Park Igls Review by Frances Geoghegan

26/06/2013, Frances Geoghegan

Frances spent 4 nights at Parkhotel Igls, a health retreat near Innsbruck, Austria. Parkhotel Igls is a leading pioneer in Modern Mayr Cuisine. Developed by Franz Xaver Mayr in the early 20th Century, Mayr revolutionised the practice of preventative medicine through his discoveries that the majority of common illnesses originate in the digestive system.  Lack of proper nutrition and exercise are responsible for 80% of all illnesses. Regular cleansing, the correct food combinations, and exercise are combined with the latest applications of conventional medicine to balance and regenerate the digestive system, prevent illness, and leave you feeling harmonious and full of energy.

While Frances was at Parkhotel Igls, she was kind enough to share her experiences in a travel blog with us.

Day 1:

6:00 pm:  I am on route to the Parkhotel Igls for ‘the cure’, to kick start my sluggish metabolism, to feel renewed and invigourated. This is the next-generation Mayr slick. A mere 20 minutes from Innsbruck airport, passing soaring snow laden mountains, through the dreamy beautiful Paymobil village.

6:20 pm:  Arrive at Parkhotel Igls which is cool and pristine, professional and shiny white. Tanned toned and beautiful staff are here to greet me, all oozing goodness. I am led to my functional and pretty room.

7:30 pm:  Dr Gartner is giving a one hour lecture for all new patients, explaining the philosophy of the Mayr cure. I am the only new English speaking patient of 10 - the rest are all German speaking, so I have a translator on hand to help me. The philosophy seems simple enough to me’ fight the cause, not the symptom’. The Mayr philosophy is a holistic method based on the pillars of nutrition, exercise and regeneration. I have learned that good health begins in the intestine, and poor digestive organs that function poorly can endanger your health. The doctor goes through reams of information-chewing your food properly: drinking 1 litre of water for every kilo you weigh, lots of rest and daily intakes of ‘bitter water’.  I can’t take any more information in, but I am told I will guided as I start my journey tomorrow morning.

I am not looking forward to what lies ahead, but for now I am resting in my very comfortable bed.


Day 2

As I have not yet seen the doctor, I am given a very frugal breakfast offering, that includes protein with the ubiquitous spelt bread, washed down with almond milk- which has the consistency of wallpaper paste. Although ParkHotel runs on the Mayr principle, you can expect a more progressive, tailor made approach here – there is none one size fits all approach, there are eight possible diets to follow, and the diet you will finally be put on is done following a thorough examination by Dr Gartner.

07:00 am:  Breakfast consists of spelt bread with scrambled eggs, and almond milk. The sweet waitress explains that I am to chew my bread and egg at least 40 times, and when required add a teaspoon of almond milk to help the process. Strangely after a few mouthfuls I feel full, this could be more to do with the fact that everything tastes so bland, and the mere mechanism of constantly chewing and counting takes all the joy for me out of eating.

08:05 am:  I go to the nurse who does my ‘bio impedance measurement’. Simply put, she weighs me/ measures me, she then attaches two wires on my left hand and foot. This will determine my total body water – good, my body fat- not bad at all. I have to bring my results to Dr Gartner at 10 am, where he will give me the bottom line..

10:00 am:  Dr Gartner is a great advertisement for the Mayr doctrine, he radiates vitality and is full of beans. I am very surprised that the doctor says I am in great shape physically- my body mass to fat is excellent, my water cell content is spot on. This is a huge surprise. He notices that whilst my metabolism could do with a good kick start, it’s nothing that lots of exercise combined with abdominal massages won’t sort.

12:00 noon:  I head to the very beautiful Alice who is my physiotherapist. She extols the virtues of stretching, and given that my work life is desk bound, she shows me how to correctly sit on the chair, not my usual slouching- but shoulders back- chest out. She goes through several stretches which will help me throughout my days in the office in London. She does some physio on my sore shoulder which numbs the pain, and shows me how to prepare for sleep, the importance of the correct pillows, and how to lie, thus insuring I don’t constantly wake up with yet another pain or ache.

1:00pm:  Lunch is a big surprise- very tasty zucchini soup( the size of a small cup), roasted veal with beet root slices. It’s utterly delicious, and I feel totally sated.

