SHA: pioneering treatments and adventurous dishes
The transition over to the new Puurenkuur website had the whole team tied in knots for months. We were all ready for a weekend away somewhere. Luckily, it was our turn - Jazmyn and Ilona. The exhaustion made the prospect even more exciting: Spain, great weather, pampering… all the best things about our job. Sigh… the things we do for you.
Not that SHA Wellness Clinic is about nothing but lazing around. Far from that, our schedule is full of treatments and appointments with doctors and therapists. SHA sits on top of a rock, looking out over a cute village and mountains. On arrival, you walk past a rushing waterfall surrounded by plants and flowers. That holiday feeling is already upon us.
The Cognitive rehabilitation assessment
What drew Puurenkuur back to SHA Wellness Clinic was a pioneering new treatment on the spa menu: cognitive rehabilitation assessment. What is it? What does it do? We’re here to find out for ourselves. SHA developed the treatment because it discovered that the condition of many guests with memory problems or who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s improved when stress was reduced. The resort believes that the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is not always accurately given.
Stress test and sleep stimulator
Lying down to relax on a treatment bed didn’t come into it. In the cinema screening area, the doctor assesses our brain activity and stress levels through a number of tests on the big screen. The results are used to design a treatment plan to improve memory function. Which is why you often see guests at SHA Wellness Clinic taking memory tests on an app. Jazmyn took the stress test (then got stressed about the negative results). The doctor’s tip: “Find an activity that helps you relax, because you’re heading for a burnout.” I treated my brain to a sleep-stimulating helmet. It was a little strange, but enjoyable. I felt myself getting sleepy even during the treatment.
The cherry on the cake: the yummiest desert
Sleeping can wait – time to eat! The options: a detox menu, a light menu (1,000 calories a day) or the SHA-menu (1,200 calories a day). There’s a pudding included in the latter. Which makes choosing easy. The most delicious of macrobiotic dishes appeared before us. My favourite from the weekend was crunchy coleslaw and the carrot cake. Jazmyn gave her prize to the Black Forest gateau with cherries, vanilla and cacao. “No sugar or honey but still sweet!”
SHA Wellness Clinic is a small resort, which makes it personal. “Hello Jazmyn and Ilona from room 107 and room 108. Are you okay? How is your programme going? Let me walk you to your next appointment”. The friendly staff can’t do enough for you. When we get back to our rooms, the block-out curtains are closed and the lamps on. Our pyjamas are folded and waiting for us on our bed, the duvet folded back. The only thing the resort doesn’t do is tuck us in and kiss us goodnight. We take the hint and crawl into the super comfortable bed with its sea of pillows. Whether it’s thanks to the sleep stimulator or something else, I don’t know. But I sleep like a log.
Attack on the toxins
The schedule for the following day features two treatments and a cooking workshop. Toxins are removed from our system through lymphatic drainage massage combined with cupping. Based on a previous experience, we were worried that we’d be sporting big round blue marks in our swimwear by the pool. But that worry was unfounded, and the quick cupping technique kept our skin rosy. The following treatment made that same skin silky soft.
It's a wrap
The Jacuzzi with scented oils, soft music and coloured lights offered total relaxation – even more so than the massage. After a little while, we were smeared from top to toe in body butter and packed in a seaweed wrap. Like freshly wrapped mummies, we lay there cocooned in warm water with hydro-jets stimulating our circulation. Soon enough, it wasn’t just our bodies that were floating, so were our minds. Ridiculously relaxing.
The final stage of the treatment was, sadly, a cold shower. In some state of shock, we underwent a kind of uncomfortable hosing down which countered all the relaxation. Despite the somewhat bitter ending, this was by far our favourite of the three treatments.
Soup and raspberries?!?
The cooking workshop is also highly recommended. The food at SHA Wellness Clinic is delicious. Every mouthful is a taste sensation. And yet the meals are prepared without dairy, sugar or additives. So how do they do it? We got some tips and learnt some tricks whilst we prepared three soups and three sauces. Cooking from scratch is of course the best starting place, as you know exactly what’s gone into your food. At SHA, the ingredients go straight from farm/field/tree into the pan and onto your plate. Red lentil soup, miso soup, celery soup.. and then there’s this: cauliflower soup with sweet potato, ginger and raspberries. Raspberries?! Novel indeed, but it was so tasty that we added a few extra handfuls.
After a nice morning walk the next day, our visit had come to an end. We were homeward bound; a load of toxins poorer and a lot of knew knowledge richer. Our bellies were full of good food, our bodies with new energy and our minds with the resolve to change our grocery shopping and eating behaviours. Cauliflower soup with raspberries is on Puurenkuur office menu for Monday.