It can be quicker to see a doctor at this busy, brilliant medi-spa halfway up a mountain, travel time included, than at your local surgery. Certainly the consultation will prove more thorough than the typical session with a hard-pressed GP. Considerably more productive, too. Besides traditional qualifications, doctors have healthy-gut-equals-healthy-body Mayr training, giving them a 360-degree perspective on health. And as the spa’s Dr Peter Gartner says, somewhat mesmerisingly: ‘Exercise combined with Mayr method eating is the only regime I would say that can truthfully be described as anti-ageing.’ So let’s go!
Twenty minutes after being collected at Innsbruck airport you’re walking into the large, pale-marble lobby. And within about an hour of checking in – efficiency in all things being the Park Igls mantra – you’ll be climbing onto an examination table. Whatever you’ve come for, your stay will start with this initial consultation with one of the five doctors: Dr Gartner, Dr Irene Brunhuber, Dr Richard Kogelnig, Dr Peter Barth or Dr Sonja Schottkowsky. It will last an hour and be friendly, non-judgmental, piercingly detailed and comprehensive. For those who have booked a full medical check-up, the intensive range of blood, hormone, vitamin and mineral tests, plus ultrasound scans of your carotid artery, thyroid and breasts or prostate, starts there and then.
The Modern Mayr programmes tackle problems such as insomnia, eating disorders, stress, burnout, allergies, diabetes and circulatory problems, and with consultants from Innsbruck University Hospital on call – specialists in everything from neurology and obesity to spinal pain and vein surgery – there are few health issues they can’t address. Digestive problems, of course, remain a key focus. ‘Eighty per cent of so-called IBS cases, in my experience, are due to eating too quickly, eating too late and not chewing properly,’ says Dr Gartner. ‘Change those habits – eat only natural, fresh food, have a very light evening meal as early as possible – and bloating and discomfort usually disappear.’
Every guest is prescribed a particular diet (former wild-boy chef Markus Sorg’s food is exquisite) and leaves with a New Lifestyle folder detailing useful stuff such as the protein content of 100 grams of various foods. Who knew wheat germ, soya beans, Emmental cheese and peanuts, ranging from 26g to 34g, all outdo red meat at 19.5g?