few ways to improve your mental wellbeing and stay sharp: 1 Meditate Mindfulness meditation helps increase attention control. 2 Try something new New surroundings wake up your awareness, stimulate your senses and forge new neural connections. 3 Get better sleep Avoid big meals, alcohol and digital devices a few hours before bedtime. 4 Prime your brain for focus Exercise helps you combat fatigue and sharpens your attention. 5 Sunshine Exposure to natural light can boost serotonin and vitamin D levels to help counteract depression and anxiety, plus lift your thinking and mood. 6 Breathe Conscious breathing can reduce reactivity and stress, enhance mental clarity, and foster openness and trust. 7 Make your nutrition matter Your gut is where brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are made. A good diet is critical for optimal brain health. * Extract from Global Wellness Institute https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/
THE HUMAN BRAIN IS THE MOST COMPLEX BIOLOGICAL STRUCTURE IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE. ITS ROUGHLY 86 BILLION NERVE CELLS POWER ALL OUR THOUGHTS, PERCEPTIONS, MEMORIES, EMOTIONS AND ACTIONS. IT’S WHAT INSPIRES US TO BUILD CITIES AND COMPELS US TO GAZE AT THE STARS. BrainFacts.org
Retreat Words by Kris Abbey
ALL INCLUSIVE WELLBEING, ALILA MANGGIS BALI Available all year round These retreats provide the freedom to journey into wellness at your own pace. While the programs feature daily group yoga and outdoor activity schedules, they also include two daily spa treatments and “take whenever you need” wellness cuisine. I know! You get to control how far you delve into making positive changes with the tools and support you need by the beautiful team at Alila Manggis. And if you feel like a glass of wine after a complete day of wellness, enjoy without guilt. www.alilahotels.com/manggis/offers/all-inclusive-well-being SALT OF PALMAR, MAURITIUS The Art of Body Mind Alignment with Samanta Duggal, 29 Nov - 4 Dec 2019 Led by wellness guru Samanta Duggal - a skilled yoga instructor, Ayurvedic nutritionist and expert in bodywork, neurolinguistic programming and Bharatanatyam dance - this intensive workshop helps you develop a true understanding and appreciation of your body. Knowing how amazing your body is, motivates you to value your health more! www.saltresorts.com FOUR SEASONS NAM HAI, HOI AN Christopher Harrison - Father of Aerial Yoga Let your ‘happy hormones’ soar during an in-flight session with Christopher, an acrobat from Utah whose quest for innovation led him to the World Games in gymnastics, to Hollywood as a dancer, to Broadway as a choreographer and into history as the father of AntiGravity® Yoga. Reconnect body and mind with this elevating, expressive practice. www.fourseasons.com/hoian WELLNESS LEAVE WITH KRIS ABBEY These ‘Healthy Holidays’ are a combination of fresh, local, seasonal food, soul-enriching encounters and exercise wrapped up in a wonderful experience in an idyllic location. The main goal is to have you FEEL well. And this taste of feeling well inspires you to make simple changes after your holiday is over. You also receive a 4-week program and simple tools to continue improving your wellbeing once you’re back home. These are intimate ‘Retreats’ with limited spots. Email email@example.com to register your interest for our very first Wellness Leave experience.
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The Best of
The welcoming warmth of old-world charm. The lived-in loungeroom of The Fife Arms.
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THE HERITAGE SPA CULTURE OF THE UK IS AN UNHURRIED ALTERNATIVE TO THE GLITZY, KITSCHY BLING OF MANY CONTEMPORARY RESORTS. TRAVELLERS CAN ‘TAKE THE WATERS’ JANE AUSTEN STYLE AMONG HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE, WHERE THE SPLENDOUR AND GRACE OF THE SURROUNDINGS AND YESTERYEAR CHARM ADD TO THE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF THE TREATMENTS. THIS IS RELAXATION AT ITS MOST ELEGANT...
Words by Cleo Glyde
The Gainsborough T
his grand dame of spas taps into the extraordinary magic of Bath, a miraculously preserved town in the valley of the River Avon, 150 km west of London. The UNESCO World Heritage site is famous not only for its extraordinary Roman, Elizabethan and Georgian architecture, but the natural thermal waters that make this unique cultural hotspot a world famous health hub too. The precious, mineral-rich water - rain from 10,000 years ago that has been heated by high temperature rocks underground - bubbles up from deep within the earth once more, under artesian pressure. Natural springs are mired in the very origins of spa culture: the word ‘spa’ even relates to the latin phrase ‘Salus Per Aquam’ - Health through Water. The ritualistic pleasures of aqua therapy have lured spa seekers to Bath for millennia, from the Roman elite and European royalty to contemporary Londoners and travellers who enjoy the convenience of the short onehour train ride from the capital. The genteel Georgian streetscape of curved stone buildings and colonnades exert a powerful timewarp charm, where The Gainsborough reigns supreme as a temple of spa health and understated Brit style. Her stiff upper lip elegance is tempered by the warmth of
the welcome behind the Georgian facade, and a crisp, fresh aesthetic brings contemporary lightness to the classical spaces. The light, airy conversion of three interlinking classical buildings in Bath stone centres around a glorious courtyard pool fringed with columns, which evokes the high-ceilinged grandeur of ancient bathing spaces. I recommend spending as much of your stay as possible in this beautiful, meditative space, where thermal mineralised waters from the Hetling Spring feed the Bath Spa (at the optimum bathing temperature of 33.5 degrees) and uplift the spirit. Guests in robes sink into ‘spa time’ beneath the atrium, bathed in natural light, leaf through Tatler and languorously circuit the Spa Village Bath’s two natural thermal pools of varying temperatures, traditional and infrared saunas, steam room and ice alcove. The bespoke menu of aquatic therapies focuses on head-to-toe invigoration that soothes muscles and stimulates circulation on the inside, and nourishes your skin on the outside. The mineralising benefits of the waters already leave skin instantly softened. Yet the added boon of ginger oil (Ginger Renewal, 90 minutes) and magnesium (Magnesium Remineraliser), which helps regulate
metabolism and is best absorbed through skin, feels like a benediction. Your skin blooms, soft to the touch, long afterwards. The unique Freedom Treatment focuses more on range of movement and deep relaxation. A therapist cradles and moves your body into stretch poses, gliding you through the thermal water in a womb-like state of supported floating. It’s an exercise of letting go and sinking into weightlessness - a rare sensory state that is well worth experiencing. Guests on a health kick can support their treatments with the Gainsborough’s signature probiotics, a boost to the digestive system that helps the body absorb the minerals. Every day the chef prepares fermented juice, such as pineapple and plum, kefir or kombucha, that tell-tale combination of sweetness and sharpness that does wonders for gut health. The decadence of craft cocktails and fine dining at Dan Moon’s in-house restaurant is there for the taking, amidst 18th century architecture that positively screams ‘more snuff, sir?’ But those inspired by the waters to stay en piste can find delicious vegetarian options such as Jerusalem Artichoke Velouté and Curried Butternut Squash. The aura of gracious luxury spills outdoors with the extraordinary Cross Bath bathing pool only steps away. Fed by the Cross Spring, which bubbles up around 1.25 million litres of thermal water a day, this intimate enclave was once an ancient site of Celtic worship, then a 1st century Roman Bathhouse (the original Roman cistern remains), and is named after the cross bearing pilgrims who bathed in these waters from the 12th century. This jewel-like bathing sanctuary, within its original 18th century walls, is definitely a wow experience. Very private, it is also the only place in Bath where you can see hot springs rising to the surface. The timeless appeal of taking the waters has not only a delicious soporific effect, but a beneficial one. The friend who accompanied me has a bad back, which slows him down, yet he walked away from a Gainsborough weekend as if gliding on roller skates. And so much the better, as Bath is one of the best towns in England to stroll through, with its sweeping crescent-shaped rows of period houses, pretty stone cottages trailed with roses and famous Roman ruins. Wellness travellers to the UK can party like it’s 1799.
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The genteel Georgian streetscape of curved stone. BELOW: Deicious morsels by Dan Moon and ancient Roman Bathhouse .
Monkey Island Estate
AS CONTEMPORARY HEALTH AND WELLNESS CULTURE REDISCOVERS THE PURITY OF FORAGING AND THE MEDICINAL POWER OF THE PLANT WORLD, THE MONKEY ISLAND SPA REVIVES THE ART OF HERBAL TONIC ELIXIRS.
his riverside bijou on a pastoral, private island in the middle of the River Thames is the perfect marriage of the elegant and the unusual. Monkey Island has a colourful 800-year history of illustrious visitors, from monks to aristocrats, royals, dukes and duchesses, lured by the picturesque riverside setting; now it’s the spa traveller’s turn to retreat to this sleepy enclave in Berkshire, only an hour from London and right next door to Windsor. The accommodation is in prettily restored Palladian era Pavilion and Temple buildings, built by the Duke of Marlborough in the early 1700s as miniature pleasure grounds for fishing trips and country parties. Once you cross the footbridge from the picturesque village Brayon-Thames, nicknamed ‘Millionaire’s Row’ due to its proximity to London, the seven acre blooming country oasis of lime and walnut trees is equally enchanting. Chef William Hemming smokes his own salmon here in the garden, where he also raises chickens and bees, the ultimate locavore food source. The estate embraces its riverside setting with the derring do of a floating spa moored on its river banks, an elegant barge with clubby leather and wooden interiors and cosy treatment cabins that sway pleasantly with the swell of the river. This boater’s fantasy is made all the more welcoming with cut crystal glassware and homemade tinctures straight out of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a homage to the 17th century Worshipful Society of Apothecaries who traded their jars of powerful unguents, herbs, syrups, roots and botanicals on a barge, and the 12th century Augustinian monks who once lived on this island, studying, brewing and distilling herbal elixirs. As contemporary health and wellness culture rediscovers the purity of foraging and the medicinal power of the plant world, the Monkey Island Spa revives the art of herbal tonic elixirs (there is even a signature Elixir Tasting at the bar). House-cured herbal oil infused with actives such as arnica, angelica and melisse is also used for skin warming, mood lifting aromatic body therapies, enhancing the lymphatic effect of the massage strokes. Treatments are ritualistic and highly plant-focused, based
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around the raw therapeutic ingredients of spa brand Moss of the Isles: milled Iris root exfoliates skin; green mandarin and English chamomile are delivered into the skin with a creamy base, made richer with a bland of white poppy seed, argan and avocado oil; wild Atlantic sea salt, heather, peppermint and dulse heal feet, which are also wrapped in ancient Irish peat. Treatments are distinctive and echo the loveliness of Monkey Island’s river and garden surrounds, such as the apt Floating Massage - an aqua-cushion bed that supports the body on a cloud of warm water for more fluid, rhythmic movement - or the impressively thorough Garden Herb & Magic Peat body treatment and facial combo. The English Marigold face oil, facial acupressure and organic Irish Peat mask - highly active bog ‘mud’ - is the ultimate anti-inflammatory, antioxidant wake-up call for skin that bestows an instant glow. The rooms are neutral, fresh and contemporary (try to get a room with a garden setting overlooking the Thames), whereas the original semi-circular Wedgewood Suite is an extravaganza of 18th century plasterwork, with shells, mermaids and dolphins to marvel at from the comfort of bed. It’s only ever a short stroll through the garden to the Monkey Island Brasserie, whose menu exemplifies the estate’s high end, yet relaxed, country style. Kitchen garden ingredients are allowed to star. Fragrant Pumpkin Mulligatawny soup is sprinkled with roasted seeds; English Heritage Tomato is graced with a tangy jolt of Honey Pickled Red Onion and Bloody Mary Dressing; Cornish Crab Waldor accentuates the sweetness of seafood with apple and the estate-smoked salmon is velveteen in texture and succulent to taste. Missing mum and a carnivore at heart? Lovers of a good old-fashioned roast have a cornucopia of pork belly, chicken, lamb, beef, even a root vegetable version to choose from for Sunday Lunch - all with dripping potatoes. Because, England. This landmark marries exquisite restoration with Brit unfussiness for a jolly good, idyllic stay in the country. www.monkeyislandestate.co.uk
ABOVE: The neutral, fresh contemporary rooms, The healing herbal tonics, RIGHT: The floating Spa.
LEFT: The MIE Temple, The relaxing lounge on the Floating Spa.
THE ROARING FIRES, ORNATELY DECORATIVE MAHOGANY CHIMNEY PIECE, GRAND STAIRCASES AND TARTAN WALLS EVOKE ARISTO LUSHNESS.
The Fife Arms F
or wilderness lovers exploring the UK, the big skies and wilds of the Scottish Highlands are the jewel in the crown, offering the isolation of vast vistas - deep glens, heather-clad mountains of deep purplebrown, old growth forests and lakes. Newly restored inn and spa The Fife Arms is the perfect luxury lair for visitors to this fabled part of the world. Reimagined as the ultimate fantasy hotel - think the stately hunting lodge of a marvellously eccentric Scottish laird - it exemplifies the mist-shrouded romance of the terrain. Nestled in the village of Braemer, first made famous when Queen Victoria bought neighbouring Balmoral Castle (and host of The Highland Games to this day), the Fife Arms is a two-hour scenic drive north from Scotland’s elegant historic capital, Edinburgh. While brilliantly located in a pretty mountain village on the River Clunie, at the gateway to the ski fields, forest paths, castles and lochs of the Cairngorm Mountains, this is a destination hotel designed to equally enchant those who nest inside. The roaring fires, ornately decorative mahogany chimney piece, grand staircases and tartan walls evoke aristo lushness; the art and design flair that is central to the Fife Arms experience is what makes it unique. Chinese artist Zhang Enli’s swirling abstract colours enliven the nostalgia of a sumptuous fireside lounge; Indian sculptor Subodh Gupta’s sculpture hovers and glimmers as a chandelier over private dining space the Fire Room. The hotel is a passion project of owners Iwan and Manuela Wirth, the co-founders of global gallery, Hauser & Wirth. Their formidable collection of contemporary artworks and antiques is integrated with the oh-so-maximalist decor, designed by Russell Sage Studio, to conjure a retreat fantasy of four-poster beds, opulent William Morris wallpaper and slightly bonkers antiques.
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The clubby Flying Stag public bar and Clunie Dining riverside restaurant showcase Scotland’s superb produce. There are plenty of dishes that suit travellers on a fitness regime, sourced from local foragers, gamekeepers and farmers in a terrain famous for its verdant valleys, moorland game and rivers leaping with salmon. ‘Wee’ starters like lentil, sorrel and wild garlic soup, world-class sea trout and salmon, even a grilled cabbage main, and heartier birch-smoked red deer loin are delicious and artfully prepared. Walkers taking on the moderate Morrone Hill circuit trail rising above Braemar, circumnavigating beautiful Loch Muick, or tackling the more ambitious treks to the Cairngorm summits, have the therapeutic recovery of the Fife Arms Albamhor Spa to reward them at hike’s end, after a day in pure, crisp Scottish mountain air. The winter spa aesthetic of raw, scrubbed wood is offset by the warm cosiness of dusky rose walls, lambswool and green tartan rugs. Deep heat sauna sessions restore sore muscles, and the ‘Walker’s Rescue’ relaxes nerves and tissue with deep pressure massage. The memorable oil, specifically blended for The Fife Arms, is a beautiful olfactory wave that welcomes walkers returning for the evening - the essential oils mandarin, bergamot, thyme, myrtle and lavender are sprinkled into grapeseed carrier oil. The Fife Arms does so much more than shelter guests after their exploration of the wilds of the Highlands, an idyllic, culturally-rich wonderland with a still proudly celebrated clan warrior past. It envelops them in fine living, cuisine and artistry, with all the flamboyance and theatricality of the region’s colourful history, yet also an edginess that looks forward. www.thefifearms.com
Eastwell Manor F
ancy winding your way up a crunchy gravel drive for a country weekend at a stately home? Spa guests are to the manor born at the Champneys wellness retreat in Kent, fondly nicknamed ‘Garden of England.’ The hotel aesthetic has an ivy-clad, stepback-in-time charm, with the baronial gracenotes of wood panelling and Tudor Revival decorative ceilings, set among lawns, fountains and manicured hedges that are as clipped as the received English pronunciation of a retro BBC news anchor. The hotel proper invites the formalised languor of a period country estate - take a stroll in the gardens, or curl up with a book on an overstuffed couch among the tapestries. ‘One’ can even go falconing with majestic birds of prey, a special excursion organised by the hotel with on-site aviary The Hawking Centre, which upholds this rather romantic traditional pastime of the medieval British nobility. Buttered crumpets and afternoon tea poshness aside, the dedicated spa on the property is where the fluffy robe goes on and stays on, even at lunch. The facilities are marvellous - an enormous 20m pool, ringed by curtained-off day beds for serious downtime, has plenty to lure guests all afternoon. The high pressure jets of the hydrotherapy pool pummel muscle fatigue away; there is plenty of room for laps (so desirable for Aussie travellers); a state-of-the-art steam room and sauna help sweat out the toxins. The roomy treatment area upstairs, with coolly modern marble design elements, has a relaxation room overlooking the rural idyll of the North Downs and an
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excellent range of European prestige spa brands Elemis and Clarins. The Hot Poultice treatment is a perfect storm of heat, oil and pressure. Warmed coconut oil with grounding sandalwood spreads heat into the body first: each massage stroke works on muscles that are already relaxed, allowing the therapist to go even deeper. It’s a great loosening treatment for laptop jockeys, who spend hours hunched up and tensed over their keyboard (guilty!) combined with a steam/sauna and Elemis cooling gel as post-care to target back and neck stiffness, you become so limbre, you forget you ever had neck and shoulders. It’s easy to stay inspired over lunch, with saintly yet delicious spa cuisine - nutritious ingredients like jerusalem artichoke, red cabbage, crispy kale and seafood help the overall feeling of lightness, and fermented items on the menu, such as pickled fennel and seaweed, are excellent for gut health. Guests have the freedom to ebb and flow between the full tilt wellness spa experience and the grandeur of massive, oversized bedrooms and dressing up for dinner at the manor. Alongside unfussy, healthy dishes such as scallops cooked with a jammy, caramelised onion, guests wanting a night off can enjoy the rather ambrosial foie gras and smoked streaky bacon or Forge Farm lamb with sweetbreads. And here, even the bouquet of dessert flavours like elderflower and lavender are like a stroll in a British country garden after the rain. www.eastwellmanor.co.uk
HERBAL-FLORAL SCENT AND PRETTY ROSE HUES ARE AS CRISP AS A DEW-DRENCHED ENGLISH C O U N T R Y G A R D E N . TA K E A T R I P T H R O U G H THE MEADOW WITH THIS SEASON’S FRESH F E M I N I N I T Y, M ’ L A D Y.