3:00 pm:  I am booked in for my first medical massage with Harald – a very handsome Austrian, with glistening muscles, and a shy smile. The massage is blissfully relaxing but always on the cusp of being painful. An hour later he is finished. I feel dizzy when I get up, and all I want to do now is go to bed and sleep, but another visit to Dr Gartner awaits.

4:00 pm:  I am lying on the bed, as Dr Gartner starts his abdominal massage, the purpose of which is Detoxification and training and stimulating the digestive organs. The doctor tells me it will alleviate blood and lymph congestion and stimulate gland function. It’s also good for my heart as well as my circulation. It feels strange having my stomach pulled and teased, whilst controlling my breathing, but it’s not uncomfortable.

Dr Gartner is always available to answer your questions, and fully explain the principles of the modern Mayr medicine. The Modern Mayr Medicine as practised at Parkhotel Igls builds on the original Mayr cure ( originated by Dr Franz Xaver Mayr between 1875-1965)- it expands the concept of early detection combined with conventional and contemporary medicine. It differs from modern medicine in that it doesn’t just treat the symptoms, but gets to the bottom of the underlying causes. How many times have we all went to our GP’s and been given a pile of antibiotics and painkillers, without fully understanding what caused your malaise in the first place. The Mayr practice makes total and complete sense. Modern Mayr has added three more S”s to the original Mayr cure of – security – protection of the intestines – sanitation – meaning detoxification of the intestines – schooling – instruction / teaching in proper health. . The Modern Mayr adds substitution -the Inclusion of vitamins/ minerals and grace elements – sport – all types of indoor and outdoor sport to help the body. – self discovery – during the period of fasting, it leads perfectly to a time of reflection and self- discovery.

7:00 pm:  Dinner is a small bowl of fennel soup, with a dry spelt cracker. The chewing begins- laborious and monotonous. I have had enough. I head to my room to rest, STARVING.


Day 3

06:15 am:  On awakening, I have to drink the ‘Bitter water’, which tastes revolting, I find it difficult to drink the water like potion, and continually gag. It is essentially Epsom salts, which is taken each morning on rising to assist the bowels in the detoxification process.

07:00 am:  I have no real appetite for breakfast, as I can still get the taste from the bitter water in my mouth. Breakfast is a cup of herbal tea, a dry cracker and a protein spread- I opt for a trout paste.

7:30 am:  I have an hour long massage with Harald, not in anyway relaxing, but afterwards I feel very flexible and agile.

09:30 am:  I have a liver compress with beeswax, a warm compress is placed on my right side over my liver, I am cocooned in blankets and sheets, and an electric blanket heats me to my bones. It’s utter bliss. This is all meant to assist with the detoxification process. I rest for 30 minutes.

11:00 am:  This is the moment I have dreaded all morning- colonic irrigation. The ultimate in detoxification, to rid the body of waste, via a pipe pumping water into my bowel. I have had many colonic irritation treatments over the years, in London/ New York and more recently in Thailand. I have always found them very uncomfortable and deeply unpleasant. In fact the last one I had, I asked my therapist to stop, as it was so painful. The experience at Parkhotel Igls was not a bad one at all. There was much more focus on the physical massaging of the colon via the stomach, so when they did the pumping and releasing of waste, it was not uncomfortable at all. I would have no hesitation in having another one at all- at Parkhotel that is……

12:00 noon:  Lunch was a celeriac soup, followed by steamed cream with asparagus. Totally delicious.

1:00 pm:  Back to lovely Dr Gartner for a medical check up followed by an abdominal massage. The Doctor spoke passionately about food, and the importance of organic, fresh unprocessed ingredients. It’s not rocket science, but that’s why I love the modern Mayr philosophy, it’s common sense. No worries about horse meat here, they even know where each herb, each vegetable comes from……

4:00 pm:  Down to the indoor pool for some aqua jogging. You put an inflatable harness on, and jog around the pool, it’s hysterical, and not as easy as it looks. I also did some other moves- sky walking in the water, which made me realise I have zero coordination.

5:00 pm:  Into the sauna for 15 minutes. Followed by a quick jump in the freezing cold bath. I feel totally refreshed, and ready for some food.

6:00 pm:  Dinner is asparagus soup, with dry spelt bread, and a sheets curd cheese spread.

8:00 pm:  In bed as instructed with a hot water bottle on my stomach, I drift off with ease.

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