It’s all the rage – and oh so important – but which spas know their biome from their kimchi? Savant Spy finds out
The early days of gut health were confined to harsh Austrian medical spas - where multiple chewing and Epsom salts promised a complete detox and gut reset - or remote Ayurvedic retreats in which intermittent fasting, smoothies and viscous vegan diets enhanced and unblocked bodily function.
Nowadays anyone worth their wellness low-sodium salt is making collagen-rich bone broth, fermenting kimchi and popping pro- and pre-biotic supplements in the service of a healthy bowel. As spa spies, we have been there and done that – read about Scarlet Spy’s Goodwood’s Five-Day Gut Health retreat last year.
Here are some of the best UK gut health retreats to try – book now and your tum-tum will thank you later.
The Five-Day Ultimate Gut Health Reset is led by celebrity nutritionist Stephanie Moore (author of the instantly appealing Why Eating Less and Exercising More Makes You Fat); the organic Field to Fork menu harvested from Goodwood’s Home Farm. Whilst undergoing your intensive gut-overhaul, you can languish in the five-star spa facilities and bathe in the nature of the bucolic Goodwood Estate. The retreat includes a full body nutritional analysis, private consultation, abdominal massage, Epsom salt baths, daily group talks and guided walks.
Studies on the effects of CBD on gut health suggest that CBD treatments enhance the abundance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, reduce inflammation, and promote wellbeing and calm. Budock Vean Spa has a range of CBD oils which can be added to their treatment menu. Research on the Gut-Brain Axis suggests that lack of diversity in our gut microbiome can cause depression and anxiety, while chronic stress and high cortisol production can damage your gut flora. Made For Life treatments also focus on gentle healing and de-stressing for those recovering from traumas and illnesses.
In ancient Ayurveda texts, it is said that most illnesses, mental and physical, stem from poor digestion. This retreat combines the Clover Mill’s signature Ayurvedic programme with modern microbiology and psycho-neuro immunology, supercharging communication between your gut microbiome and nervous system. It includes Yoga and Yoga Nidra, Ayurvedic-prescribed meals, meditation, Ayurvedic massage and Talks and consultations to develop a personal plan of action for when you leave – if you can drag yourself away from your lakeside eco-chic cabin, that is.
A healthy spa lunch is one thing but The Retreat’s Refuel clinic takes it to another level. The Refuel Research Team has studied the effects and health benefits of countless herbs, natural ingredients, molecules and enzymes to produce holistic products to enhance skin, body and mind. Reset your guts with Ayurvedic Morning Ritual Bowls, purifying or recharging smoothies, CBD-infused water and after-treatment herbal infusions. The Dynamo Massage – as the name suggests – works on the Gut-Brain Axis to release toxins, reduce fatigue and restore physical and mental strength. Discuss your concerns with your Refuel Alchemist. No, really.
If you’re fed up with your cranky hormones, bloating and brain-fog, you may need to deal with the crux of your digestive problems before you want to slip on a cossie and go full retreat. Registered Naturopathic Nutritionist and health coach Kay Kaur, of Inspire Nutrition has set up shop at Pennyhill, and works with everything gut related, from autoimmunity to feeling ‘hangry’ and everything in between. Book a private consultation and get to the – ah - bottom of your issues.