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1 CHARLOTTE TILBURY Airbrush Flawless Foundation, CharlotteTilbury.com | 2 AMOUAGE Blossom Love EDP $449 (100ml) libertineparfumerie.com.au | 3 AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES De-Stress Oil $92 (55ml) aromatherapyassociates. com.au | 4 MAVALA 12-free Nail Color Cream in Windsor $8.50 mavala.com.au | 5 BODY SHOP Happy Go Lash Mascara $23 thebodyshop.com/en-au | 6 JO MALONE Wild Bluebell Scented Candle $88 (200g) jomalone.com.au | 7 ATKINSONS Mint & Tonic EDP $240 (100ml) David Jones | 8 FLORIS EDP A Rose For $349 (100ml) libertineparfumerie.com.au | 9 GINGER & SMART S19 Arcadian Dress $695 gingerandsmart.com | 10 GUCCI Mémoire d’une Odeur EDP $180 (100ml) Myer and David Jones | 11 GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES Ta’haa Hand Creme $24.95 (125ml) glasshousefragrances.com | 12 NATURALLY SERIOUS Anti-Oxidant Moisture Serum $74 (30ml) sephora.com.au | 13 PENHALIGON’S Equinox Bloom $275 (100ml) agencedeparfum. com.au | 14 GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES Flower Symphony Candle $46.95 (350g) glasshousefragrances.com | 15 ENBACCI Eye Defence $88 (15ml) enbacci.com | 16 HOUSE OF IMMORTELLE Hydrating Rose Gel Mask $39.95 (100gm) houseofimmortelle.com. au | 17 BELLE BOTANIQUE 100% Natural Perfume in Danse Des Fleurs $132 (60ml) bellebotanique.com.au | 18 CREED Fleurissimo EDP $369 (75ml) creedperfume.com.au |
Elements of Byron
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I LOVE BYRON BAY! WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? IT’S A MAGICAL FUSION OF HOLISTIC HIPPIE AND CULTURAL CLASS, RURAL RELAXED WITH URBAN TRIMMINGS. ENCASED BY A STUNNING BEACH ON ONE SIDE AND LUSH GREEN MOUNTAINS ON THE OTHER. FOR ME IT IS HEAVEN ON EARTH. BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT – IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY BEEN TO BYRON, I SUGGEST YOU GO AND EXPERIENCE IT FOR YOURSELF. Words by Kris Abbey
he local Arakwal people refer to Byron Bay as Cavanbah, which translates to ‘meeting place’. And I totally agree with Lonely Planet in saying it’s a fitting name when you consider the wonderful mishmash of locals and visitors. There’s young international backpackers, holidaying families, ageing hippies, gurus and greenies, boho-clad seachangers, property developers, models and musicians. All walks of life. All very welcome. All adding to that intangible that is ‘Byron Bay’. The once whimsical town on the easternmost point of Australia is now heaving under the weight of its own popularity. Home to high profile celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky and, for a while, Matt Damon, it has drawn even more curious visitors with headlines of house-building updates making global news. Yet despite the traffic, lack of parking and cafe queues, there’s still something unique and beautiful about Byron. I suspect whatever it is you’re looking for, you will find it here.
Stay ELEMENTS OF BYRON
lements of Byron has cemented itself as a ‘something for everyone’ destination. Without doubt, there are elements of Byron throughout the resort, right down to the converted caravan selling beverages by the beach and morning yoga to salute the sun. Positioned beachside on Belongil Beach, it’s far enough away from the tourist strip, yet only a short drive or train ride into Byron town for your essential shopping, eating and people-watching. What’s magical about this place is the setting. You feel like you’re in the midst of a rainforest, yet with all the lavish trappings - pools, restaurants, luxury villas, outdoor fire pits, fitness centre and a very impressive Day Spa. Explore the grounds of tea tree creeks, lakes and ponds, and you may spot one of the 19 rare and threatened Australian species to have taken up residence.
“Nature has always been a starting and primary point for our inspiration and design. Developments to the property during its lifetime will maintain that philosophy and ethos,” says Jeremy Holmes, Development Director at Elements of Byron. As part of the resorts eco-friendly ethos, Elements of Byron incorporates sustainability into its architecture through a design that minimises energy and water consumption. Each villa houses an Energy Management System to monitor individual energy usage. It is this commitment to the environment that won them a Sustainability Award in 2017. You can stay in a one or two-bedroom villa. And while sustainability is key, there is no shortage of luxury. Each villa features timber decks, inbuilt fireplaces and wonderful veranda bathhouses. True barefoot luxury! www. elementsofbyron.com.au
yron is a mecca for wholesome food spots, but there is one place you simply must try - Combi. Melbourne folk are no doubt familiar with this cleaneating icon and now it’s right at home in Byron Bay. Choose from their signature raw, organic and highly Instagrammable drinks, cakes and super bowls. Only house-made mylk (coconut or almond milk) is added to coffee, or made into fruit, matcha or turmeric lattes. The raw cacao mylkshakes and superfood smoothies are great, and the Iced Chai is not to be missed - it’s worth visiting Byron just for that! www.wearecombi.com.au
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“ EVERYONE (ME INCLUDED!) WILL TELL YOU TO WALK THE CAPE IN TIME FOR SUNRISE, BUT IF YOU CAN’T DRAG YOURSELF OUT OF BED THAT EARLY, THE SUNSETS ARE JUST AS MAGICAL. MAKE YOUR WAY UP TO THE LIGHTHOUSE FOR MAGNIFICENT VIEWS AS THE SUN SINKS BEHIND MOUNT WARNING.
Visit THE FARM
s you drive into Byron Bay, on the left hand side you’ll be distracted by what I thought were ‘Hippie’ cows. These curious, long-haired HAND MADE INDIAN TREAT AT FOUR SEASONS NAM HAI Highland cows are a drawcard at The Farm, which is a community of growers and producers sharing this photogenic, 32-hectare green oasis. The Farm is a great spot for a picnic, or if you’d rather not pack your lunch, there’s the Three Blue Ducks restaurant, produce store, bakery and ice-creamery. The Farm’s community are passionate about traditional and sustainable practices and are on an educational mission. Take your time strolling through the vegie patch and paddocks to gain a better understanding of where you food comes from and how it should be grown. There are guided tours during summer, as well as school holiday programs that include mini farmers and bee workshops. www.thefarm.com.au
yron Bay became popular among the surfing community around the globe abundance of surfing options. With nine great beaches to choose from, fair chance you’ll always find a good break. While Watego’s, Belongil and The Pass are popular among the tourists, if you want to get away from the crowds and catch a wave with the locals, Tallow Beach is the place. The 7km stretch of beach with the iconic lighthouse in view at one end and beautiful Broken Head at the other, it’s a scenically stunning beach for the non-surfers! https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au
Spa OSPREY SPA
IF YOU'RE A GUEST AT ELEMENTS OF BYRON, YOU CAN HAVE A BATH RITUAL DELIVERED TO YOUR ROOM. WHY NOT MAKE GOOD USE OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL FREE-STANDING BATH - CANDLES, OIL, BATH SALTS, FACE MASK AND BODY BALM IS DELIVERED TO YOUR ROOM. DRAW YOURSELF A BATH AND ENJOY BEING ON HOLIDAY.
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here is a plethora of really good Spa and natural therapy options in Byron Bay, the newest being Osprey Spa at Elements of Byron. The moment you walk into the open expanse filled with natural light, your heart rate drops and you feel yourself starting to relax. I love a Spa that makes you feel at ease - not too dark, not too pretentious, just warm and welcoming with a nice soft scent of French Pear and Gardenia! The space is minamilist modern. Warmth is added by clever use of natural furnishings and neutral, textured decor. That barefoot luxury of Elements gently seeps into the Spa as well. While the treatment menu offers something for both men and women, and face and body, it’s not fussy and doesn’t overwhelm with too many options. Less is more. I opt for the Bio Active Radiance Facial becuase the skincare products used are LaGaia Unedited, developed by Dr Laing. These results-driven products are the real deal and don’t contain ingredients that are potentially biologically harmful. Only the purest grades of precious metals and essential oils are used in the formulations, which focus on restoring the skin’s natural PH balance. The deft hands of the therapist equally matched the quality of the products. Cleanse, exfoliate, mask, serum, another mask and facial acupressure are all part of the 90-minute treatment. My skin glowed, and thanks to the head and neck massage, my mind slowed. Feeling - and possibly looking - more youthful, I rounded out my experience with tea in the relax zone. Absolutely amazing! www.elementsofbyron.com.au/spa
www.abbeys.com.au Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your passion? Is it gardening, cooking, travel, fitness, fantasy or... reading? Whatever it is, we have just the book! Explore and Escape online or instore. 131 York Street, Sydney AUSTRALIA Low flat-rate delivery Australia-wide
Where Good things
A TRIP TO THE MOUNTAINS IS A GOOD IDEA ANY TIME OF YEAR. WHETHER YOU LIKE THE CRISP, CLEAN AIR OF SPRING, THE MISTY SHORT DAYS OF WINTER, THE RUSTIC COLOURS OF AUTUMN OR THE LONG LANGUID DAYS OF SUMMER, IN THE MOUNTAINS YOU CAN ENJOY THE DIVERSITY OF EACH SEASON. THE ICONIC BLUE MOUNTAINS BRILLIANTLY SHOWCASES NATURE AT ALL TIMES OF YEAR, AND THERE IS NOW A MOUNTAIN OF EXCITING NEW THINGS TO DO AND EXPERIENCES TO BE HAD THAT WILL FEED YOUR SOUL AND ALLOW YOU TO GROW.
Words by Kris Abbey
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ocated an easy one-and-a-half-hours drive west of Sydney on the cusp of the Jamison Valley in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park is a shiny gem, The Fairmont Resort and Spa. It’s nearly as iconic as the Blue Mountains themselves - the perfect place to stay while enjoying this glorious mountain playground. In recent years, The Fairmont has been lovingly restored and new embellishments added. There is a games room, mirror maze, cinema, outdoor jungle gym and basketball court, ice-skating rink (yes) and a new day Spa spanning two stories with 16 large treatment rooms, offering a wide variety of wellness packages. It truly is a destination that caters to every possible desire of the experience-seeking city escapee. Without doubt, this is a wonderful place to stay for families. The activities are boundless, not just at The Fairmont Resort, but wander in any direction and there are walking tracks that allow you to get intimate with some of Australia’s most breathtaking landscapes. If you’re a golfer, mountain biker or bird-watcher, it’s all at your doorstep. And if you prefer to hide in the library with a book, or sit by the fire with a pinot, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place. I grew up west (way west) of the Blue Mountains, and The Fairmont was a place we often stopped at on the way to Sydney for our last breath of pure air before arriving in the big smoke. We would stop for lunch,
afternoon tea or sometimes, if we were lucky, an overnight stay. It didn’t matter how long or short our visit was, we always left feeling calm and refreshed. Even today, years later, I still get that sense of joy on arrival, and renewed energy upon leaving. The cherry on this very delicious cake was the opening earlier this year of the new Ubika Day Spa, providing yet another reason to visit this wonderful area and stay at The Fairmont. Ubika is from the Ancient Indian Sankrit meaning ‘to grow’. Inspired by the seasons, the surrounding environment and the needs of busy people, the Spa’s philosophy is to help you restore and repair so you can grow - figuratively or literally. Figuratively, when you take time out, you allow yourself to pause and reflect, and it is in this moment you flourish. On a literal level, it is only when we stop that our cells have a chance to recover and renew, allowing for our physical growth. Whether you take it figuratively or literally, time spent in the Spa will plant the seed for your regeneration. The products used in the treatments also support the Ubika philosophy. iKOU is a product range created in the Blue Mountains, sourcing ingredients that benefit not just the body, but the mind and emotions too. The delicious formulations are based on organic and wild-harvested Australian fruit and flower extracts, and the cold extraction process keeps
OUR JOURNEY BEGAN IN A FLOWER PETAL BATH IN UBUD, BALI, A MOMENT THAT TOUCHED OUR LIVES FOREVER AND INSPIRED US TO CREATE A BRAND THAT ENCOURAGES DAILY RITUALS TO BRING THE HOLIDAY FEEL INTO EVERYDAY LIFE... MOMENTS TO REST, RELAX, RESTORE.”
WHITE FLANNEL FLOWER SANCTUARY RITUAL 105 MIN $250 Inspired by the beauty of the Australian White Flannel Flower, this popular ritual is a complete headto-toe degustation of iKOU treatments. It starts with Organic Coconut and Jasmine Body Polish. While your body is smothered in Australian White Flannel Floral Hydrating Cocoon, your face receives some love. A Baobab and Neroli Facial Massage comes with Double Face Masque infusion, as well as a Peptide Multi-Action Serum. The ritual concludes with a Full Body White Flannel Flower Soufflé body massage, including (my favourite) a Foot Restoration Massage.
THE PERFECT DAY the ingredients pure and effective. Aromatherapy also plays a role. Each product not only smells incredible, it has been created with specific essential oils to evoke an emotion, eradicate a negative health impact (stress, lethargy or poor sleep, for example) and have your treatment linger long after it’s over. Paul and Naomi Whitfeld, founders of iKOU, are extremely passionate about the environment, emotional wellbeing and the efficacy of the ingredients they use in their formulations. Results without impact. These passions underpin the iKOU effect and definitely help nurture and nourish that seed for growth. It’s not just the treatments that help you bloom. The restaurant also offers a Wellness Menu with seasonal, healthy dishes. Pair this with Spa treatments, nature and exercise, plus a good night’s sleep and a change of pace... and you might just find yourself experiencing wellness. Who knows, you might even grow?
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• • •
• • • • • •
Wake up and enjoy morning yoga. Follow with breakfast from the Wellness Menu. Take in a walk (the Wentworth Falls walk is my pick. There are plenty of stairs, but you’re rewarded with the view of a spectacular waterfall when you get to the end). A nice lunch in Leura village. Spend a few hours at Ubika Spa. Sip a herbal tea by the fire at Sublime Lounge (or a swim in the outdoor pool in summer). Dinner at Embers, where all food is locally sourced, and choose from many Wellness options. Retire to your oversized room - with its oversized bed - with a view to chill. Do it all again the next day!
For a bespoke wellness escape, visit www.fairmontresort.com.au
South Australia The Healthy Way
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TRAVELLERS HAVE ALWAYS FLOCKED TO ‘THE FESTIVAL STATE’ FOR THE EPICUREAN DELIGHTS OF THE BAROSSA’S BIG, BOLD REDS AND LONG-TIME FOODIE CULTURE, BUT SOUTH AUSTRALIA’S LUNAR WILDERNESS AND VINE-CROSSED VALLEYS ARE ALSO A PLAYGROUND FOR WELLNESS TRAVELLERS. HERE, LAIDBACK PACE MEETS CULTURAL SOPHISTICATION FOR THE PERFECT GETAWAY, ALL THE WAY TO ‘THE OTHER OUTBACK’.
