By. CityRoom Staff
Ascona, Switzerland – May 2017: Switzerland is famous for its spas, but not as well known is how the country as a whole has embraced alternative therapies. In 2009, Switzerland was the first European country to integrate complementary medicines into its public health system and in 2015 Ayurveda was officially included by Swiss healthcare authorities. Building on this interest in ancient Indian medicine, Giardino Ascona (www.giardino-ascona.ch/en/) recently established a dedicated Ayurvedic medicine centre, with a team of naturopathic practitioners, yoga and meditation teachers and nutritionists, that has tailored its programme to European tastes.
Expressly for spring/summer 2017, the luxury Giardino Ascona hotel in the beautiful Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has now launched the ultimate Ayurvedic detox break, blending Swiss wellbeing with ancient Indian health traditions during a week-long stay. The six-day programme has been carefully calibrated to recharge and rejuvenate body and soul, putting participants in great shape for the warmer months.
At the hotel’s dipiù Spa, guests will be given a full check-up and have their medical history analysed. A specially tailored programme, including massages and other treatments, will then be created, alongside a nutrition plan to suit each guest’s individual needs. The dietary prescription is a particularly adept Ayurveda/Swiss combination, with Ayurvedic meals assiduously planned using health-giving herbs gathered from the natural surroundings of Ticino. As Dr Sajin Philip, one of the spa’s highly qualified team of Ayurveda experts, explains ‘our European guests can tolerate these Swiss ingredients better than Indian herbs and spices, and it is also easy for them to continue with the programme at home’.
The holistic ethos of the Ayurveda spa resonates with the therapeutic heritage of the hotel’s setting on the northern shore of Lake Maggiore close to Monte Verità. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Monte Verità was the site and focus of a utopian movement for spiritual renewal. Intellectuals, artists and dancers from across northern Europe were drawn here by the health-giving environment – and by the beauty of the area, too. They founded a remarkable vegetarian colony on a small hill overlooking Ascona that was a hub of energy and creativity; it can still be visited today.
Alternative practices have continued to have great appeal in Switzerland ever since, with Ayurveda proving to be particularly popular at present. Meaning ‘knowledge of life’ in Sanskrit, Ayurveda originated in India more than 5,000 years ago and its practitioners combine preventative healthcare with healing, using herbal remedies, special diets and oil-based massages. It is one of the few forms of medicine to include the role of the soul and spirit in its approach to wellbeing.
The Ayurvedic package that Giardino Ascona has put together offers guests the opportunity to benefit from the world’s oldest holistic healing art while enjoying the Mediterranean climate of Ticino rather than having to make long and arduous trips to far-off destinations – journeys that can cause climate- and food-related problems for travellers. The spa has quickly attracted a loyal European following with a number of celebrities, including German actress Iris Berben, who most recently appeared in the sports comedy-drama Eddie the Eagle, having visited.
For more information and to book, visit www.giardino-ascona.ch/en/.