By Jo Foley
This story originally appeared in the Hotels, Resorts and Spas issue of Elite Traveler.
Need help managing the process of aging? Spas around the world offer a wealth of programs designed to do just that.
It’s a three-letter word that causes more anxiety and panic than any word three times its length: age. As a noun, “age” describes everything from a period in history to how many years we have accrued in life. However, in adjectival form – “aged” or “aging” – it can drive terror into the heart of man or woman. Aging is what happens to all of us day by day. We cannot prevent it or alter it, no matter how hard we try and no matter how many extreme measures we take.
The aging process begins the very moment we are born. It is a process we wish we could speed up as we move through our childhood and teens; one we enjoy through the confidence that success in life and career bestows; and one we start to dread as our movements slow down, our skin acquires a different patina and tone, and our hair gets sparser or coarser. It’s a process that highlights the fact that we are getting older.
Even though getting old is inevitable, that does not mean we should necessarily accept any acceleration in the process. To begin with, ignore anything that is headlined “anti-aging.”We may all be against the idea, but there is nothing we can do to stop it.
What we can do is manage our own aging process and our expectations. Let’s try to embrace the process – it really is not that difficult, and so much of it is in our own hands. The key to a happier and healthier approach to aging is in how we manage it and how we make all the elements work for us. Best of all, there are any number of people and places around to help us, not to mention an abundance of advice.
Erbusco, Italy: Espace Henri Chenot
At the Relais & Châteaux property of L’Albereta, surrounded by the Franciacorta vineyards, the state-of-the-art Espace Henri Chenot has a seven night regenerating program where the biological age of all the body’s functions is deciphered before a bespoke regimen is prescribed.This process covers everything from body-composition analysis to arterial-age assessment and the measuring of heavy-metal and mineral intoxification. After a series of therapies and treatments, guests are introduced to the Chenot Bio-Light diet, alongside exercises, infusions and dietary supplements. They leave feeling fitter, lighter and mentally younger.
Contact Dr Roberto Dell’Avanzato ,medical spa director, firstname.lastname@example.org, +39 030 776 28 01
Geneva, Switzerland: Nescens Better Aging Retreat
If you feel you need help in kick-starting the age management process, a four-day Nescens Better Aging Retreat is available at La Réserve in Geneva. Here, with the help of doctors, nutritionists and osteopaths, as well as a selection of beauty treatments, a bespoke program will be prescribed for you. Everything starts with the doctor, who through a detailed examination of both your medical history and lifestyle – including stress levels and sleep patterns – prescribes therapies, exercise and diet. (The latter, of course is sugar-, wheat-, caffeine- and alcohol-free for the duration of the retreat.)
Contact Marianna Heurtel, spa manager, email@example.com, +41 22 959 59 99
Tucson, AZ, US: Canyon Ranch
Book yourself into Canyon Ranch, deep in the Sedona Desert. For almost 40 years, it has specialized in integrative and preventive medicine by harnessing the best of Eastern and Western research and practices. The Healthy Aging Program is one of myriad regimens and therapies available, including weight management and exercise assessment. A host of specialists and therapists – nutritionists, physiologists and physiotherapists, not to mention a bevy of beauty therapists – is on hand. One of the most popular spa offerings is Gait Analysis, which literally analyzes how you stand and walk. Many of our spinal and postural problems begin in our feet; if we don’t stand or walk properly, our entire body can be thrown out of line, thereby causing problems from our knees all the way up to our neck – and even more so as we get older.
For pre-treatment screening, call +1 800 742 9000 or visit reservations.canyonranch.com
Montreux, Switzerland: Clinique La Prairie
For more than three quarters of a century, Clinique La Prairie in Montreux has been at the forefront of a holistic approach to wellness, offering medical services and dietetics with well-being and spa treatments. Its scientifically based knowledge and expertise are brought to bear on revitalization,weight management, better mobility and sleep. Medical services include everything from orthopedic to cosmetic surgery, plus expert help on cardiology, dermatology and gynecology. Clinique La Prairie also has one of the best menopause centers in Europe. However, its unique selling point has always been its patented cell therapy, devised to increase energy levels and boost the immune system, which has a
rejuvenating effect on the body and its organs. Before embarking on this, each guest has to undergo a thorough medical examination.
Contact Maria Gil, sales & reservations agent, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 21 989 34 66
Estoril, Portugal: Estoril Wellness Center
Portugal’s premier aging expert Dr Pinto Coelho, who runs a number of programs about dealing with the aging process at Palácio Estoril’s wellness center, makes it sound simple. His thesis suggests that the way we age depends on how we manage and optimize our individual software through nutrition, exercise and stress control, alongside other lifestyle choices such as reducing toxins, taking dietary supplements and monitoring our hormone levels, which decrease annually by approximately one to two percent from the age of 35. Needless to say, staying healthy is top of the list in age management. This need not be as difficult as it sounds, provided we follow a sensible diet that is high in fiber (from vegetables and fruit), with some fats, cereals, legumes and protein. We
need more protein as we age to maintain strength and muscle control.
Contact Nuno Simoes Coelho, head of wellness, +35 12 146 58 600