Words by Cleo Glyde
Adelaide City ACTIVE ADELAIDE: THE PICNIC BIKES AND
CITY SIGHTS TOUR
delaide’s beautifully planned colonial squares, winding Torrens River and honey-coloured churches are an idyllic backdrop for picnics. But first, burn calories, raise your heart rate and activate those glutes while seeing the city and exploring its pleasure gardens by bicycle. The tour is curated by the same company that guides travellers through Adelaide’s renowned Central Market, the beating heart of the city, so you can enjoy a well-earned panini and ripe, sumptuous fruit in the fresh air afterwards.
JURLIQUE SPA, RUNDLE MALL
et to know South Australia’s homegrown natural skincare brand Jurlique in the flagship spa of its home city. Originally created by a horticulturist and chemist in the pastoral idyll of the Adelaide Hills, Jurlique has always been an industry maverick, producing luxe plant-based skincare using
biodynamic farming practices long before botanicals hit the mainstream market. Decades later, the small family company has grown into a global powerhouse that is stocked in high end stores from Peter Jones in Sloane Square, London to Barney’s in New York. But the city lights have not outshone the brand’s original commitment to stay as organically pure and as close to their South Australian roots as possible. The menu of natural ingredients grown on the original Adelaide working farm includes rosemary, orlavender, marshmallow, avocado oil, Black Elder and honey straight from the hives of the famous Ligurian bee. The urban spa is a hushed marble temple in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD shopping district. Try the NutriDefine Facial Contouring Treatment, a luxurious 90-minute facial that not only resurfaces skin and softens it with rose oil, but detoxifies with a cool jade and warm rose quartz crystal massage that kickstarts circulation and tones the neglected musculature of the face. The newest product to take home is the Herbal Recovery line’s cooling eye gel. This multi-tasker depuffs as it hydrates.
SPA ON BROUGHAM
his local secret is tucked away in bijou enclave North Adelaide, an unspoilt oasis of heritage bluestone architecture and wide avenues, brilliantly located near the city centre yet less busy, so parking is easy. Feminine decor, trailing ivy and winking candlelight create a cocooning effect in keeping with the day spa’s gentle, vegan-friendly philosophy. Clients have floor access to the building’s lap pool, jacuzzi and sauna, perfect before a professionally applied Naked Tan spray colour that activates in only two hours. The Brougham’s deeply relaxing signature Escape to Fiji treatment showcases Pure Fiji skincare, which harnesses the power of coconut, one of Mother Nature’s most nourishing ingredients. As you sip on the spa’s coconut and pineapple concoction, the treatment starts with a relaxing foot soak in coconut milk and magnesium, which helps regulate body function, followed by a 30-minute hot stone massage, a full-body sugar scrub (the therapist creates a hypnotic waterfall effect by releasing drops of hot water that cool as they fall onto your back) and facial massage, which is particularly good for jaw clenchers as it releases stored tension. If you don’t have the time or budget for both a facial and body treatment, this treatment lets you have it both ways. Those feeling inspired by the all-natural theme can try the natural mineral makeup line Jane Iredale - the day spa will be only too happy to convert you! And if you can’t get enough of Pure Fiji’s coconut scent (a veritable minibreak in a bottle) the product line is available to try at home. www.spaonbrougham.com.au
ABOVE: City bike tours Jurlique Spa
Stay THE MAYFAIR HOTEL
he Mayfair Hotel is the perfect urban nest for an Adelaide stay, with heritage hipster credentials - formerly a Colonial Mutual life insurance office block, reimagined as boutique luxury. Rooms on the highest floors have fantastic city views that stretch all the way to the Adelaide Hills (or you can try a mocktail on the rooftop bar, Hennessey). Work out at the gym, drizzle delicious, antioxidantrich sustainable honey on your breakfast - the ultimate low footprint food as it is harvested from the hotel’s own rooftop apiary. Then walk out into the heart of the city and head to the River Torrens Linear Trail City Loop for a stunning nature walk which ultimately ends at Henley Beach. Try the city path at dusk to hear the sounds of many exotic species in the Adelaide Zoo for an otherworldly urban nature experience. www.mayfairhotel.com.au
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The Barossa Valley T
he Barossa Valley is prized for its world famous vineyards and sprinkling of heritage settler towns like Nurioopta and Tanunda, echoed by world famous wine labels. But this quintessentially South Australian terrain of vines and straw-coloured hills stark as a sheared sheep and dotted by rust-coloured gums - is also a great nature break.
THE BAROSSA GOLDFIELDS WALKING TRAIL
Stay THE BAROSSA SHIRAZ ESTATE
istory buffs will love covering the same terrain where colourful 19th century dreamers once trawled for treasure in these pioneer gold fields, which produced 778kg of gold. Once a gold boom hotspot that swelled to 4,000 people, the fields are now a rural idyll in Para Wirra Park. Ghostly old mine shafts and cottages remain among easy trails that meander through pink gums, golden wattles and native pines. Various circuits - ranging from a breezy 1.2 kilometre loop to a further exploration that takes five hours - will sharpen your appetite and help you earn the gourmet treats that await in the Barossaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surrounding small towns and independent shops.
his boutique accommodation allows travellers to perch among the valley vines and willows in their own historic stone cottage, The Barn, a former Royal Mail Coach House transformed into a chic selfcontained duplex. Set in a private vineyard situated only 10 minuteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive from the Barossa Goldfields and surrounded by valleys and towns to explore, The Barn is the perfect apres-hiking nest. An open design lets sweeping views of the valley flood in; feast on fresh produce al fresco on the balcony or soak in a magnesium spa bath to relax muscles as the sun sets, bathing the surrounding vines in its golden glow.
Adelaide Hills MT LOFTY BOTANICAL GARDEN
alking these glorious gardens is a great workout, with trails that meander along tree-fringed lakes, fern gullies and - if you’re brave - steep hills. The manicured European prettiness of lily ponds, Japanese maples and manmade hedges is encircled by the Stringybark Eucalyptus and native wildflowers of the surrounding Piccadilly Valley. Hikers who want to conquer the Heysen Trail, one of the world’s great long-distance walks spanning 1,200km from Cape Jervis to the Flinders Ranges, can start training here in one of the trail’s oldest scenic sections. If you want to explore one of Australia’s best gardens more slowly, lingering among the camellias, conifers, magnolias and heritage roses, take the free guided tours every Thursday at 10.30am. www.botanicgardens.sa.gov.au
The bush tucker has also had a serious upgrade, with hearty fine dining at The Woolshed restaurant, right on the property. Chef-driven dishes let the locavore ingredients sing (in these parts ‘local’ stretches to a 2-hour radius) - pickled radish and cucumber amuse bouches, freshly baked mini loaves with garlic and paprika butter, a platter that showcases lamb raised on the property with a variety of sauces, relishes, cuts and textures from cutlets to balls sprinkled with rosemary salt (like a roast in a bite). Dukkahencrusted kangaroo and dessert tempered with savouries like beetroot would be delicious anywhere, but overlooking a 500-million-year-old bluff awash in the legendary pinkish glow of The Flinders Ranges, it is true luxury. The airy limestone eco villas integrate with the surrounding wilderness: they are painted in the distinctive salmon-peach hue of The Ranges, with oversized windows that let the dusk in, and skylights for star-gazing from bed. They are the perfect base for exploring the region. www.rawnsleypark.com.au
Flinders Ranges S & Outback RAWNSLEY PARK STATION
he mythic power of dusty red roads has long been a siren call to Aussie adventure. The Flinders Ranges region north of Adelaide is a geological wonder of cliffs, craters and gorges where time is measured in millions of years, bordering the vastness of the lesser known SA Outback. Rawnsley Park has evolved from a sheep station to a unique eco attraction that allows visitors to spend time overlooking the southern side of Wilpena Pound, a remarkable natural amphitheatre and spectacular bushwalking destination. Instead of the almost insurmountable challenges experienced by the early pioneers in this challenging, extraordinary wilderness space, guests today can enjoy the Martianlike scenery from their own airconditioned villa, or while cooling off in the pool.
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hort walks on the property include the Alison Saddle and Clem’s Corner trails, among your neighbours the emus, kangaroos, parrots and galahs. The neighbouring Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park encompasses South Australia’s Outback mountain chain, a wonderland for hikers. Trails, campsites and sacred canyons are encircled within the glorious bluffs of Wilpena Pound. THE GEOLOGY TRAIL Rawnsley Park Station provide a tailored half-day 4WD tour to walk Brachina Gorge, a 630-millionyear-old seabed fabled among geologists for its fossils, revealing the oldest examples of life forms ever discovered on earth. Walks, with a good vehicle and informed guide, are the best way to experience such a wonder. Keep an eye out for the rare, yellow-footed rock wallabies as they emerge from their cave homes, while majestic wedge-tailed eagles soar overhead. WANGARA LOOKOUT HIKE This 7km walk through the Pound Gap, following the river red gums and pines of Wilpena Creek, takes moderately fit walkers three hours to complete. The trail climbs The Pound edge to a lower, then upper, lookout platform 450 metres up the trail. This natural
structure dominates the horizon for miles around. This is your chance to see the view from the inside looking out.
ST MARY PEAK HIKE
f you want to take on the biggest challenge and premier climb of the region, this challenging circuit hike tackles the St Mary Peak/Ngarri Mudlanha 1,171m peak, the highest mountain in the Flinders Ranges. The six-hour, 14.6km journey to the escarpment edge (including a rock scramble) is rewarded with all-encompassing views of the Ranges, Aroona Valley and salt plains to the west. Many hikers want to deepen their experience of the panoramic vista and its ancient, soul-affirming wonder by staying under the stars overnight. The Wilpena Pound Visitor Centre provides excellent support for newbies, especially as The Pound is an iconic destination for local SA campers and day-trippers.
Southern Belle 2
1 JURLIQUE Herbal Recovery Eye Gel $65 (15ml) 1800 805 286 | 2 ENDOTA Jojoba & Coconut Dry Shimmer Oil $50 (50ml) www.endotaspa.com.au | 3 GOLDFIELD & BANKS Velvet Splendour $229 (100ml) www. goldfieldandbanks.com | 4 HUXLEY Body Lotion Moroccan Gardener $82 (100ml) www.myer.com.au | 5 SALLY HANSEN Color Therapy nail polish in Steely Serene $16.95 Priceline | 6 JOSIE MARAN Whipped Argan Body Butter $54 (240ml) www.mecca.com.au | 7 RIMMEL Wonderproof Eyeliner in Rose Gold $12.95 | 8 AMAZING Nourish My Face Moisturiser $34.95 (30ml) amazingoils.com.au | 9 O&M Frizzy Logic $37.95 (50ml) www. adorebeauty.com.au | 10 PHYTO 9 Day Cream $50 (50ml) www.priceline.com.au | 11 CLEAN & PURE Vanilla Lip Balm $4.99 www.cpskin.com.au | 12 BABOR Thermal Spray $28 (100ml) au.babor.com | 13 GIVENCHY Healthy Glow Highlighting Powder $85 www.sephora.com.au | 14 ESTEE LAUDER Bronze Goddess EDP $120 counters nationwide
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Yamba NSW Secret Spots in
LOCATED 90 MINUTES SOUTH OF BYRON BAY IS THE QUAINT COASTAL TOWN OF YAMBA AND SMALL SURFSIDE VILLAGE OF ANGOURIE. WITH MILD WINTERS AND LENGTHY SUMMERS, YAMBA IS THE IDEAL YEAR-ROUND ESCAPE. SITUATED AT THE MOUTH OF THE LARGEST RIVER SYSTEM ON AUSTRALIAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EAST COAST, THE ADVENTURES ARE ENDLESS, AND THE LOCALS ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR TRAVELLERS TO EXPERIENCE THIS UNIQUE PART OF THE WORLD. IN THE HEART OF THE VIBRANT NORTHERN RIVERS REGION THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT ANY TIME OF YEAR.
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Angourie Resort H
idden among the natural wonders of Yamba’s picturesque beaches and lush subtropical rainforest is the Angourie Resort & Spa, boasting firstclass facilities including outdoor jacuzzi and lagoonstyle resort pool surrounded by luxurious hanging daybeds. Offering a range of accommodation styles consisting of one-bedroom apartments with a corner spa bath, and two-bedroom family villas. The kids will be thrilled with the outdoor playground, indoor soft play room with jumping castle, ping pong, tennis and pool table - all included activities for resort guests.
Conveniently located on-site is the Cunjevoi Restaurant & Bar. Offering a daily buffet breakfast and a la carte dinner menu with the poolside lunch menu and snacks available throughout the afternoon from the Poolside Bar. The Cunjevoi Restaurant combines a casual and romantic ambiance with the adjacent bar area offering an extensive wine list and carefully crafted cocktails, plus a snooker table. The Essential Elements Day Spa situated within the resort - open to both resort guests and outside guests - is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body and revitalise your soul. Enjoy a peaceful moment in the therapy pool and steam room before you rediscover your senses and rest your mind with an iKOU treatment, inspired by nature and designed for maximum therapeutic results that respect the body’s complex physiology. Upgrade your spa treatment to a pamper day package. Indulge in a tranquil moment alone or gather your friends to share in a day of pampering and relaxation. The pamper day package includes a light lunch, fruit and cheese platter, and a glass of sparkling wine. Angourie Resort is the ultimate oasis for girls’ getaways, couples retreats, adventure-seekers, solo escapes and family holidays. www.angourieresort.com.au
East & West Coast
The charming and alluring treatment rooms at Kellyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Spa
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CAN’T DECIDE BETWEEN THE LEGENDARY LAIDBACK COASTAL CHIC OF CALIFORNIA OR THE HIGH VOLTAGE URBANITY OF NYC? ON YOUR NEXT STATESIDE SPA BREAK, BE BI-COASTAL AND ENJOY THE BEST OF BOTH... Words by Cleo Glyde
California Coastline MISSION INN HOTEL & KELLY’S SPA, RIVERSIDE
ome unique hotels are so distinctive and special that they are a destination in themselves. Once you pass through the portal of this otherworldly architectural wonderland - a pleasure palace created by a visionary wealthy eccentric - the stained-glass windows, original mosaics and Mission-era splendour create their own magic. Well worth the hour’s drive east of LA to Riverside, this fiefdom of ornate domes and fairytale fireplaces is truly breathtaking and the perfect spot for a wellness break. Gardens and tinkling fountains cast a spell; the breezy outdoor cantina Las Campanas showcases tempting Mexican food - fresh seafood salads, gourmet tacos, pickled vegetables and piled high guacamole. A glamorously oversized pool screams old Hollywood - and little wonder as the Mission Inn was once a playground for Golden-Era movie idols such as Bette Davis and Elizabeth Taylor. Lolling like a silver screen siren is still encouraged at Kelly’s Spa, which provides its own wellness cuisine menu and private treatment cabins luxuriously decorated with marble fireplaces and scattered rose petals. Plan to stay in this pleasure palace - so welcome in a world of bland hotel decor - for a sunken weekend. Chances are you won’t leave the gates till departure.
ABOVE: The pool area of Mission Inn Kelly’s Spa exterior
CROSSROADS KITCHEN, WEST
RANCHO PALOS VERDES
he ultimate SoCal coastal resort is perched over the Pacific on the ruggedly beautiful Palos Verdes coastline south of Los Angeles. Forget cramped, indoor spas - the invigorating natural setting is gloriously celebrated over 50,000 square feet of outdoor whirlpools, cold plunges, private poolside cabanas, lush gardens and fire pits. The hiss of waves crashing to shore and air alive with the zing of sea spray makes even the indoor treatments by oceanside windows joyous and deeply restorative. All treatments, from detox, clay wraps and massages to quartz and sea salt scrubs, are planned according to the body’s circadian rhythms. Apart from the lavish facilities that unwind across this huge, tiered property, it is also worth taking a scenic walk along the Palos Verdes coastal pathway that fringes the region’s crescent-shaped, black sandy beaches, a chance to experience the natural habitat. Take off from the spa cafe, where wraps, salads and excellent smoothies are the perfect prep for your journey. Those who crave structure can lean on the handrails of the Immersive Wellness retreats hosted throughout the year, which showcase expert coaching in meditation, sound therapy, even mindful eating at table. www.destinationhotels.com/terranea
amous as being the crossover vegan dining destination that meat-eating diners actually want to eat at (80% of clientele are non-vegetarian), Crossroads is the maverick that sets the gold standard. The template of vegan hole-in-wall clichés is overwritten by the swish of designer décor and a fully stocked bar. Like the fellow vegan celebrities who flock to Crossroad’s ‘elevated plant-based’ menu, diners don’t have to compromise on flavour. The oft-imitated Impossible Burger is uncannily similar to the real thing - a stack of flavour combos; lasagne is just as creamy as the cheese kind; and the Strawberry Yeasted Cake tastes just as naughty without eggs, butter or cream. You’ll scratch your head and wonder ‘how do they do it?’ You may try Crossroads because you’re trying Meat-Free Mondays; you may end up coming back every night! The bonus: you’re being kinder to the planet and our furry friends, while giving your digestive system a break. No matter how much you feast, you’ll feel far lighter afterwards.
