This increasing demand for stress-relieving therapeutic treatments and longer-term lifestyle solutions has led to the development of a series of Stress and Burnout retreat programs at Kamalaya, an award winning wellness sanctuary and holistic spa on Koh Samui, Thailand.
“Excessive stress – from working too much, sleeping too little and trying to meet the constant demands in between – can lead to adrenal exhaustion,” says Karina Stewart, Kamalaya co-founder and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
“The adrenal hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, are produced in response to stress and impact a wide range of body systems. A prolonged response can put extra pressure on the cardiovascular system and at the same time cause a decrease in digestive activity; muscles contract causing tension; and the immune system is compromised. Over time, stress will negatively affect concentration and memory, mood, and quality and quantity of sleep; and it will lead to fatigue; weight loss or weight gain; as well as sensitivities and allergies.”
A few good nights’ sleep won’t resolve the problem, especially when symptoms are as severe as constant fatigue, low immunity, low blood pressure, joint pain and emotional states of apathy, despair and irritability.
“For a complete recovery from high stress, you need to target both the physical and emotional condition by adopting an holistic approach that incorporates diet, exercise and therapies that restore and maintain the physical and emotional balance long-term.”
Karina Stewart has developed three unique Stress and Burnout programs at the Thailand health resort which cater for varying levels of stress:
Relax and Renew – the gentlest of the Stress and Burnout programs, it uses healing treatments (such as head, foot and body massage) to achieve relaxation and renew energy.
Asian Bliss – a nourishing program for people feeling depleted, anxious, nervous or overwhelmed. It focuses on the Asian healing traditions of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Thailand to support the nervous system and restore emotional and psychological balance.
Balance and Revitalise – a more intensive program designed for chronic stress. It adopts a combination of eastern and western medicine and a long-term approach to stress management, incorporating nutrition and lifestyle changes, as well as stress release therapies and deeper therapeutic treatments. Guests can select the Basic program or opt for the Comprehensive package, which includes deeper support through the use of herbal remedies and supplements.
“Some guests arrive at breaking point, whereas others are seeking ‘time out’ to relax and rejuvenate, and we guide them through the program that most suits their needs,” said Karina.
Can’t get away? Karina suggests the following ways to restore balance and optimise recovery from stress no matter where you are:
– Early to bed. Prepare by winding down 30-60 minutes before going to bed between 9pm and 10pm each evening, and aim for eight hours sleep.
– Practice meditation daily. Start with a quiet nature walk and simply sit still for 5 minutes.
– Mindfulness. Take 10 minutes in a day to ‘slow down’ and increase your sense of awareness.
Focus on your breathing and sensory inputs such as how things feel, the sounds around you, smells and tastes. This will have a stabilising effect and bring in positive energy.
– Exercise. Small to moderate amounts of exercise can improve energy, mood and vitality.
– Eating and drinking. Eat warm, cooked foods that nourish the body as these support the repair process, particularly when they include protein. Minimise raw foods and cold beverages.
– Avoid sugar, herbal stimulants, refined carbohydrates and deep fried and oily foods.
– Avoid stimulants such as coffee and relaxants such as alcohol which might make you feel good in the short-term, but zap energy and damage health in the long term.
Karina’s favourite tea:
Mulberry Leaf Tea – it is very rejuvenating as it naturally supports the body’s production of the human growth hormone. It has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and also enhances sleep quality. It is also high in natural occurring ‘GABA’, a neurotransmitter that makes us feel alert, but calm so it can soother the experience of emotional stress and nervous tension.
For further information about Kamalaya, including viewing Kamalaya’s Healthy Lifestyle video series, nutritious recipes and lifestyle advice, visit www.Kamalaya.com