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Therapeutic Holidays: The Benefits of Getting Away From it All.

The benefits of retreating have been long acknowledged.

Even in the Victorian era people went to spas for the maintenance of their health.

They recognised the value of rest and recuperation in a natural environment with natural therapies.

In Health Psychology by Neil Niven, he states that to take some time out is a must regardless of our profession.

Health is a highly cherished state and in research conducted by Milton Rokeach in 1973 he found it is among our most important assets where in a study of values everybody ranked health first.

Since the advances in medical therapy, microorganisms are no longer major causes of death, as was the case of our Victorian ancestors. Our generation is subject to lifestyle illness. Robert M Kaplan states in In Health and Human Behaviour this is the result of choices in diet, exercise, our reaction to stressors and our intake of drug and alcohol.

The impact of stress in our modern society is undeniably high and comes to us in many ways. We work very hard in a demanding field or in a high-pressured environment. We may be facing life decisions or we may be undergoing painful life situations.

In general society has faced increased work demands and long hours. These in turn effect our diet and exercise. And we all too often turn to cigarettes or alcohol to help us relax because the pace at which we are living is too fast.

If we are unable to take proper rest and relaxation in our everyday lives, it is essential that we do this when we take a holiday. I am sure, that there is not one of you who in times of stress have not said: ‘I just need to get away’. Even Aristotle refers to the benefits of getting out into nature and away from our everyday living environment.

In more recent years holistic holiday retreats have recognised the demands of modern life and have set up holidays specifically to help people with these demands. In a world where time seems to have speeded up and stress is a number one threat to our health and well being, when we take a break we need a complete break.

We need it to be free of others demands and a tonic, something that is actually giving something back to our own depleted organism. As a result, many of us are choosing to go on holiday alone.

This is not because we are lonely or don’t have friends but because we need complete downtime and in many professions these days is not always possible to plan holiday time ahead.

But not only do we want to go alone, we also want to be provided with ahealthy diet and holistic activities that will help us when we return to the daily stresses and demands of our everyday life. We may want such therapies as massage or healing, a programme of exercise for health and well being such as Tai Chi or Yoga, or specific workshops for self-discovery.

Holidays are becoming a time to give to ourselves where often in our daily lives this time is missing. It is a time to totally relax, to revitalise and rejuvenate. It is also a time for reflection and to re-evaluate from what we have learnt and discovered from having time for ourselves.

It is an opportunity to take back some of the tools and techniques given to us to maintain a balance in our everyday lives. Breathing techniques or Tai Chi or Yoga movements can be adapted to our own lifestyles from a holiday, when previously it has not been possible to fit a class into our daily routine.

People find these therapeutic holidays give them strength, connection with like-minded others and a positivity as well as practical skills to deal with everyday stresses.

It also gives them permission to be themselves. Often, we forget the most important person – ourselves.

So many times when we prioritise we put ourselves at the bottom. Taking time out can help you to realize how damaging this can be and to change old patterns.

Holidays like this are a real gift. They are like a yearly service that we give to our cars or appliances to keep them well maintained.

In a world where stress is recognised as health risk and relaxation is recognised as a key to counteract it’s negative effects; it makes sense to invest in ourselves.

Information supplied by:
Frances Engelhardt
Founder of Gaia Visions Retreat Zakynthos
Tel: 0208 401 8319

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