PANXA COCINA, LONG BEACH, DINE
iscovering a regional cuisine you may not know is one of the great pleasures of travel. Epicureans need only make the drive to friendly, palm-fringed port Long Beach to sample burgeoning Southwestern cuisine at Panxa Cocina, one of LA’s few hotspots to showcase it. The ‘modern Mexican’ menu of Chef Arthur Gonzalez reimagines regional Latin and New Mexico icons. Enchiladas are stacked high, drizzled in green chile and topped with a fried egg (come hungry and bring a companion). Crab, shrimp and meat dishes like Quail a la Plancha are robust with glorious herbaceous flavour – notes of pesto, coriander, watercress, tomato confit and stringy Queso Oaxaca cheese enliven old favourites like tacos; lamb shank is all the more succulent in chile honey. Lesser known dying-to-try items like tamale dumplings become instant share plate classics. Very much a beachy, laid back neighbourhood restaurant, Panxa Cocina is set back from the beach and has a local Long Beach feel. Top notch margaritas will always denote a party vibe, but wellness travellers can find plenty of vegetable sides and fresh, healthy touches to win the day, from goats cheese and sweet potato-yam hash to cascabel-cashew mole. www.panxaocina.com
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Photo credit: Elizabeth Daniels
ABOVE: Crossroads Interior. Their famous Harissa Kimchi Risotto RIGHT: Artichoke Oysters.
LEFT: House favourites at Panxa Cocina. The ’Ranchlike’ interiors.
Downtown LA BIG CITIES ARE COMPLEX, CYCLICAL AND EVER-CHANGING - WITH THE PREROGATIVE TO CHANGE THEIR MIND. ONE OF LA’S NEWEST STORIES TO TELL IS THE RESURGENCE OF DOWNTOWN LA, A ONETIME CLUSTER OF CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS UNTIL THE STAPLES CENTRE OPENED JUST OVER A DECADE AGO, LAUNCHING WITH A BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN CONCERT. IT IS LOCAL LORE THAT WHEREVER THE LAKERS PLAY, THAT’S WHERE THE ACTION IS. EXPERIMENTAL, ETHNIC FOOD, SPAS AND FIVE-STAR HOTELS HAVE REVITALISED AN AREA THAT WAS ONCE STRICTLY BUSINESS, PROVIDING WELLNESS TRAVELLERS WITH A SOULFUL, FASTDEVELOPING INNER-CITY NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAYGROUND. ATHLETIC CLUB, FITNESS
NEST AT WP24, DINE
owntown LA’s toniest fitness environment has all the appeal of a heritage, old school clubby atmosphere (there is even accommodation) with all the bells and whistles of a brand new $10 million refurbishment. Vintage photography on the walls celebrates California’s sun and surf athleticism with 1920s shots of sports clubs long past. The city’s first private club (at 138 years old) also opens its doors to travellers, who can maintain their fitness in impressive facilities over several floors, from a stunning heritage pool and running track to steam rooms, hydrotherapy and intimate classes like Yoga Sculpt and Kickboxing. Still to come: a salt room, barber shop and nail salon. A marvellous antidote to soulless franchise gyms, this is one workout visit that you won’t want to get over and done with! www.laac.com
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he Ritz-Carlton hotel not only brings five-star luxury downtown, but provides the neighbourhood with its own private dining haven in the sky, high above the city streets. Nest is a hushed, contemporary cocoon atop the 24th floor of The Ritz-Carlton that not only invites, but compels, guests to linger over celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s fresh, modern take on Chinese cuisine, with glorious panoramic views of Los Angeles right out to Santa Monica. The menu – a showcase for stunning, flavourful ingredients sourced locally - is great to share, with moreish nibbles such as prawn toast and wok fried shrimp to graze on, premium grade sushi and feastworthy Flat Iron steak. The selection of pork belly, crab and chicken dumplings are so tender and delicious that you could make your visit dumpling exclusive and walk away happy. Bird’s eye views make the city skyline seem a world away.
RITZ CARLTON SPA, RELAX
ROW DTLA, SHOP & DINE
his spa’s mesmerising ambience plays a huge part in letting travellers leave their stresses at the door. The relaxation room is a veritable temple to letting go; a space-age pod of ergonomically curved beds, fringed curtains and neutral velvets invite visitors to sink into the afternoon. Putting on the Ritz was never easier. Esoteric, intuitive type treatments go beyond traditional massage techniques, staying true to California’s roots as the hippie hotspot that first introduced the West to Eastern philosophy, so try the Chakra Balancing Massage. Gemstone therapy is combined with massage to promote energy flow with crystals that are picked to match each specific concern of the seven chakras. In Eastern belief, this is where the body’s energy flow is concentrated, giving us access to a specific elemental life force, from emotional security to sexuality. The therapist places stones such as garnet, quartz and amethyst on points along the spine to the crown to realign and harmonise the centres. For those curious about the chakra modality, this is a great place to
his creative hub of repurposed industrial warehouses and open public spaces has become a symbol of urban renewal in Downtown LA, a hive of unique homewares, design and fashion boutiques where travellers can mingle with locals and eat all day without having to leave. The brekkie highlight is Paramount Coffee Project - incarnating the surge of expat Aussie cafes in LA that have single-handedly introduced the city to ‘smashed avo’ style brunch. With walls that slide and fold away, the huge, airy space is integrated with Row’s feel-good pedestrian buzz. The cafe celebrates locavore SoCal beans, while the speciality coffee roasting, brew methods and comfort food are a taste of home. Sausage rolls and lamb sandwiches are winning over locals as much as luring homesick expats, alongside quirky additions like the must-try sea urchin Uni Toast. And the larrikin warmth of the staff? That’s pure Aussie coastal. www.rowdtla.com; pcpdtla.com
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n a city where culinary trends and restaurants can burn out as quickly as a starlet’s big moment, Patina has solidified its early promise as a downtown fine dining pioneer to become celebrated for Chef Andreas Roller’s contemporary French, internationally influenced cuisine, making it one of Los Angeles’ few Michelin-starred restaurants. Perfectly located for culture vulture travellers at the Walt Disney concert hall, Patina’s food may be known for its big city sophistication and rarefied presentation, with ingredients artfully arranged into graphic patterns and divine drizzles, but Roller’s inspiration is regional produce. His ingredients are sourced from the local Santa Monica and Hollywood Farmers Market, nearby ranchers and fishermen, even Patina’s own kitchen garden. Tasting menu dishes are superbly plated and ceremonially presented, yet offset by a Californian earthiness and ease. Succulent, glossy Sea Bream riffs on a Japanese palette of yuzu and purple shiso; decadent gourmet touches such as White Alba Truffle in burned orange butter, crab or foie gras are the gracenote to the homey heartiness of velvety wagyu and bone marrow. Rippling ceilings and flowing wood walls enliven the restaurant’s contemporary minimalism, rendering it worthy of its stunning architectural setting among the curvilinear grandeur of the concert hall, and the perfect spot to perch for dinner before the curtain rises.
BORDER GRILL, DINE
his humming, social restaurant in the heart of Downtown LA’s city centre can’t really go wrong with its mantra: regional street food-inspired Mexican that is simple and delicious. The gaily coloured indoor and outdoor space positively screams ‘let’s do brunch’. Irresistible enchiladas, zingy ceviche and slow-roasted pork in banana leaf will get the party started; farm fresh salads aren’t afterthoughts for carnivores, but are bursting with eight ingredients (it’s LA so yes, kale). Although unpretentious and fun, clean eaters can still benefit from the restaurant’s commitment to quality with a base of organic rice and black bean, and hormone-free meat dishes. www.bordergrill.com
East Coast THE BACCARAT HOTEL, NYC, DINE
ew York City’s jazz-baby art deco spires still denote the thrill of being in the world’s ultimate city. The sleek, yet hushed, Baccarat Hotel rises beautifully to the task of incarnating Manhattan’s urban sophistication. Beyond the hotel’s deceptively pure, inky black exterior, the Baccarat brand heritage of French craftsmanship is echoed everywhere, coming to sparkling, shimmering life with the craft cocktails in cut-crystal tumblers, tableware and lighting. Take tea in the dazzling, aptly named Grand Salon under a twinkling 64arm Baccarat chandelier, among a chic, soothing neutral platinum palette. Boutique brews and tiers of dainty petit fours are afternoon tea at its most rarefied, but hungrier ladies-wholunch can enjoy savoury bites such as melt-in-the-mouth charcuterie folded like ribbons, a heavenly tuna tartare and the unexpected Sea Urchin in Ginger. This urban retreat is a veritable crystal palace in the big bad city. www.baccarathotels.com
THE ASSEMBLAGE, NETWORK AND CHILL his innovative ‘habitat’ incarnates a Brave New World where co-working in shared space replaces the traditional office environment, perfect for global entrepreneurs and mobile urbanauts who can take their work with them in their laptop bags. A cosmopolitan sprinkling of self-starters from the US, South America and Europe mingle in the impossibly cool, double height ground-floor salon (with living green wall) and rentable open office space on other floors. If you’re going to lean in, you may as well do it in style, right? So meditation pods, a rooftop garden, a healthy buffet lunch and bar that serves health elixirs instead of cocktails is ready and waiting for downtime. If you have a deadline and need to press pause in a stunning environment with wifi and a temporary penthouse office, consider yourself hired.
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MANDARIN ORIENTAL, NYC
ery much a global city spa, on a high floor overlooking the city skyline’s towering skyscrapers, this getaway still allows you to see the high voltage energy outside from a distance. Save time for the ‘Heat facilities’ such as an amethyst crystal steam room and pool with a view. Then try the spa’s highly distinctive Digital Detox treatment - designed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic and specifically targeted as a respite from our plugged-in tech culture, exacerbated by a visit to the stressed out Big Apple. It is somewhat surreal to take a long soak so high above Columbus Circle at Central Park, as the city spires appear in the window. The ‘smart bath’ itself is made with Russian Shungite, a natural carbon that binds to the free-radicals that surge in the body with overuse of portable tech, while shungite-charged water boosts the treatment from the inside. A lavish massage helps loosen the knot created in muscles that tense while we tap, type and become ergonomically out of whack. Both the sense of peace and pressure point relief are a clear sign of how much we need to unplug - and rethink our work habits. www.mandarinoriental.com/new-york
SPA LA MER, PAMPER
nabashed luxury conjures the Côte d’Azur at Baccarat’s ultra luxe spa. Loaf on the generous, crisply white cabanas that encircle the pool - yes, even the towels are spritzed with scented signature Rouge 540. Specialised facials showcase one of the world’s most desirable luxury beauty brands, La Mer. The line is prized for the healing properties of its ‘Miracle Broth’ - a pure, potent form of concentrated bio-fermented sea kelp. Spa La Mer’s facials add another dimension to the healing process with the lymphatic drainage of massage or diamond-powder exfoliation. Not sure about the investment skincare trend? This is your chance to try La Mer - and play New York diva for the day.
he brightly coloured spaceship decor tells you that Yelo does things differently as soon as you step out of the lift. LED therapy taps into the mood-altering power of light and colour; massage beds are tilted upwards to increase your blood flow, aiding the therapists’ efforts to manually improve circulation. In fact the beds are so beneficial that after an exceptionally good, deep 50-minute sports massage, a 20-minute nap on the tilted bed is incorporated into the treatment, ensuring that your blood flows in a counter direction for even longer - a fabulously restorative afternoon pick-me-up (and tilt-me-over) that locals become addicted to. www.yelospa.com
of a Job
THERE WAS NEVER ANY OTHER CAREER PATH FOR ERICA MILLER THAN WORKING ALONGSIDE HER DAD IN THE FAMILY’S GEM BUSINESS. THIS PAVED THE WAY FOR HER TO CREATE HER OWN BRAND, IKECHO, WHICH RECENTLY CELEBRATED 20 YEARS AS AUSTRALIA’S PREMIER FRESHWATER PEARL SUPPLIER. I’M LIKE A KID IN A LOLLY SHOP WHEN I GET TO SIT DOWN WITH ERICA AND HEAR HER STORY.
Words by Kris Abbey
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’ve always been fascinated by pearls, even preferring them to diamonds. Maybe because my Nan, who I adored and idolised, never left the house without lipstick on her lips and a strand of pearls around her neck (which I graciously inherited) or a pair of clip-on delicate drop pearl earrings adorning her ear lobes. It was classic, understated style. Stunning without being showy. When I meet Erica, I am greeted by a human version of a pearl! She has an air of style, but certainly not showy. She is young, smart, warm and very down-toearth. She apologises for the ‘mess’ of mouth-gaping pearl jewellery laid out on the desk. She is getting stock ready for David Jones department stores. I want to take the lot. Every piece is absolutely (at the risk of overusing the word) stunning! Ikecho (pronounced i-ket-cho) was the type of mussel used in Japan to cultivate the first freshwater pearl. Erica felt it was the perfect name for her business, since she wanted her company to be thought of as the home of freshwater pearls in Australia. While she does have a solid reputation internationally for her knowledge of freshwater pearls, she also has a collection of exquisite Tahitian, Baroque, South Sea, Akoya and Mabe Pearls among her treasures. Erica’s extensive knowledge of gems is courtesy of her Danish father who is an internationally acclaimed Opal Australia he lived in Lightning Ridge, a deep vein for opal mining. 90% of the world’s opals come from Australia and the tiny outback town of Lightning Ridge is one of the few places where black opals are mined. For a European immigrant, the opportunity was obvious, to take Australian opals to the rest of the world. Erica’s father always wanted her to work in the family business, so after finishing school that was the obvious next step. She spent a lot of time on the road with him learning the trade and connecting with the right people. It was after spending time in Japan that Erica could see another boom for pearls. And to her, this was an interesting prospect, allowing her to establish her own product and identity. Thanks to her close relationship with the Japanese, Ikecho was the first pearl company to import natural pink pearls to Australia, definitely putting Ikecho on the map. As time moved on, Ikecho established very close relationships with pearl farms around the world, enabling them to supply Australia and New Zealand with the most extensive range of quality South Sea, Tahitian, Akoya, Mabe and Freshwater Pearls. When I start with the simple question: ‘How do
you select your pearls?’, Erica opens up and talks enthusiastically and passionately, like the knowledgeable expert she is. “Having a good eye certainly helps, but understanding the process and origin of the pearl is also important. Is it a freshwater or saltwater pearl? Is it formed naturally or cultivated?” From a practical perspective, there is no difference between natural or cultured pearls. They are identical in appearance and composition, with the only difference being their origin (and price). From a romantic point of view, natural pearls are more desirable as they are accidental products of nature. Natural pearls form in oysters or molluscs as the name implies - naturally! When a piece of sand, shell or other irritant finds its way into the creature, it secretes layer after layer of nacre to protect itself from the foreign particle. This is how the pearl gradually forms. This time-consuming process can take many years. Cultured pearls, on the other hand, refer to pearls that are created through farming and harvesting processes. The oysters or molluscs are raised in pearl farms in conditions similar to nature. The main difference is that humans carefully embed the irritant, then the oyster is left to do its work. It will coat the nucleus with nacre, creating a beautiful pearl. Most of the pearls on the market today are cultured pearls, which are more affordable and abundant. Natural pearls are extremely rare and very expensive. While this explains the difference between the formation of the pearl, what about where they are grown? Is there a difference between freshwater and saltwater pearls? Freshwater pearls are the most common and most affordable pearl. They are grown in molluscs (mainly mussels), rather than oysters. Freshwater pearls, unlike saltwater cultured pearls, are made of solid nacre as they miss the bead nuclei. Another interesting fact about freshwater pearls is that they always come in baroque or imperfect shapes. In the past, these imperfect pearls were considered inferior, but today they are extremely popular. Freshwater pearls also come in a wide range of colours including white, cream, pink, orange and lavender. Pearls have the longest demonstrable history of any jewellery and are often considered the queen of jewels. Mother-of-pearl was used over 100,000 years ago, says jewellery historian Beatriz Chadour-Sampson. Roman women were particularly keen on natural pearls, which were symbols of beauty, purity and fertility. Pearl’s
“ PEARL IS OFTEN CONSIDERED A GEMSTONE, ALTHOUGH IT IS NOT A MINERAL. RATHER, PEARL IS A COMPOSITE OF THE MINERAL ARAGONITE (CALCIUM CARBONATE) AND THE ORGANIC COMPOUND CONCHIOLIN (A PROTEIN). THE COMBINATION IS CALLED NACRE OR MOTHER-OF-PEARL.
