Physical issues such as joint pain and obesity as well as mental states of anxiety and depression are all proven to benefit from connection with nature and outdoor activities
– Carlo Barbieri
Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda in Italy has introduced five new treatment packages inspired by nature, which blend outdoor activities, TCM practices and wellness treatments.
Called Natural Wellness Trails, each outdoor journey guides guests through The Energy and Therapeutic Garden to individual stations where the symbolism of shapes, colours and aromas are combined with recommended balancing exercises, meditation and massages.
"Even before COVID-19, more and more academic studies were highlighting the benefits of prescribing a connection with nature and the great outdoors,” said Dr Carlo Barbieri, president of Lefay’s Spa Method Scientific Committee.
“Physical issues such as joint pain and obesity as well as mental states of anxiety and depression are all proven to benefit from connection with nature and outdoor activities.”
Guests can access four trails, all of which include a private guided walk through the Energy and Therapeutic Garden – both with views of Lake Garda, one balancing activity, one meditation exercise and one massage.
Treatment stations are spread across the 11 hectares of natural beauty surrounding the resort and individual packages cost €320 per person (US$378, £291).
About the journeys
The Green Dragon – represents the renewal of nature and spring
The Green Dragon station lies in the middle of the forest and is characterised by the element of wood.
Recommended at sunrise, activities focus on stretching of the meridians – where postures and exercises relax muscles and open up joints eliminating physical and mental blockages, as well as perception walking – a silent walk with closed eyes to stimulate the senses in a new and conscious way.
The trail is complemented by a relaxing all over body massage focusing on the meridians of the liver.
The Red Phoenix – represents summer, characterised by the colour red
Positioned in the south, the Phoenix trail is recommended at midday and includes Tai Qi, for slow refined martial arts movements to relax the body and mind. It is also meant to help guests focus on inner strength and mindfulness meditation.
The relaxing massage works on the energy lines of Summer and focuses on the meridians of the heart to help leave guests feeling more balanced and stress-free.
The White Tiger – represents meditation and autumn, characterised by the colour white
Located to the west, the Tiger trail is recommended at sunset and includes yoga for overall balance and greater awareness of the whole body and improved breathing, to help improve circulation, reduce anxiety, strengthen the immune system and improve digestion.
The all-over body massage is aimed at curbing feelings of melancholy.
Located in the centre of the energy garden on a hill, offering expansive panoramic views.
Activities include QiGong Six Healing Sounds – an ancient practice composed of slow, harmonious exercises performed with vocalisations of six specific sounds during exhalation.
This is combined with Zazen Meditation – a form of meditation to help overcome attachments and sit without wanting and without thinking.
The journey is concluded with a face and body massage to help guests focus on their inner core.