Our wellness specialist Ian recently completed the 4-night Rebalance programme at SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain. The programme is a well-rounded option for those looking to improve their overall wellbeing and inspire healthy habits to integrate into their everyday lives. Read on to learn more about Ian’s experience at SHA and the Rebalance programme.
Introducing SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain
SHA Wellness Clinic is an award-winning luxury hotel and medical spa, specialising in targeted treatments to cleanse the body and mind in beautiful surroundings, and home to many of the best detox specialists in Europe. Their approach is based on a macrobiotic-inspired cuisine combined with western medicine and holistic treatments.
During my four days at SHA Wellness Clinic, I witnessed the life-changing power of these widely acclaimed treatments and how they can contribute to improved health. I met several guests wishing to change their life in one way or another, from simply kickstarting a balanced lifestyle while detoxifying the body, to those with high weight-loss goals, striving for significant changes.
Travelling to SHA Wellness Clinic
My journey began in London, flying from Gatwick airport to Spain’s capital, Madrid. The more direct route would be to fly directly to Alicante with a 40-minute car transfer, however I spared an additional day to soak up the sights and tastes of Madrid before kicking off the retreat. A high-speed bullet train whisked me down to Alicante within two and a half hours, a journey that fits seamlessly with your transfer to SHA Wellness. I was met by a chauffeur at Alicante train terminal and made the 40-minute transfer by Mercedes S Class.
Personalising your retreat at SHA
Your SHA experience begins with a number of consultations. After filling out a health questionnaire with ease through the SHA app, the consultants form an idea of what condition you’re currently in and what your particular ailments are. They took time to find out if there were any personal goals you have and put in place suggestions and plans on how to achieve this. My height, weight and blood pressure were taken, and an initial plan put in place to help maximise the benefits of my stay..
The Healthy Ageing meeting was with a 65 year old consultant who had the air of a 40 year old – a promising sign for the efficacy of SHA’s treatments. His advice on strength, weight loss and genes was very well received and left me with more ammo to help achieve my weight loss goals.
The SHA menu: dietary plans and dining
An integral part of the SHA experience, the SHA diet plan gives you the choice of several options: the 1800 calorie, 1200 or 800 calorie diet. As someone who’s 6’5”, I opted for the 1800 calorie diet, and was blown away, not only that I was full, but that I was kept full until the next meal, despite the lack of calories I’m normally used to.
Each meal at SHA starts with Miso Soup, which kickstarts your metabolism and is filled with many detoxified nutrients that leave your skin feeling like porcelain. Breakfast also consists of a wonderful porridge with fruit, and bowl of vegetables with a puree that even Gordon Ramsey would be proud of. The breakfast menu is carefully designed around strengthening the immune system and raising energy levels, so all ingredients are alkaline - sugar, dairy and gluten are left aside. The delicious fruit and vegetables left me wanting for nothing.
Lunches were also deliciously satisfying. Over three courses I was met with a tsunami of flavours and colours of the kind seen in a Michelin-star restaurant. After lunch I met with their nutritional specialist who then gave me some crucial tips on what to eat, and more importantly -to eat slower.
Understanding the treatments for your programme
Each treatment on the Rebalance programme is designed to refresh and revitalise your body, setting you up for better health. It can be daunting to be presented with an array of treatments you may not have previously heard of, but thankfully the app provided plenty of insightful information and videos, so I entered each treatment with confidence. I was eased into the retreat with a deep tissue massage, and after several cracks and clicks, I was left feeling like a new man.
Personal training sessions
Included within my programme was a session with a skilled personal trainer, Diego. Having previously worked with Atletico Madrid, I knew I was in for an intense session. After assessing my levels of flexibility, I embarked on a challenging 50 minutes of bicep, tricep and chest training - which I’ve only just recovered from. I ended the day with “SHA Detox Therapy”, a suction, massage process which uses cupping techniques to aid lymphatic drainage and detoxify the body.
Colon Hydrotherapy and Hydroenergetic Detox
Research suggests that colon hydrotherapy is a highly effective treatment to support the body’s natural cleansing process. Whilst I won’t delve into the nitty gritty of the experience, the colon hydrotherapy clears out anything stuck in your intestines and certainly left me feeling lighter and refreshed.
This treatment is followed by SHA’s 'Hydroenergetic Detox Cure”, which starts with a 15-minute jacuzzi bath with detox oils, before a full-body seaweed mud wrap to increase the sweating process whilst cleansing and detoxifying the body. During the detox process, I was laying on a water bed whilst being gently rocked and massaged. After removing the layers, I was moved to a room where I was hosed down with warm water and a final cold splash, which left me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Indib Body treatment
The “Indib Body” session is designed to break down fat cells through pulsating electro-vibrations. During the treatment, a laptop-sized pad placed under the targeted area of your body, as you lay back, relax, and let the machine work its magic on the fat cells, prompting your body to burn fat quicker. For my session, the treatment was performed on my front and back whilst the specialist also moisturised my upper body.
Luxury spa and pranayama
SHA Wellness Clinic’s excellent spa facilities complemented my treatments. The scents of the Finnish Sauna, Roman Sauna and Steam room were incredible, with hints of lemongrass on a spring morning – it offered the perfect start to the day. I experienced the Finnish sauna followed by a dip in the cold plunge pool before a morning pranayama session. Pranayama is an ancient breathwork practice which uses a wide variety of breathing techniques to produce profound effects on the body, such as to alleviate any stress and anxiety by being in control of your own rhythm.
Pressotherapy for your detox
Pressotherapy, part of the detox cure, was next on the agenda, a treatment which involved the bottom half of my body being wrapped in a device which gently squeezed and massaged me, allowing for more efficient blood flow. Lastly I was treated to a foaming facial, a relaxing way to end my four days of treatments which left my face silky smooth.
Scenic walks in Alicante
Ordinarily, guests would enjoy a lighthouse walk or Nordic hike, but these had been cancelled due to heavy downpours the day before. Sunrise and sunset are the perfect times to venture out for the lighthouse walk. Guides are available, however we would recommend to go alone for a more mindful experience, where the immersive sounds of nature accompany the spectacular views around you.
Based on recommendations from the specialists at SHA, I chose to add on a Neurofeedback Session, a treatment that it not usually incorporated into the Rebalance programme.. The Neurofeedback Session involves specialist consultations to discuss and heighten your emotional state. The doctor asked a series of questions to determine my needs before placing an electromagnetic hat on my head to stimulate the emotional frontal lobes. During this session, I was instructed to focus on positive thoughts and happy memories. There are usually multiple sessions involved with this therapy, however even after one taster session, I can confidently say that I felt genuinely calmer and happier.
Mountain and sea view suites at SHA
The Deluxe Mountain View Suite that I stayed in during my visit to SHA was great. It was 70sq meters with a divided living room and bedroom, and even a separate changing room with large mirror. The balcony was spacious and would have been a great spot to unwind on a sunny day. The large glass windows with mountain or sea views and the walk-in closet were my favourite features, along with the most comfortable bed and pillows I could ask for.
Top 3 recommendations for your stay
Upgrade to the Superior Suite for a spacious room on a higher floor with better views of the ocean
Head to the spa before breakfast to enjoy the place to yourself
Download the “SHA app” for a seamless experience booking extra treatments and keeping on top of your agenda during your stay
SHA Wellness Clinic is great when it comes to healthy nutrition, healing therapies and high-quality wellness technology. The approach is creative, original and dynamic, and it covers your entire wellbeing. The team went above and beyond with their level of hospitality, service and attention to detail, which adds to the overall experience.