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desirability was heightened because men risked their lives to collect them by hand from the deep ocean floor - and still do today. “They were the most valuable and prized gem for thousands of years,” says David Warren, senior international jewellery director at auction house Christie’s. In 1917, the pearl reached what in retrospect seems like its high point. Morton Freeman Plant made a deal with jeweller Pierre Cartier: Plant would give Cartier his Fifth Avenue mansion in exchange for $100 and a necklace of 128 natural pearls. The pearls were then valued at US$1 million. Today, the house is now Cartier’s flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue! Over time, like many gems, pearls have gone in and out of vogue. Coco Chanel is attributed to the renaissance of pearls, says Ms Chadour-Sampson. Chanel wore several ropes of pearls in varying lengths, and turned them into haute couture and fast fashion, mixing real pearls - whether natural or cultivated - with glass and plastic. Chanel’s effortless everyday use put pearls in women’s jewellery boxes all around the world. At the turn of the 20th century, Japanese entrepreneur Mikimoto Kokichi revolutionised the industry by commercialising cultured pearls. Scarce natural pearls, retrieved by hand from the seabeds, were replaced by a scientific endeavour, changing the economics of the pearl industry. The pearl became much more available and therefore affordable. This scientific intervention also lead to the creation of more spectacular pearls. The exact value of the global pearl industry is unknown. However, it is very clear that the environment and over-cultivation, and the effect these have on sustainability, must be considered for its longevity. You need a pristine marine ecosystem to produce highquality pearls. Climate change is having a huge impact with more regular typhoons and hurricanes wiping out whole harvests. Also the increased acidity and rising temperatures of the water make it harder for oyster shells to form. While Erica is aware of the potential threats to her industry, there are a lot of proactive steps being taken to ensure the pearl continues to be admired as both an art form and treasured piece of jewellery for centuries to come. Her focus now is to evolve with the industry, create beautiful designs, and ensure Australia is still revered as one of the best suppliers of quality pearls - and opals in the world! www.ikecho.com.au
5 Minutes with Erica What’s your favourite Spa Treatment? A facial! I’m very lucky as one of my dear friends is a wonderful beauty therapist and does a great facial. She also hassles me to come in for one when I haven’t been to see her in a while. We have just opened a cocktail bar in Canggu called Essentials. We infuse our cocktails with essential oils. Anyway that’s meant I’ve been having some great treatments in Bali as well. Any treatment at Como Uma Canggu is my favourite. What really drives you? I love my job, my team and my customers. Even though I’m only in the office three days a week at the moment, I do love coming to work. The design process excites me. We also have a new designer, which means fresh ideas and a lot of inspiration. What’s a new skill you’re mastering? Online marketing. Since so many people shop online these days, I need to have a strong online presence. In the past, I didn’t really have much to do with the end customer, only our wholesalers. Now I have to understand and sell to both. As a business owner, I feel it’s important to evolve. If you keep doing things as you always have, you won’t survive because the shopping landscape is very different. You have to keep up. What’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn? You know, I’ve been really fortunate. I’ve had some great mentors and minders who have looked out for me. In the jewellery industry, I guess like any industry, you do need to know what you’re buying and whom you’re buying from. I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful people take me under their wing and show me the ropes and not get ripped off! I’ve learnt a lot, but none of the lessons have been painstaking or stopped me from loving what I do. How do you relax? A glass of wine! And we have a holiday house at Port Macquarie, so when we need a break we get out of town to where it’s quieter and time is slower. What’s the best part of your job? There isn’t any one thing that I love about what I do, it’s everything! I love getting out on the road and connecting with all my buyers, which is like catching up with friends. I love travelling overseas and sourcing perfect pearls. I love working with our designers to create pieces that showcase the pearl, or spending time with that special customer who wants us to curate something unique. I do have an amazing team who make coming to work a joy. Ikecho is my baby and I’m really proud of what it has become over the past 20 years. Maybe it’s that? Maybe it’s being able to look back after 20 years and see what it has become!
Life, Balance Beauty
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Market Place EDITOR’S PICK
This Australian-made luxury weekend travel bag by Victoria & Maude puts class into carry on! Handcrafted from exotic leather, it is sturdy, stylish and the cleverly designed compartments keep you super organised. Any outfit, all destinations. This bag! $4,800 www.victoriaandmaude.com
Jackie Damelian, Owner & Creative Director of Jackie Mack Designs, introduces the Tesoro collection. This collection draws inspiration from the over-the-top 90s. A nostalgically cool sense of the right kind of throwback seamlessly blends with today’s trends to make it ‘ah–maze-zing’. It’s all about minimal jewels during the day and heavier layering at night. The current look is all about those extra ear piercings and beautifully curated ears. www.jackiemackdesigns.com
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Love Your Face Serum by Black Chicken Remedies puts back into your skin what life takes out. Highly concentrated to deeply nourish, the serum absorbs instantly while still allowing your skin to breathe. And it’s amazing at replenishing the skin before a day at work, night out or a good night’s sleep. 30mL $79 www. blackchicken.com.au
The average office worker sits for 68 days per year. And we know sitting for too long is bad for your health (and your back). A recent British Medical Journal study showed that standing desks have a positive impact on musculoskeletal conditions and many work-related outcomes such as job performance, work engagement and occupational fatigue. A study by Texas A&M found that using a standing desk increased productivity by 46%. Varidesk Pro Plus 30 is for anyone ready to embrace an active workplace. The simple design takes you from sitting to standing in just 3 seconds. It requires no assembly and works with your existing furniture. https://au.varidesk.com/en-au/
Founded by lifelong friends, Elaina Downey and Cherylea Browne, who met in kindergarten, The Husk Mill creates mouthwatering teas from cocoa husks. This outer shell of the cacao bean is usually discarded in the chocolate-making process. Yet, in South America, cacao husks have been used for centuries to create a healthy, yet indulgent-tasting tea. “Think of cacao husk tea as a rich, dark hot chocolate with no sugar, no dairy, no gluten and almost no calories. It’s also high in minerals and vitamins and is 99.5% caffeine free. Out of all the ways to taste chocolate, drinking cacao husk tea is easily the healthiest and best for you,” says Elaina. The Husk Mill has a number of signature blends, all available online. www.thehuskmill.com.au
Stimulate Your Senses in
Cape Town www.capegrace.com
Smell The clean air of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain. Hike to the top and while the heart is pumping, take in big, deep breaths. A sight to behold and an aroma of sea, sand and mountain air. #heady
Taste Tickle your tastebuds and make your cells sing with a Super Bowl from Scheckterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Raw. Founder Toby Scheckter drew inspiration from working on the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s organic farm in the UK, his travels around the world and a healthy obsession for health food! A hint of New York vegan food bar in Cape Town. www.schecktersraw.com/
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Hear The joyous giggles of the children enjoying the activities at Cape Grace. Children are warmly welcomed and thoughtfully catered for. Aside from adventure-themed linen and pint-sized robe and slippers, kids can enjoy gingerbread decorating and African fables at story-time. And yes, you can join in too, or attend the free wine tasting while the kids play!
Touch Be touched and treated at the Spa at Cape Grace. Ask for Kirsten - she has hands of magic. I highly recommend the Kalahari Signature massage using oils naturally derived from plants of the Kalahari Desert. www.capegrace.com/wellness
See Bo Kaap is an area of Cape Town that was once known as the Malay Quarter. It may be one of the most photographed areas of the Mother City, but brightly painted houses and quaint, cobbled streets arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the only reasons to visit the Bo Kaap. This part of Cape Town is packed full of history and culture and sits on the slopes of Signal Hill, giving a stunning view of the city - if you can take your eyes off the colourful homes!
HOLD US IN SILENCE. DO NOT THROW US BACK INTO SOME DISCUSSION. - RUMI
Master the Pause Words by Lyndall Mitchell
hen we pause, we give ourselves time to think and space to breathe, so we can make the best decisions. Each time you pause, you take small steps toward rebalancing and reconnecting with who you really are, your dreams and deepest desires. Each pause is the moment that you give yourself permission to gently unwind. Learning to switch off and press the pause button in life is vital. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like taking a big, soulnourishing breath of air to find clarity, energy and space. Like an emotional and spiritual barometer, finding solitude and silence gives us the ability and space to shape and adjust our lives. It can reconnect us to our authentic self, highlight our inner strength and enable us to satisfy our own needs and desires, rather than relying on others. Solitude gives you the space to think, dream, nourish and restore yourself. We often overschedule our days and nights and find ourselves stuck on the fast-paced treadmill of pleasing others first and foremost more than ourselves. We keep pushing through, too tired to keep running but too scared to stop. Solitude is about creating some breathing space in the long race of life and allowing room to let life flow. It eases the feeling of suffocation and allows space for clarity to come. The busier you are, the more important it is to take time out regularly to keep your body, mind and soul restored and in their most powerful state. Solitude can feel uncomfortable at first, however creating regular quiet time may be the key to becoming the best version of you, living with clarity and energy. When you pause to take care of yourself, you become the person you were always meant to be. You reclaim the right to live a momentous life.
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Some of the high-impact benefits you’ll enjoy with every moment of ‘alone time’ you allocate yourself: 1. Self-connection – When you listen to your body and mind, you’re more likely to make decisions that align with your values and your own personal capacity. You will feel happier and calmer. 2. Your vision comes to life – By creating the space, you can regularly revisit and reconfirm your goals and your vision. This helps you stay on track and not start living out someone else’s dream. 3. Builds powerful mental resilience – Taking time in silence is like going to the gym for your mind. This mental training helps build resilience and strengthens your mind. 4. Boosts creativity – Our creativity comes out when we allow space. We need peace and quiet to work out solutions, to have those ‘aha’ moments, to create our own ways to do tasks. 5. Reduces stress – Taking time to be alone for a few moments (maybe in the middle of the park on a sunny day) can be immensely helpful when you’re trying to regain your mental centre. 6. Increases productivity – Reclaim your power of concentration and take the time you need to complete projects. At work look for breakout rooms, mute any potential devices that will distract you and work on projects in a scheduled way so you can maximise your productivity. 7. Enhances empathy – People who can foster empathy have more connected relationships.
PREPARING FOR SILENCE & SOLITUDE Here are a few things to consider before you give silence and solitude a try: 1. Decide how long you will take – the exact length of time you need depends on your situation, but it’s important to organise a dedicated period, rather than just leaving it to fate. 2. Choose your location – to help minimise distractions, it is useful to get away from your usual living environment. You could go to a retreat or simply go for a walk or to a café. 3. Communicate with others – others will respect you for carving out this time, whether it’s half an hour a day, one day a month or part of a routine.
HOW TO SPEND YOUR TIME IN SILENCE AND SOLITUDE There are a few activities you can try during your time in solitude to help improve your self-knowledge. Remember to set your intention of what you want to achieve when carving out time. Is it to sit still and reflect? Or to write, listen or move slowly to the beat of your own drum? Meditate: With regular meditation comes the ability to bring clarity and insight into our lives. Think: Strategic thinking and planning lends itself well to periods of silence and solitude. Clarity is often the incredible result. Create: Having the space to brainstorm ideas can be the starting point to unleashing your creativity. Be bold with your thoughts – there’s no one else around to dismiss them. Reconnect: Use your alone time to really study the world around you. Touch the grass, smell the flowers, be in nature, watch the clouds. You will restore a sense of your place in the world. The only real teacher is not in the mountains, or in a hut or an ice cave in the Himalayas, it is already within us. Giving yourself permission to press the pause button allows you to replenish your energy levels, process your thoughts and consider the world you have created for yourself. Sit with it and understand it. As the noise within starts to quieten, the world around you reflects this. Life becomes less of a struggle, and everything flows more effortlessly. It is in this incredible space we can make well informed, clear and powerful decisions to return to our natural state of balance.
Stress The Joy of
Words by Michelle Reeve
atural medicine is always linking our attitude to our physical health. Previously it was thought our brain was unpliable. Fixed. No room for rewiring or repair. If there was damage, the function within that area was thought to be lost forever. We now know differently. Through the science of neuroplasticity, we understand how our thoughts can challenge and transform existing wiring and brain chemistry. The prefrontal cortex is the pleasure centre where all this activity takes place. It’s a pretty dynamic part of the brain. We know that through joyful, optimistic thoughts, we can boost our feel-good serotonin levels and lower the stress hormone cortisol. Positive thoughts essentially help the brain to grow. A buoyant mentality establishes and reinforces new synapses in the brain, making it healthier, more productive and efficient. So when we’re around friends who encourage positivity, joy and laughter, our brain is flooded with dopamine, a natural analgesic. What a wonderful remedy for pain. If only this was the script we received from our GP… “I suggest you remove all negative
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influences. If pain persists, take tea with fabulous friends twice a day!” For the diehard realists, I understand that to remove completely the daily pressures of life is in itself a stressful proposition. A society juggling increasing workloads, families, partners and communities in a 24-hour media cycle is not just taxing, it can feel overwhelming. With the demands of daily life, how do we manage stress when it’s an expected and inevitable part of a Western lifestyle? The commonly held belief is that stress is bad for you. It boosts cortisol levels and, when left unattended, it pushes down on our health. But what if I gave you a new way to think about stress? What if I told you it’s not the stress that’s harmful; it’s simply the way you think about it… Some stress is good! There is a dynamic US psychologist, Dr Kelly McGonigal, whose research focuses on stress and its impact on longevity. Her study included 30,000 adults over eight years and here’s what she found. For those people who were under a lot of stress and believed the stress to be harmful, they had an increased (43%) likelihood of death. Alternately, those under high levels of stress, but felt positively
towards that stress, had no more likely increase of dying than those who had relatively little stress. She shows us that it really is our belief about stress being bad which shapes the damage it does. In a typical stressful situation, the heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict, reducing blood flow, leading to a compromised cardiovascular system; indications considered harmful to the body. Yet in the studies where the recipients believed the stress was positive, sure their heart rates still pounded, but their blood vessels remained relaxed, encouraging blood flow. Dr McGonigal likens this second response to what happens in our bodies in times of joy, courage and exercise. How we think about stress matters. Central to all of this are the efforts of a very important hormone, oxytocin. The feel-good hormone that primes you to strengthen close relationships by craving physical contact. It also activates empathy and enables a willingness to help and support others. Did you know in times of stress the brain pumps out not only adrenalin, but large amounts of oxytocin? The reason? It motivates you to seek support. Not only does oxytocin act on the brain, it also supports the body by having an anti-inflammatory
effect on our vascular health. Oxytocin can actually strengthen your heart by helping to repair heart cells from the damage caused by stress. Reaching out under stress and connecting with others reduces the effects of stress and actually has a positive effect, just as if you were experiencing a joyful situation. It appears the stress response has a built-in protective mechanism. Human connection. Caring creates resilience. By connecting compassionately with others, we create strength under stress. By choosing our attitude and responses to stress, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re telling our bodies that we can handle pressure. By recognising the signs of stress, we can learn to interpret them positively. The physical signs of stress can sometimes be our bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s way of energising us and preparing us to successfully meet lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges. If we lend a hand by adjusting our thinking, then we are potentially not only extending our lifespan, but creating a culture of care and collaboration. Michelle Reeve is Founder of Waterlily Skincare www.waterlilyskinbodyspa.com.au
The Power of
Touch Words by Jackie Messaike
TOUCH. IT IS OUR FIRST FORM OF COMMUNICATION. WE NEED IT ON EVERY LEVEL LIKE THE AIR WE NEED TO BREATH. WE NEED IT TO LOVE. WE NEED IT TO CONNECT. IT PROTECTS US IN TIMES OF FEAR. IT COMFORTS US WHEN WE ARE SCARED. IT WARMS US WHEN WE ARE COLD. IT SOOTHES OUR SOUL WHEN WE ARE SAD. When babies are born they need three things to thrive: 1. That first breath 2. Their motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s milk 3. Touch We now know the importance of skin-to-skin contact within that first hour after the newborn arrives. There is good evidence that newborns who are placed skin-to-skin with their mother or father immediately after birth have significantly less crying, indicating decreased stress. They also have greater respiratory, temperature and blood sugar stability, supporting optimal brain development and decreasing the negative effects of separation.
