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Pushing the recharge Button! by Michaela Cordes | 1st June, 2023 | Travel


Even if some medical practioners still turn up their noses at the idea of detox programs, demand for preventive healthcare has never been stronger. GG visited the popular Mayrlife Health Resort Altaussee in Austria and put its most booked program to the test. A personal experiment…

The evening light is bathing the Salzkammergut Mountains in breathtaking shades of sunset colors like orange and red. I am standing on my balcony and taking in this beautiful view and the fresh air after having just arrived in my room at the Mayrlife Health Resort Altaussee.

As I am already super late for dinner, I pull myself away from this stunning moment and hurry down to the ground floor. The restaurant seems to have emptied out – as most guests take their last meal of the day already around 5:30 p.m. After a warm welcome from the serving staff, a pot of hot vegetable broth is placed in front of me. It’s accompanied by a tiny teaspoon that I’m supposed to use to make me eat more slowly. Along with the broth I’m allowed to choose what’s known here as a chewing trainer: I pick a spelt or buckwheat roll.

Welcome to the F. X. Mayr cure! In a nut- shell, it means eating hardly anything at all in the evening, chewing every mouthful at least 40 times and consuming only ultralight food to relieve the gut. The theory here is that our gut is not only our most important digestion organ but an important control center that’s considered to be our second brain; it’s also our biggest internal organ and influences our entire immune system and metabolism. When the gut is healthy, the organism is in good condition too. And when we’re ill, the reason can often be found in the gut. At Mayrlife, this cure is personally adjusted to every single guest’s requirements, regardless of which health programs they’ve signed up for.

Once I’ve patiently spooned up the incredibly delicious broth, I’m advised to turn in early. Timing is one of the secrets to the success of a stay here, which is why the clocks tick to a different rhythm. The timetable is strict and the day starts early so as to optimize digestion and ensure the cure will have the promised effect. For me, as for other guests, getting up at 6 a.m. will be a new regimen for the next few days. Going to bed early and getting some good sleep before midnight is one of the challenges I hope my stay here will help me achieve. Like other guests here, my sleep hygiene needs some tender loving care and will support my goal of fully recharging my batteries.

My immune system is still affected by a recent Covid infection, which was followed a few months later by a nasty bout of the flu. I brief my new doctor on my recent health history at seven o’clock sharp the next morning. It doesn’t take her long to decide which treatment is the best for me: “Our post-Covid program is one of the most popular right now, along with the classic weight loss regime,” explains the well-toned and convivial Dr. Iris Maislinger cheerfully.

It was still dark when I drank my first obligatory daily dose of magnesium sulfate, dissolved in warm water. Luckily, since this isn’t totally new for me (it’s not my first Mayr cure), I don’t have to take the strong, very bitter tasting Epsom salts. My gut seems to tune into the cure faster than I do and started dutifully rumbling the moment I set foot in the resort. “That’s a great sign and not unusual at all,” laughs the doctor. “Our gut has a kind of memory and really works almost like a second brain.” An oil pulling session is also part of my new morning routine and something I’ve never tried before. It involves taking a teaspoonful of oil and swishing it around your mouth for a few minutes to strengthen the gums and get rid of the toxins that have accumulated in your mouth over night. Because my metabolic analysis turned out positive, meaning that my body burns calories optimally, my goal – un- like many Mayrlife customers such as actress Rebel Wilson, who lost masses of weight here and has been coming back every year since – is not to lose weight, but to boost my vitality and find new sources of energy to rebuilt my immune system. Because I normally love doing lots of different types of exercise, my doctor has some very different advice for me: “Slow down. No cardio. Take it easy for the next few days. Keep yourself warm and just relax!”

I’m supposed to drink lots of tea – which is easy considering all the kinds there are to choose from at the tea bar – and go for walks, but my doctor advises me not to use the cryotherapy chamber, where the body is “bathed with temperatures around 110 degrees below zero to combat inflammation. “The infrared sauna would be much better for you. It’s all about warmth for you.”

As a result, my cure plan looks like this: My first appointment is one of three vitamin B12 injections in the lower abdomen to help rebuilt the strength of my nervous system. After that I settle down in an armchair for a session of hypoxi training. For about 40 minutes, I’m administered air containing varying levels of oxygen via an oxygen mask. The goal is to charge the mitochondria – the miniature pow- er plants in our cells – with energy. Because I’d assumed that this altitude training would require me to exercise, I turned up in my sports outfit. “No,” laughs the medical assistant, covering me up with a woolen blanket, “this is a passive training method. Just lean back and relax.” After the very first session, I feel overcome with a wave of fresh strength.

During meals, I get to know the other guests at my table, all of them extremely pleasant. There’s an English lady who wants to lose weight and struggles with inflammation in her joints, and a woman from Brazil who’s finding relief for her chronically inflamed skin. We keep admiring how delicious and varied the meals are, and how beautifully arranged. At Mayrlife, every guest really does get a diet tailored to their own personal needs.

Before my goat butter applications – a treatment that draws toxins out of the skin – I arrange with one of the other guests to take a stroll round Altaussee Lake (one of the locations used in the James Bond “Spectre” movie). We are delighted by the views, make it our daily routine and decide to organize a group jump into the lake – an absolute must! It’s November – so a cold four degrees – but we’re all proud and happy afterwards. After spending seven days here, I’m sleeping much better and feel like my batteries are now fully charged. Well rested and full of vitality, I return home.

IssueGG Magazine 03/23
PhotographyMayrlife Heath Resort Altaussee