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The word separation does not just affect us as babies. This is a term we can suffer from at any stage of our lives. Even as we get old! The anxiety we feel from separation is really from a lack of touch and connection. As we age and our children leave home, or our partners move on, we slowly find ourselves having less and less hands-on human contact. Those cuddles from our kids, or connections with loved ones, can remain strong, but the physical contact is usually less. This can cause depression, anxiety and have ill-effects on our health and wellbeing. Even your heart health can improve with touch. Studies have shown touch to calm cardiovascular stress as oxytocin (known as the cuddle chemical or happy hormone) is released into our body, thereby reducing cortisol levels (the stress hormone). One study from the University of California found that women who hugged their partner even for just 20 seconds had lower blood pressure, which over time may decrease a person’s risk for heart disease. As a mother of three boys, I have seen first-hand how the simple holding of my baby’s hand through his cot would help him relax off to sleep at night. How the comforting cuddle at night would help him forget his nightmare. The reassuring hug that his grazed knee will heal once the blood stops flowing. As I open my arms and hold my child, I can feel the instant calm start to relax his body, even as they start to grow into adolescence. I have been a massage therapist for over 25 years and as my profession involves contact with people’s bodies all day, it has become very obvious to me that my touch boundaries are different to most people’s. I am more than happy to touch a stranger’s shoulder in comfort or as I say hello. To be honest, most people retract in shock or their body tenses up. Are we as a society now touch deprived? Is touch deprivation a real thing? Apparently yes. Psychologist Matthew Hertenstein, PhD, director of the Touch and Emotion Lab at DePauw University, says touch deprivation is a real thing. “Most of us, whatever our relationship status, need more human contact than we’re getting. Compared with other cultures, we live in a touchphobic society that’s made affection with anyone but loved ones taboo.” Behavioural scientists have found that about two to four feet is the accepted amount of personal space most Americans need to feel comfortable. To me, this is very sad. So after reading all the facts, it makes sense to
incorporate some sort of touch therapy into your life. Massage therapy has science on its side. It’s not just good for our muscles, it’s great for our physical, emotional and mental health on every level. It is well documented that: • Massaging patients with Alzheimer’s disease can have huge effects on getting them to relax, make emotional connections with others and reduce their symptoms of depression. • Massage therapy reduces pain in pregnant women and alleviates prenatal depression. • Children with autism - widely believed to hate being touched - actually love being massaged by a parent or therapist. • Corporate stress is growing in our fast-paced society, so people need massage therapy now more than ever to cope. • Anxiety and depression is on the rise, even in our kids, so it’s never too early to implement these touch therapies on a regular basis into our lives. The science of touch convincingly suggests that we NEED connection with other people on a basic physical level. If we don’t have touch in our lives, we are depriving ourselves of some of life’s greatest joys and deepest comforts, as well many significant health benefits. www.jackiessportsmassage.com.au
Off Your Plate
WHETHER IT’S A HEALTH-BURSTING SALAD, SWEET TREAT OR THIRST QUENCHER YOU’RE AFTER, THE AUSTRALIAN ORGANIC COOKBOOK HAS A RECIPE FOR ALL. PROUDLY SUPPORTING ORGANIC FARMERS AND THOSE MAKING AN EFFORT TO CREATE CLEANER, HEALTHIER FOOD.
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Black Bean Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns
Black Bean Spaghetti with Garlic Prawns 1 pack (200g) of Eco Organics Black Bean Spaghetti 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil 60g unsalted butter 3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 lemons, zest and juice 1/4 tsp of dried red chilli flakes 24 prawns (approx 500g) peeled, deveined, tails intact 2 tbs of chopped fresh parsley Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of boiling water until al dente. Toss with olive oil and set aside. Place the butter in a frypan over low heat and melt. Add the garlic, lemon zest and chilli flakes. Stir on medium heat until golden. Add the prawns and cook for around 3 minutes or until the prawns are tender. Add the pasta, lemon juice, parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy with family or a few friends.
Organic One-Pan Cookie 200g organic butter, chopped 125ml honey 2 cups almond meal 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking powder Â˝ tsp ground cinnamon 1 egg, beaten 3 tbs crunchy peanut butter 100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped coconut yoghurt to serve Preheat the oven to 180Ë&#x161;C. Melt the butter and honey in an ovenproof frying pan. Remove from heat and leave to cool slightly. Stir in the almond meal, vanilla, baking powder and cinnamon. Whisk in the egg to form a batter. Dollop the peanut butter over the batter and scatter over the chocolate pieces. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Serve warm popped in the middle of the table for everyone to share, topped with a generous dollop of coconut yoghurt. These recipes are from the second edition of the Australian Organic Recipe Book, a collection of delicious dishes featuring certified organic ingredients. The recipes are created by chefs, healthy living advocates and Australian Organic ambassadors Luke Hines and Elle Halliwell. www.austorganic.com/
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HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF I TOLD YOU THAT YOU COULD MAKE A GIANT COOKIE IN A PAN? WELL, HOLD ONTO YOUR SOCKS BOYS AND GIRLS… THINGS ARE ABOUT TO GET REAL. INTRODUCING THE ULTIMATE ONE-PAN COOKIE. YOU CAN THANK ME LATER!
Recipe from Smart Carbs by Luke Hines published by Plum
How Food Affects Your
Mood Words by Nicole Dynan
THE LINK BETWEEN DIET AND MOOD IS BECOMING STRONGER AND STRONGER. IT CAN BE INFLUENCED BY MANY THINGS, SUCH AS NUTRIENTS IN THE FOODS WE EAT, THE WAY OUR BODY PROCESSES THEM AND OUR EMOTIONAL REACTIONS OR EXISTING ASSOCIATIONS TO CERTAIN FOODS, SUCH AS ‘PLEASURE’ WITH CHOCOLATE OR ‘DEPRIVATION’ WHEN DIETING. THE SAME CAN BE OBSERVED IN REVERSE … HOW WE FEEL CAN INFLUENCE THE FOODS WE CHOOSE.
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What is the link between mood and diet? From what we know so far, the gut appears integral to our mood. There needs to be more research, but there is some strong emerging evidence. How can foods high in sugar, fat and simple carbs impact our mood and energy levels? Diet quality is key in mental health. Eating processed foods such as cakes, chips and lollies may make us feel good for a short time, but a lack of nutrients means they are broken down quickly in the body. This causes a spike in blood sugar levels, making us feel energised initially, but then leaving us feeling tired and sluggish. Carbohydrates have been demonised by recent dietary trends, but it’s important to remember that carbs include a wide range of foods which provide energy for the body. The best choices to reach for are slowly digested carbs, which provide long-lasting energy for the brain, like wholegrain breads, fruit and low-fat dairy foods. If you don’t have enough carbohydrates to keep your body fuelled with glucose, you can feel tired and irritable. Regular amounts of good quality carbohydrates keep blood glucose levels stable and help you feel good. Eating breakfast is a good way to kickstart healthy eating each day and reduce the likelihood of ‘sweet binges’ later in the day.
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Can eating more fruits and vegetables be beneficial for our mental health? Eating healthy, whole foods like fruit and veggies, wholegrains, lean meat, seafood and dairy foods means we’re more likely to meet our needs for vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. These impact significantly on our gut and brain health. What about the Mediterranean diet? The Mediterranean diet is fantastic for gut and brain health as it emphasises whole foods, is based on the five core food groups, and includes very little processed foods. As a rule, plenty of fruits, vegetables and wholegrain cereal foods, extra virgin olive oil, a small amount of fermented dairy foods and some protein foods, including oily fish, will support a good supply of nutrients for both good health and good mood, so this can be a beneficial eating pattern to undertake. Are there any specific nutrients or foods that are beneficial for mood, energy and vitality? There are several nutrients of interest when it comes to brain health and mood including B vitamins, omega 3, selenium, tryptophan, resistant starch and some antioxidants. When it comes down to it, however, overall diet quality is the key, rather than pin-pointing individual nutrients.
“ AS MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR GUT HEALTH EMERGES, WE ARE LEARNING THAT OUR GUT BACTERIA ALSO IMPACT OUR MENTAL HEALTH. HAVING A HEALTHY GUT MICROBIOME AND INCLUDING GUT-FRIENDLY FOODS TO HELP BOOST GUT FUNCTION COULD HAVE A KEY ROLE IN LOWERING STRESS AND INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY, AND IN TURN BOOST OVERALL HEALTH.
B Vitamins B vitamins, such as those found in whole grains, vegetables and lean meats, are involved in neuronal function and many processes in our brains. Pineapples are high in manganese and are a good source of vitamin B, C and folate. They have been positively linked to brain health. Omega-3 Omega-3 is a healthy fat often linked with good mood and brain health. Research suggests that omega-3 can reduce the symptoms of depression, as it may make it easier for serotonin (our happy hormone) to pass through our brain and get to the cells associated with creating happy feelings. Omega-3 is found in foods like extra virgin olive oil, oily fish and some nuts. Selenium Selenium can boost our levels of serotonin and help elevate a low mood. Selenium is found in brazil nuts, meat, fish, seeds and wholemeal bread. Tryptophan Serotonin is made with an essential amino acid from the diet called tryptophan. More tryptophan may get
into the brain when carbohydrate-rich foods are eaten. Tryptophan can be found in foods like tofu, cottage cheese, eggs, chicken, salmon, red meat, chickpeas, almonds and peanuts. Resistant starch Resistant starch is a type of fibre that ‘resists digestion’ and becomes available as food to our good gut bacteria. The bacteria turn it into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are the main source of energy for the cells lining our colon. SCFA’s help maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall and give us energy to feel good. The cooking and cooling of starches makes the starch crystals become more resistant to digestion, nourishing the good bacteria. Good food sources of resistant starch include green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, rice and pasta, legumes and oats. Antioxidants – like cocoa powder Cocoa powder is high in antioxidants, mainly flavonoids that may positively impact the brain. The darker the chocolate, the greater the percentage of cocoa and the greater the impact on our mood. Dark chocolate, berries, kale, cabbage and some nuts are all high in antioxidants.
Top Five Gut Friendly Foods 1. LEGUMES Legumes (eg. lentils, chickpeas, beans) are a nutrient powerhouse for the gut microbiota. They are not only high in resistant starch, but have a ‘second meal effect’, which means they nourish the gut bacteria so well that they keep you feeling more satisfied into the next meal or next day. Including them in a diverse, plantbased diet of over 30 different plant foods a week will ensure we have plenty of diverse microbes living in our intestine. 2. PUMPERNICKEL BREAD Some fibre is food for our good gut microbes and pumpernickel bread has a great range of these fibres to nourish the gut microbiota. Eating a range of wholegrains and plants is recommended to get the prebiotics we need. Other great sources include rolled oats, brown rice and quinoa. 3. KEFIR Fermented foods contain good microbes and the research around kefir is particularly good. Although not all fermented foods contain live probiotics (such as sourdough and tofu), they all feed our gut.
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4. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO) EVOO contains an antioxidant called oleocanthal which is particularly good at reducing inflammation in the body. Other antioxidants(polyphenols) can be found in nuts, seeds and oily fish to help reduce inflammation and support good gut health. 5. WATER Good hydration is important for good gut health. Clear or pale-yellow urine is a sign you’re well hydrated. As a rule of thumb, start with two litres per day, more when you exercise. Our gut bacteria respond according to the different foods we eat. When we eat junk food, we’re more likely to be feeding the bad bacteria in the gut. This may lead to poor health and possibly even chronic conditions that are related to depression. Eating a whole foods diet is more likely to help lower inflammation and the risk of chronic health conditions. More research is needed on humans to confirm the links between food and mood, but the signs are looking good. Nicole Dynan, The Gut Health Dietitian, is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and an Accredited Sports Dietitian. She is passionate about helping you understand how your gut health impacts your wellbeing and how good nutrition can make a big difference to the way you feel. www.tghd.com.au
Caring for the
Living with Dementia Words by Tamara Krebs Founder & Co-CEO, Group Homes Australia
WE SHOULD CARE FOR OUR ELDERLY AND THOSE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA IN THE SAME WAY WE CARE FOR ANY VALUED PERSON IN OUR SOCIETY. OLDER PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AND SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN SOCIETY AND VALUED FOR THEIR LIFE WISDOM.
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HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO MOVE YOUR LOVED ONE INTO CARE? The most difficult question that carers ask is ‘When do you know that it’s time to move your loved one into care?’ It’s a difficult question, that many carers ask, and I don’t believe there is one clear answer for a right or wrong time to move into care. I do believe that the family knows when they’re struggling and the person with dementia is no longer benefiting from being home. They may be isolated, under-stimulated or even showing signs of distress. Carer fatigue is very common for people caring for someone with dementia. If the carer is at breaking point, that may be a good time to consider other care options. WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR MODEL OF CARE HAS BEEN SO SUCCESSFUL? GHA is innovative because we believe that people with dementia should be included in society, in the local community and should NOT be locked away. Our homes feel like regular domestic homes. Residents get involved in the cooking, baking, gardening, shopping, anything they find meaningful and purposeful. The GHA group home model is popular because the need for good care and accommodation is growing and people do not want to be institutionalised. By the end of 2019, we will have 11 homes. We have homes on the Northern Beaches, North Shore, Lower North Shore, Eastern Suburbs and expanding to the Inner West and Shireland. HOW SHOULD WE SUPPORT SOMEONE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA? Caring for someone living with dementia should be from a place of promoting dignity and choice. We need to support someone living with dementia to lead a normal life with opportunities to do everything they enjoy and love.
MY TOP TIPS FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE A LOVED ONE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA: • Make sure you have support • Respite for the carer is important • Educate yourself https://grouphomes.com.au
Apollo Extension Table
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Inspired by Life, Created for A
ussies are renowned for their love of the great outdoors, backyard BBQs and balcony dining. Fortunately, we have a fantastic climate to support this obsession. To enhance our lifestyle, OSMEN have created a range of stylish and beautifully crafted outdoor furniture. Each piece is built to withstand the intense Australian conditions with clever designs to suit all spaces. From compact balconies and courtyards to expansive outdoor living rooms and pool areas, OSMEN help you entertain and relax outdoors in quality, comfort and style.
Link 4-Piece Lounge Suite
Koala Hanging Chair
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Starting nearly 20 years ago as a supplier to leading Australian retailers including Freedom and Domayne, OSMEN now have eight showrooms of their own. Their reputation has been built on quality and innovation, with multiple global awards for excellence in manufacturing, design and quality standards. Their team of international designers are passionate about delivering beautifully hand-crafted pieces using the finest rattan and world-renowned Sunbrella materials. Delivering outstanding furniture that will stand the test of time is the number one priotiry.
Milo Extension Table
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SKAAL Sun Lounge
At OSMEN, we pride ourselves on bringing you a beautiful range of the latest in prestige, all-weather furniture. We aim to share our passion for excellence in design by ensuring you have access to the highest quality furniture and accessories. Our dedication to world-class quality extends to service and after sales care, bringing you an unforgettable experience.
Eden Dining Table
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Alexandria Homemaker Centre 49-59 Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Riordan Street Artarmon HomeHQ 1 Frederick Street Auburn Showroom 276-278 Parramatta Road Belrose Supa Centre 4-6 Niangala Close Chatswood Chase Sydney 345 Victoria Avenue Hills Super Centre 16-18 Victoria Avenue & Showground Road Penrith Homemaker Centre 303 Mulgoa Road Smithfield Warehouse & Showroom 134 Gipps Road
O S M E N .CO M .AU # O S M E N F UR N I T UR E c f O S M E N F UR N I T UR E
The Power of
Plants Words by Mark Paul
ARE YOU THINKING OF INVESTING IN A GREENWALL? MARK PAUL DIVES IN AND LETS YOU IN ON ALL THE TIPS, TRICKS, BENEFITS AND WHAT NOT TO-DOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WHEN IT COMES TO GREENWALLS AND GREENROOFS.
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o what exactly is a greenwall? Greenwalls are soilless vertical gardens grown on the surface of built structures. Greenwalls, also known as ‘living walls’ or ‘green facades’, are an innovative way to green a vertical bland surface. Greenwalls and greenroofs offer a number of incredible benefits, whether they are installed inside or out. These range from practical advantages to health and wellbeing benefits. Greenwalls are definitely more than just a pretty face.
BENEFITS OF GREENWALLS? 1. AESTHETIC APPEAL Greenwalls are lush, beautiful and can completely transform a space from plain to unique! Greenwalls are a great way to spruce up an area and can be viewed as a living art piece. Great on the eye and great for the environment. Put that dusty old painting away and install a gorgeous greenwall! 2. IMPROVED AIR QUALITY There are a number of harmful fumes and contaminants in the air that we breathe, especially indoors, such as dust particles, formaldehyde, VOCs, carbon monoxide and many others. 3. NOISE LEVEL REDUCTION When placed inside, greenwalls can help reduce noise levels. The plants in the greenwall block high frequency sounds and the structure it is built on can help reduce low frequency noise. 4. ENERGY COST REDUCTION Greenwalls can help reduce both cooling and heating requirements, which further decrease our carbon emissions. In the warmer months, the plants in greenwall help cool the air through the process of transpiration. During winter, the living wall acts as extra insulation, which helps to retain heat, while also blocking the cool air from coming in. 5. LOW MAINTENANCE Living walls require very little attention to upkeep. The wall can be left to grow out and can be maintained a couple of times a year, depending on the look you are after. Each greenwall built by The Greenwall Company has its own unique automated irrigation system, so they don’t need to be manually watered!
GREENWALLS ARE A NATURAL AIR FILTER. THE PLANTS IN THE GREENWALL HELP METABOLISE TOXINS IN THE AIR, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME RELEASING OXYGEN INTO THE AIR, BUT AT A MUCH LARGER SCALE THAN THE USUAL POTTED PLANTS.
Over a 12-month period, a standard panel only requires the equivalent of 4.5 showers worth of water to maintain, with future plans to use black water. 6. HEALTH AND WELLBEING BENEFITS A number of studies have found that green space and plants have a soothing and relaxing psychological effect. A Texan study of post-surgery patients recovering in hospitals showed further health benefits, recording quicker recovery and less chance of relapse if patients could look out onto green space. It also revealed that greenery is great for stress relief.
DOES A GREENWALL SUIT A CITY DWELLER LIFESTYLE? Yes! As apartment living becomes more popular, along with the growing trend in green living, traditional gardening solutions in small spaces are hard to navigate and can often make balconies cluttered and messy. Greenwalls are a great way to add greenery to any home and are also great for the environment.
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EVERYONE LOVES A BIT OF GREENERY AND LIVING IN A SMALL SPACE IS NO EXCUSE. GREENWALLS ARE THE NEW APARTMENT MUST-HAVE.
The great thing about apartment greenwalls is not only do they look great and become the feature of the property, but you don’t need to worry about physically watering them. The irrigation system is set on timers so they maintain themselves and there’s no need to get the neighbours in to water the garden when you go on holidays. With smaller land space available, and the cost and time of maintenance of regular garden beds and potted plants now a luxury, self-irrigated greenwalls have become a great solution for people who want to green their balcony or backyard in style, minus the work.
Mark Paul is a horticulturist and Director of The Greenwall Company. He holds several national design awards and currently holds the title of Australian Horticulturist of the Year. https://greenwall.com.au/
c f www.diphano.com # VENICE EXTENTION TABLE
• Alexandria • Artarmon • Auburn • Belrose • Chatswood • Castle Hill • Penrith • Smithfield Visit our 8 showroom in Sydney and website for a huge range of premium quality outdoor furniture at the fairest price.
13009 OSMEN or 02 9732 8288 OSMEN.COM.AU
A principal dancer for Shen Yun Performing Arts, Miranda Zhou-Galati is one of the company’s most veteran dancers. Over the course of her 13 years onstage with Shen Yun — about half her life — she has continually striven to improve and reach new heights.
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The Beauty of Divine Beings Dancing DANCER MIRANDA ZHOU-GALATI TELLS US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO GET INTO THE ROLE OF A GODDESS.
Text by Tara dos Santos
Photo by Bill Xie
lassical Chinese dancer Miranda Zhou-Galati says one of the most interesting roles she has played over the course of her 13 years with Shen Yun Performing Arts is that of a bodhisattva statue. In Eastern traditions, bodhisattvas are deities who help people. In the dance Awakening, a military general felt wrenching remorse when he saw the mourning widow and children of a man he had killed in battle. He decided to stop fighting and become a monk. His profound piety caused miracles to occur around him, with a bodhisattva statue (played by Zhou-Galati) coming to life and revealing to him splendid heavenly scenes. “I wanted to convince the audience that I was truly made of stone,” she says. “It was a challenge to stand still for more than a minute at the beginning of the dance, trying not to flinch or even blink.” She did convince them she was a statue. “I recall the audience gasping at the moment I came to life in this dance piece, and at those moments, I felt it was truly rewarding.”
I DON’T WANT TO BE ME, MIRANDA, DANCING THIS CHARACTER. I REALLY HAVE TO DIVE INTO THE CHARACTER’S FEELINGS OR EMOTIONS AT THE TIME. IT HAS TO HAVE CONVICTION.
Zhou-Galati helped the audience experience the miracle themselves, not just watch as the generalturned-monk experienced it. She also did her best to truly embody the divine compassion of the bodhisattva, as though a real bodhisattva was on stage in front of them. It’s important to become the character, not just play the character, she says. “I don’t want to be me, Miranda, dancing this character. I really have to dive into the character’s feelings or emotions at the time. It has to have conviction.” Zho-Galati is one of Shen Yun’s most veteran dancers and has played numerous characters, from Mulan to the Lady of the Moon. Shen Yun creates a whole new programme each year, bringing to the stage many Chinese legends, modern heroic tales and scenes inspired by China’s diverse landscapes and ethnic cultures. “Chinese classical dance has a lot of depth behind it; it’s formed through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” Zhou-Galati says. China has been known
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as the ‘Celestial Empire’ — a land where the divine and mortal once coexisted and where the culture is believed to be divinely inspired. “I feel that connection to the divine and respect for the divine. A lot of those connections are lost in modern times,” says Zhou-Galati. “I think that’s why it’s so important we revive this Chinese culture. Its essence is very profound. I think that’s why a lot of people, when they see the show, they’re deeply moved.” She recalls how audience members approached her and other dancers when they were boarding their tour bus in Long Beach, California. “They were embracing our dancers; with their eyes almost tearing up, they expressed their deep gratitude and said that Shen Yun is doing something truly great,” she says. “They expressed how the show gave them hope.” The name Shen Yun means “the beauty of divine beings dancing.” Maturing as a dancer has helped Zhou-Galati focus more on truly becoming one of those divine beings onstage. “At the beginning, you
Photo by Bill Xie
Zhou-Galati is preparing to play four very different characters for the 2019 tour, a challenge she relishes. She has spent many years continually perfecting her dancing and is now really focused on authentically portraying her charactersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; unique personalities onstage.
I THINK WHATEVER’S ON THE INSIDE IS SHOWN TO THE AUDIENCE, TOO.
need the basics — flexibility, form and postures have to be accurate — but I think after a while, to improve, one must mature in performance, to really become the character.” When Zhou-Galati plays a heavenly being, it’s a profound experience to get into a role that’s entirely pure and good. Zhou does a spiritual cultivation practice called Falun Dafa, which is also rooted in ancient Chinese traditions. Its main principles are truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. “I feel if my self-cultivation improves, so does my performance,” she says. “I think whatever’s on the inside is shown to the audience, too.” When she puts her mind to really becoming the heroes of China’s history, it also helps her improve herself. She internalizes some of the heroes’ traits and they remain with her. For example, Mulan is a figure in Chinese legend who protected her ailing father by dressing as a man and taking his place in a military draft. Mulan earned great honours in battle. Zhou-Galati lists Mulan’s traits, which she had to embody to play her. “She showed courage, bravery, selflessness, filial piety, internal strength,
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perseverance, humble character, strength and many more of the characteristics of a real hero.” Zhou-Galati, 26, has now been a professional classical Chinese dancer for about half her life and has never considered any other path. She also learned ballet as a child and has always loved to dance. She grew up in Canada, the daughter of a Chinese mother and Italian father. As a part of Shen Yun, she has enjoyed learning about the rich cultural heritage of China. “Each year before the tour, I remind myself to cherish every show and every tour,” she says. “To keep the same motivation, ambition and diligence as when I first took up this career path.” “You can always portray the character more accurately, move with more fluidity and execute techniques with more ease,” she says. “Dance is an art form that can never be satisfied and one can always consistently improve oneself and gain new insights and wisdom.”
For 2020 shows https://www.shenyun.com
©Shen Yun Performing Arts
Born and raised in Toronto, Zhou-Galati’s heritage is half Chinese and half Italian. Her Italian father has become one of her biggest fans after seeing her success onstage and the beauty of Shen Yun. Her mother is also delighted to see her immersed in China’s traditional culture.
Ready.In-flight Jet.BeautyGo... Tips WHEN YOU HOP ON YOUR NEXT FLIGHT, MAKE SURE YOU TAKE BEAUTY’S BEST MINI-ME PRODUCTS ALONG FOR THE RIDE. RICH, NOURISHING CREAMS, OILS, SERUMS AND MASKS ENSURE INFLIGHT HYDRATION FOR THIRSTY SKIN. THERE’S TEENY HIGH-END FRAGRANCES TO POP IN YOUR PURSE, IN-YOUR-POCKET HAIR STYLING AND LITTLE LUXURIOUS LIPPIE. DON’T FORGET MEDITATION AIDS THAT TURN FLIGHT TIME INTO DOWN TIME. ARRIVE PAP READY! Cleo Glyde Beauty Editor
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1 CHLOE Les Minis Chloe: Chloe Signature EDP, Chloe EDT, Nomade Chloe $65 each (20ml) 1800 812 663 2 AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES Anti-Ageing Intensive Oil $114 (15ml) www.aromatherapyassociates.com.au 3 MANICARE Rotary Nail Clippers $10.99, www.manicare.com.au 4 A’KIN Lavender & Anthyllis Leave-in Conditioner $19.95 (150ml) www.akin.com.au 5 ENDOTA Time For You Hydration & Meditation Pack $80 www.endotaspa.com.au 6 BONDI BOOST Activated Charcoal Mask $39.95 (100ml) www.bondiboost.com.au 7 BONDI BOOST Dry Shampoo + Styling Powder $24.95 (50ml) www.bondiboost.com.au 8 AMPERNA Hyaluronic Serum $70 (50ml) www.amperna.com 9 CHANEL La Creme Main $87 (50ml) David Jones and Myer 10 GUERLAIN Le Rose Perfecto lipstick $59 Sephora 11 SILK EYE Lavender Silk Eye Mask $69 www.silkonly.com.au 12 SISLEY Express Flower Gel Mask $160 (60ml) www.sisley-paris.com.au 13 SISLEY Hair Ritual Protective Hair Fluid $120 (150ml) www.sisley-paris.com.au 14 MAAEMO Vitalize Face Elixir $59.95 (30ml) www.maaemo.com.au 15 LA ROCHE-POSAY Toleriane Overnight Moisturiser $41.95 (40ml) www.laroche-posay.com.au 16 BURT’S BEES Hydrating Sheet Mask 1 800 813 661 17 DMK SKINCARE Travel Collection $330 www.dmkskin.com.au 18 AMAZONIA Raw Pre-Probiotic $49.95 (120g) www.nourishedlife.com.au 19 LANOLIPS Tinted Balm SPF 30 in Rose (12.5g) www.lanolips.com/au/ 20 MANICARE Travel Cosmetics Jars (2 Pack) $5.99 www.manicare.com.au
The Beauty of
Asia Words: Cleo Glyde
ASIA’S LANGUOROUS BEAUTY AND CULTURAL RICHNESS IS A CONSTANT LURE FOR WELLNESS TRAVELLERS LOOKING TO RELAX, BUT A SPA STAY CAN ALSO BE THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO INDULGE IN BEAUTY RITUALS THAT DEEPEN THE ENJOYMENT OF AN IDYLLIC SETTING. WHETHER YOU ARE EN ROUTE IN ONE OF ASIA’S BIGGEST TRANSIT HUBS, OR STAYING A WHILE TO REJUVENATE IN THE NATURAL WORLD, THESE HOTELS OFFER A MYRIAD OF WAYS TO BE A DIVA WITH YOUR DOWNTIME, FROM HAIR TREATMENTS STRAIGHT FROM THE KITCHEN GARDEN TO A WORLD FAMOUS MANICURE.
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OPPOSITE: Away Spa vitality pool. The wet area by night. i
WHotel - Sentosa Cove, Singapore T
he W brand prides itself on blasting the chain hotel blahs away with a vibrant, nightclub feel that says ‘we are anything but boring and corporate.’ With contemporary art emblazoned across all public spaces, intuitive lighting and music pumping, the spatial dynamics are all about high energy - the perfect backdrop for a Personal Training session at FIT, the enormous, inky black gym. Casual PT sessions are a great way to turbocharge travel fitness after plane-induced inertia, jet lag and time changes, and course correct. We may think that we are winning at life when we work the gym equipment solo, but an expert guide makes all the difference. My affable-but-firm W trainer hauled me out of my comfort zone as he cherry picked machines that I had never even noticed before - so that’s a rowing machine? - to train a different set of muscles; corrected my posture and pushed me far longer and further than I push myself. We also moved onto free weights, squats, even the addictive Power Vibration Machine. These are designed to jiggle your body at such high frequency
that your blood flow increases by just passively standing on them. Which we love. Not today, said my trainer. Instead, I did three series of leg lifts onto the machine while it shuddered and rattled, boosting the benefits of rapid movement by stretching the muscle. After a workout that left no stone unturned, including abs, I realised how much longer than usual I had sustained the 60% capacity heart rate required to hit the fat zone. I left inspired by an elevated awareness of what by lungs and heart can actually do. A long session of hydrotherapy in the long, meandering spa flooded with W’s signature nightclub lighting is the reward, so plan for some time in the bubbles after your workout. The W’s gigantic outdoor pool is designed to be as much of a party space as the lobby bars (once you dive in, you can even order food or drink from the water), but it’s worth lingering for a languid nocturnal swim, particularly idyllic amongst the twinkling coloured lights and marina atmosphere of Sentosa Cove. www.marriott.com/W_Hotels/Singapore
Akyra Beach Club, Phuket
LEFT: Beach Cabanna. Aqua Yoga in the Resort pool
f you’re looking to do Thailand differently, then head north instead and experience the island at Thai speed - far more slowly. Pilai Beach is situated among the rubber farms and non-touristy villages of the Takua Thung District, where real life spills out of the shops and onto the street. Birdsong fills the air from hanging cages; women brush their children’s hair as grandmothers prepare vegetables out on the patio next to miniaturised home altars covered in gaily covered ribbon and sea monsters twirling around columns. Even the coastline is full of local families visiting temples or picnicking, and many stretches are even empty. It is nice to see Thai people going about their business, a welcome escape from the fakeness of mass tourism. Akyra rewards travellers with time, space and authenticity - and encourages a more active lifestyle with its Beach Club program. Rather than a rigorous bootcamp approach, the schedule is structured and guests choose from a daily menu that accentuates cultural immersion and better health. The elemental force of water is instantly decompressing. Villas flow onto pool space; the gentle hiss of the Andaman Sea is a constant, calming
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backdrop. Mornings are designed to be physically active: a session of Thai kickboxing for cardiovascular conditioning and leg strength, as well as stress relief, or over-water yoga is scheduled before breakfast. The floating yoga mats are steady and sturdy, but each pose requires more core strength and mental intention than floor work, so it’s a great way for yoga practitioners to up the ante and try a new way to practice. Afternoon games such as volleyball, football, coconut bowling or bamboo stick running are a way to enjoy the zing of ionised air and sheer beauty of the beach while staying active, and you can add in excursions to the nearby turtle rescue hatchery and natural springs, as well as spa treatments. True to the ‘live well, eat well’ philosophy, the Thai and Western menus are replete with fresh juices and healthy options: ceviche on beds of greens, green crab, seafood barbecue, ginger or lemongrass iced tea, Health Booster mocktails and guilt-free desserts like homemade paleo bars that are delicious, yet surreally guilt-free. With the holistic underpinning of constant, ever-changing exercise, delicious natural cuisine, plenty to see and do, and a pool to - literally - fall into each morning straight from bed, a week at the Akyra is as refreshing as the mango and coconut foam dessert!
The oppulent entrance to the Majestic Spa
The Majestic Spa, Kuala Lumpur T
his historic jewel of a hotel invites you to not only step inside, but turn back time. Tucked away from the sultry air and hubbub of the city, the heritage hideaway is a clubby recreation of colonial chic, where original deco architecture, 1920s jazz piping throughout, cocktails (or mocktails if you’re behaving) in the plush Library Lounge and a glorious afternoon tea with live music all cast a spell. The Majestic Spa dismisses the often soothing, yet bland, contemporary spa aesthetic and embraces a showstopping homage to the artistry of Scottish art deco architect/designer Charles Rennie Macintosh instead: the space is dominated by signature bold, graphic geometrics in bright colours and white wood, truly lifting the spirits before the treatment even begins. Treatments take place in the grandeur of airy, high-ceiling spaces and the ‘Brit aboard’ sensibility of the hotel is evoked with rituals such as English Afternoon Tea and Queen Victoria’s Lavender. The monarch’s favourite herb still works a treat, being one of nature’s great natural curatives and calmants.
After deep breathing and aromatherapy, dead cells are exfoliated, a lavender and aloe gel mask becomes the ultimate anti-bacterial treat for skin, and skin drinks up the de-stressing potency of lavender oil during a massage. Three-hour treatments are so deeply hypnotic you’ll want to linger in the hotel in a delicious comatose state afterwards. The fun part: you can dip your toe into the city by lounging by the pool all afternoon, which overlooks the romantically crumbling Oriental Palace style neighbouring buildings and city bustle. The 20-acre Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Asia’s largest covered aviary, is only a brief walk away. A twilight stroll through the Perdana Botanical Gardens, as the screechs and cawing of exotic animals intermingle with the eerily beautiful Adhan call to prayer, is a twilight pleasure in the middle of Malaysia’s capital.
Datai, Langkawi M
ost would agree that the rainforest is one of earth’s most magical environments. The triumph of the Datai is that it has created the chance for a traveller to play lux Robinson Crusoe, losing themselves on the edge of Datai Bay’s 10 million-year-old rainforest, yet enjoying A-list luxury all the way. The first sweeping panorama beyond the Adults Only pool, across the lush forest canopy to the sea, makes for a jaw-dropping welcome. Since its debut in 1993, when the Datai first introduced luxury travellers to Langkawi Island, it has been one of Asia’s most palatial spas. Now reopened after a spectacular renovation that remains sensitive to the original vision of a true rainforest hotel, wellness travellers can once more take the long and winding road through teak trees to Datai Bay, 20 km west of Kuah. With its on-site naturalist, sky-high treehouse and wide beach teeming with tiny miniature crabs, The Datai regards itself more as a custodian of this forest paradise in the Straits of Malacca than just a resort. Of course it offers a rare chance to lie on a Malaysian beach while looking out to Thailand, as the Mimosa trolley glides by with freshly squeezed orange juice and Moet - and exquisite Thai, Malay and European bistro cuisine always within reach. The concept of ‘natural as the new luxury’ is exemplified by The Datai Spa’s partnership with French podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez, who accentuates intact cuticles and healthy, shiny nails that lets the pink peek through - rather revolutionary in this age of revolving door, urban nail barns that snip away cuticles designed to protect the nail bed from infection and use highly chemical products to clean and colour nails. The winding wooden pathway that threads through the spa’s lush riverside setting truly is the Yellow Brick Road to better nails. The Pedi:Mani:Cure experience involves one practitioner working on feet, and the other on hands, while you sink back on a soft bed. The nails’ dead skin, ridges and white spots are removed with a light, gentle drill; the shape is tapered to perfection with glass files and - with no polish in sight - nails are buffed to a light reflective shine that looks just as gleaming
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and glamorous as colour. Leaving the nail exposed to oxygen and chemical free - yet picture-pretty - is a fantastic solution for women looking to phase out the ‘nasties’ in their beauty routine, which is why Gonzalez makes instant converts of his celebrity clientele. The spa’s private pavilions are designed for lingering among the mangrove rainforest for hot stone massages and all-afternoon floral riverside bathing, mired in the herbal medicine tradition of Ramuan from Malay traditional culture. Ingredients and treatments used to nourish skin and hair - seaweed, exfoliating pearl, pandan leaves, blooms and spices from the rainforest, mangrove oil, black glutinous rice - evoke the forest and ocean setting. Mangrove-activated carbon detoxes the body, just as the rainforest purifies the air. The bedrock philosophy is that the rainforest and plant world are a source of not only food, but the health and outer beauty that flows from it. The more in synch we are with nature, the happier and more radiant we become. Spending plenty of quiet time on the platform after my treatment, rinsing myself down as traditional women have for centuries - with a simple wooden bowl - it became apparent what a difference it makes to really, truly stop. Over time, I became attuned to the mangroves, the tinkle of a stream, the light filtering through leaves, splashed and dappled onto the stones, then leapt back from the water as a squirrel leapt between branches. There are plenty of morning and evening nature walks and guided naturalist experiences for those wanting to learn more about the teeming life in the warm, calm sea and forest (children are soon mesmerised by the Macaques and Dusky Leaf monkeys). The tranquility of the pool and public, open-air lounges, as well as the tucked-away privacy of your own cloudy, four-poster beds and porch daybed among the giant, fan shaped palms, is also an invitation to stay as still as one of the huge monitor lizards baking in the sun. The Datai is back - with the same hushed, perfectionist service - and ready for its close-up. www.thedatai.com
ABOVE: The Datai Spa Sui Guests can get involved with activities RIGHT: The Datai by night
LEFT: The Spa is closely connected with nature.
Gaya Island Resort I
t only takes a short speed-boat ride from the laidback bustle of the Kota Kinabalu township to reach Gaya Island, but the minute its looming rainforest canopy, dotted with skyhigh villas, appears, it is officially time to decompress into island mode. As you glide through green waters and see the lush forest rising above the resort ahead, where macaques monkeys jump, prowl and make mischief, you have already left the world behind. The rainforests of Borneo are the largest stretch left in Southeast Asia, and there is a constant undercurrent of teeming life right at the edge of the Bornean wilderness, where lizards, fish and birds thrive among the mangroves and sheltered coral reefs, beyond the languid, sleepy feel of gigantic vines trailing from trees, hammocks strung between palms and magnificent, far reaching, 200-degree views out to the waterways of Malohom Bay from a lounging balcony. Once you are perched high up in your villa, watching the gardener comb the beach with the lazy swoosh of his rake, or a distant boat jet off into the tangerine sunset, the wonder of living in an aquatic playground starts to work its magic. The Gaya Island Spa’s garden setting, open plan interiors, dramatic cathedral height and glass walls that tilt open to let the rainforest flood in, all conjure a sense of place, as do the menu’s healing traditions from Sabah’s indigenous peoples. Guests are served a distinctive, delicious homemade elixir on arrival that guests can easily recreate at home: pineapple, guava, star anise and chilli. The massive oversized decks, pavilions and mature palms, lit up prettily at night, make the spa a destination space in itself,
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and treatments are extensive, so plan to let the whole afternoon unfurl there. The Sabah Scent Adventure oil ceremony taps into the power of scent to reflect and elevate your mood. Aromatherapist Irene Yonge explores over a dozen anonymous scents sourced from the plant world and forest, helping the guest slowly build and balance their own blend from whatever their mind, body and spirit is drawn to, in a ritualistic way. It’s an intuitive, instinctive experience - a welcome relief from the more cerebral approach that dictates most modern life. It forces you to stay still, unspool from overthinking everything and just let your inner knowing take over. “I can tell so much about people by the oils they choose,” laughs Yonge. Together, we customise my enlivening oil blend: lemongrass, rosewood and geranium, a scent I seem to repeatedly come back to (it is prized as a great hormone balancer and anxiety reliever). The spa rooms flow onto a deck overlooking trees that jut high above the canopy, entangled with foliage, adding to the barefoot luxury feel of the jungle-inspired treatments: everything is natural and made from scratch, so it’s a wonderful foray into the world of zero packaging, chemicals or branding for those interested in trying their own kitchen garden recipes. “Our spa rituals are an exploration of hair, face, bodywork and skin,” explains Yonge, who conducts the entire afternoon treatments as well. “It all comes together in an experience.” The scent of ingredients - so natural that they are edible - adds a lovely, spoon-lickingly good olfactory dimension. The body scrub is made from corn and red
rice, a great cell scrubber, with avocado and added cinnamon to heat skin and kickstart circulation. Rice is a cornerstone of the spa experience: it’s an ingredient in both body and face scrubs, and rice pouches are used during the Urutan Pribumi Indigenous Massage, adding diffused pressure and spreading heat, which melts away inflammation of the joints as it seeps through. This also aids the local Borneo tradition of kneading out knots along the shoulder, back and spine with deep pressure and pulling flesh on the sciatic areas, helping get the blood flow unstuck. “Local people all go for massage here, we love it. It’s just a normal everyday practice.” The fragrant facial, including cleanser, moisturiser and toner, is seaweed based, an antioxidant powerhouse prized in Borneo as a culinary and beauty ingredient. Again, nature’s larder is a source. The sour tartness of yoghurt makes an excellent exfoliant: the lactic acid blends with avocado seed, rice and cinnamon powder for a circulation booster. Honey’s antiseptic, antioxidant power makes it a rich skin nourisher, applied on skin with corn flour. The conditioning hair treatment and scalp-soothe
blends one whole avocado, famous for its moisturising properties, with three tablespoons of coconut milk and one tablespoon of orchid oil from a local supplier. The recipe makes a heavenly hair mask that is both cleansing and conditioning, with no lingering chemical smell, and your hair texture feels amazingly soft afterwards. It really deepens your connection to the natural world to have its powerful, yummy scent wafting off yoour skin and hair. Another excellent flow-on effect of all these natural ingredients is that you’re not creating any plastic packaging waste as a traveller. “We mix everything here,’’ says Yonge. “I need one hour to prepare, crushing the seeds and blending; there’s a lot to do. But if anyone wanted to recreate a spa day at home, they could easily get all these ingredients. And it’s so gentle on the body.” The velveteen feel of my skin, and thoroughly tamed, silken locks where wild curly hair used to be, has certainly inspired me to try natural beauty care at home - the perfect souvenir from a Gaya Island stay. www.gayaislandresort.com
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12 1 CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Melting Mask with Aloe Vera for hair $48 (200ml) www.adorebeauty.com.au | 2 AERIN Waterlily Sun Soap $40 (30ml) www.davidjones.com | 3 EVE LOM Radiance Face Oil $119 (30ml) www.mecca.com.au | 4 MISSONI EDP $115 (50ml) www.myer.com.au | 5 MANICARE Eye Gels 2-pack $6.99 www.priceline.com.au | 6 RIMMEL Festival Proof Collection Wonder-proof Eyeliner in Green $15 www.priceline.com.au | 7 RIMMEL Magnifâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;eyes Rainbow Eye Shadow Palette $15 www.priceline.com.au | 8 ROC Night Show Sunglasses in Smoke $65 www.roceyewear.com | 9 D.S. & DURGA Coriander EDP $268 (50ml) www.mecca.com.au | 10 YOUNG LIVING Essential Oil in Tranquil $64.90 (10ml) www.youngliving.com.au | 11 GUERLAIN Terracotta On-the-Go Healthy Face palette $103 www.davidjones.com | 12 LUBIN Princesses de Malabar EDP $299 (100ml) www.libertineparfumerie.com.au | 13 HAIR BY SAM MCKNIGHT Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist (Mini) $19 (50ml) www.mecca.com.au | 14 ONLY GOOD Body Wash in Delight $8.99 (445ml) www.priceline.com.au | 15 LANCOME Renergie Multi-Glow Rosy Skin Tone $165 (50ml) www.lancome.com.au | 16 PETER THOMAS ROTH Cucumber Gel Mask $81 (150ml) www.sephora.com.au
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@ikechoaustralia @ikechoaustralia www.ikecho.com.au
Spring Words: Cleo Glyde
AS THE DAYS GET LONGER, IT’S TIME TO TURN TO A FRAGRANCE THAT CAN COMPLEMENT THE NATURAL BOUNTY OF SPRING. THE SPARKLE OF FLORALS AND FRUIT SHINES, ATOP THE SENSUAL UNDERTOW OF THE FOREST FLOOR. YSL’S CHYPRE SCENT ADDS SOPHISTICATION TO A BERRY BOUQUET; ARMANI BRINGS WOODY PUNGENCY TO WET, WHITE PETALS AND TOM FORD ‘ELECTRIFIES’ TRADITIONAL LAVENDER WITH VIOLET AND TONKA BEAN. AND WE’RE PURLOINING AMOUAGE’S EPIC FROM THE GENTS THIS SEASON TO ADD A PINCH OF NUTMEG. ENJOY THE FRESHNESS OF THE MEADOW AND THE GARDEN - WITH A MUSKY, VERY GROWN UP TWIST OF SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE.
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1 GIORGIO ARMANI Light di Gioia $140 (100ml) David Jones/Myer | 2 GIORGIO ARMANI Si Fiori EDP $209 (100ml) David Jones/Myer | 3 TOM FORD Lavender Extreme EDP $460 (50ml) 1800 061 326 | 4 L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR Champ de Fleurs EDC $189 (100ml) agencedeparfum.com.au | 5 TRUDON PARFUMS Olim $299 (100ml) agencedeparfum.com.au | 6 SISLEY Eau du Soir $225 (50ml) sisleyparis.com.au | 7 AMOUAGE Epic Man $399 (100ml) agencedeparfum.com.au | 8 LUBIN Jardin Rouge EDP $169 (75ml) agencedeparfum. com.au | 9 YVES SAINT LAURENT Mon Paris EPD $225 (90ml) David Jones/Myer | 10 PENHALIGON’S The Impudent Cousin Matthew $379 (75ml) agencedeparfum.com.au | 11 BODY SHOP White Musk Flora EDT $39 (60ml) Body Shop | 12 ATKINSONS White Rose de Alix $218 (100ml) 1800 940578
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“ THERE IS ENOUGH SCIENCE ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF NATURE TO GET THE ATTENTION OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION. NATURE AS MEDICINE. JUST DON’T TELL BIG PHARMA.
Words by Jennifer Walsh with Beth McGroarty
magine going to your doctor and, instead of a prescription for some named or generic pharmaceutical, you instead receive a prescription for a 30-minute walk in nature. This is not actually that far-fetched. Put down the Prozac and pick up your walking shoes. Paracelsus, the 16th-century German-Swiss physician, wrote: “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician.” He could not have imagined the advent of the Smartphone, nor the 24/7, digitally enhanced, Instagram-able world. Much has been written about the evils (and glories) of technology, but the resulting dissociation from our natural surroundings leaves us emotionally and physically worse off. We are bereft of nature. Our bodies—and our minds—need nature. And there is hard science to prove it. In fact, there is enough science about the health benefits of nature to get the attention of the medical profession. Nature as medicine. Just don’t tell big Pharma. One contributing factor to this is shifting demographics - people are living in urban areas, often with little or no nature. In 1950, around 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. By 2018, that number was 55%, and by 2050, it will be 68%. With this spread unevenly around the world (for example, Northern America already has 82% of its population living in urban areas!), it’s clear that more people are living in settings with little - and sometimes no - nature. Not only has this resulted in a decrease in experiencing the joys of nature, it has also meant the healing power of nature is not readily available for most people in the world. At his office in Washington DC, Dr Robert Zarr, a pediatrician, writes prescriptions for parks. He pulls out a prescription pad and scribbles instructions - which local park his obese, diabetic, anxious or depressed patient should visit, on which days and for how long just as though he were prescribing medication. Zarr says it’s important to give concrete advice
instead of repeating the vague admonitions (exercise more! get outside!) that people are used to hearing. Zarr is part of a small but growing group of healthcare professionals who are essentially medicalising nature. He relies on a compendium of 382 local parks - the product of meticulous mapping and rating of green spaces based on accessibility, safety and amenities that he helped create for DC Park Rx, a community health initiative. The Washington program was one of the first in the United States; there are now at least 150 others. “We work with the doctors, nurses and health care providers around the country and show them why it’s so relevant to prescribe parks and how easy it is to do, so they can make it a part of their daily routine.” The group refers to this program as ‘Ecotherapy’. At the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) in Cesena, Italy, in 2018, we learned the impact of walking in nature from Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones, which examines the lifestyles of the world’s longestlived people. And what Buettner found is that these people - who mostly live to be over 100 - have regular movement engineered into their daily lives. “Blue zones centenarians didn’t reach 100 by running marathons, pumping iron or joining a gym. Instead, they stayed fit by doing their own housework and yard work, by maintaining a garden year-round, and by walking places instead of taking a car. My team calculates that the longest-lived people are moving every 20 minutes or so, instead of the American way of sitting at a desk or TV all day and hoping to make it up with 30 minutes at the gym,” says Buettner. While this may sound like a very proscribed and narrow existence - and by some standards it is - it is also very effective. Simple, it turns out, is powerful. Dan and his team are working on making more cities in America healthier through the Blue Zones Project. The power of nature is not new to GWS trendspotting. We first identified ‘forest bathing’ as a trend in our 2015 Trends Report. Citing Dr Qing Li, one of the world’s leading experts on the power of trees and spending time in nature, we presented research
and scientific studies conducted in the mid-1980s in Japan. Forest bathing continues to grow in interest and stature, now truly recognised as a healthful pursuit. As one walks in the forest, one is enveloped by the atmosphere - sounds, colours, scents and more - and the mindfulness that occurs as a result is a benefit as well. The book Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, released earlier in 2018 by Dr Li, is described as “the definitive guide to the therapeutic Japanese practice of shinrinyoku, or the art and science of how trees can promote health and happiness.” In October 2018, the National Health Service Shetland in Scotland rolled out what has been billed as ‘nature prescriptions’ to help treat a range of afflictions, including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. The doctors and nurses have been urged to hand out pamphlets that describe the health benefits of being outdoors, along with specific outdoor activities for people to engage in throughout the year. Dr Chloe Evans is a general practitioner on the island: “The benefits to patients are that it is free, easily accessible and allows increased connection with surroundings, which hopefully leads to improved physical and mental health for individuals.” Her practice first piloted the initiative last year. And if nature prescriptions are already popping up globally, it’s only a matter of time before the medical profession adopts this approach in hospitals as well. Roger Ulrich, PhD, published a landmark study
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‘View Through a Window May Influence Recovery from Surgery’ in the journal Science in 1984. 35 years later, architects, doctors and nurses agree that hospital gardens are not only back in style, but they are also a necessity, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. In a recent survey of 100 directors and architects of assistedliving residences, 82% agreed that “the design of outdoor space should be one of the most important considerations in the design.” LATEST RESEARCH There is a mountain of research on how time in nature impacts people’s physical and mental health, from lowering stress and blood pressure to increasing life expectancy. Which is why more doctors are now actually prescribing nature. But what’s the right dose? A new UK study (20,000 people) provides an answer - two hours a week. People who spent 120 minutes outdoors each week reported being in significantly better health and had a greater sense of wellbeing than those who didn’t get out. An hour, or an hour and a half, didn’t have as big an effect, and five hours didn’t seem to add extra health benefits. This positive impact was true for old and young, men and women, rich and poor.
An extract from the Global Wellness Institute www.globalwellnessinstitute.org
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